Filed under: Musings
It honestly seemed like everyone was bouncing off the walls over the idea of the Anna Sui Blythe collaboration doll (if you haven’t seen the promotional illustration yet for this doll, click here!), who is due to come out in January 2017. While I’ve gotten more selective with the additions that I make to my Blythe collection, I had the feelings of grabby hands when I first saw the doll’s illustration (much like what I felt when I first saw Devi Delacour’s promotional illustration images).
So what does this mean if a doll if region exclusive?
The doll is only officially sold/shipped to retailers within that region. In the case of the Anna Sui doll, it was reported by Tuesday that the doll is a Japanese exclusive. The doll will only be officially sold to retailers in Japan. Anyone outside of Japan will have to either a) travel to Japan to buy the doll, or b) buy it secondhand at a marked up price.
With the doll being region exclusive, and likely quite limited as it is a designer collaboration, the doll is likely to be quite expensive after everything is taken into consideration (cost of doll, mark-up, shipping, potential for customs/duties). A doll that is tentatively priced at 29,300¥ (~$265USD) might end up being closer to $500USD by the end of the purchase due to the difficulty in getting it to other countries, the cost of (registered, tracked) shipping, and just price inflation based on popularity.
As a fan of stock dolls (nearly all of my dolls are stock or mostly stock), I can see why the Anna Sui collaboration doll will be popular – when I first saw the images, I send it to my family to go “This is what I want for Christmas”. Now that I know that the doll is region exclusive, it makes it a lot more difficult (and more expensive) to justify the purchase. Of course, there will be those in the community who will rise to the challenge to bring that doll to areas outside of Japan (and truthfully, I do hope people are successful because I want to see this doll in person!).
Keep in mind that CWC pays for and licenses the right to use the Blythe trademark from Hasbro (an American toy company) and they pay for the licensing rights for Japan and Korea only. Hasbro utilizes their Blythe trademark in North America with the Littlest Pet Shop mash-up.
What do you think about region exclusive releases? Share your thoughts below!