Sometimes you find some awesome deals, and sometimes you get hosed. Most of the time, you get hosed on impulse buys that you know nothing about. One of those times happened when I was at the 2009 D23 Expo. I saw this Vinyl Collectible Doll (VCD) of Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid by Medicom, the folks who make Be@rbricks, at a dealer’s booth.
It was pretty late in the day so I was tired, and the packaging made it hard to see inside. It looked like it had been opened before because the locking tab on top had creases and there was a bit of dust on Ariel. The dealer assured me that she was new when he got her in Japan.
I’d never seen one of these before, and it was the only one he had. I looked on the back for the price in yen, but it was covered up with his price sticker — $55. He had some other trinkets and offered a slight discount, and I foolishly bit. I figured (pun intended), I have PVC statues from anime series but none of my first love Ariel, and that’s just wrong!
When I got back home and took a closer look, my dust sighting was confirmed. There were also a few irritating spots on the paint job that I hadn’t noticed, including one right on her face. >_<
The shoulder seams are also pretty blah. And when I finally peeled off the price sticker? The MSRP was 2800 yen, or about $30. Even factoring in the discount, I paid 1.5x for a used item, and I hate buying used items to begin with! Of course, this is not the most I’ve ever overpaid for an item (that “honor” goes to my Mahoro-san & Sportsbike), but it still hurts.
Ariel came out in 2002, so she was pretty rare when I bought her. I looked her up on eBay at the time and someone was selling her for $75, so that lessened the sting a bit. Of course, she has since been re-released (albeit at 3800 yen)!
In spite of the annoyances, she’s a beautiful piece. And at the end of the day, I guess that’s all that matters! One of these days I’ll have to do a proper photoshoot of her to do her justice.
More selected pieces from my