It seems as though Volks answer to their issue is to host the event again in May at Nihonbashi Takashimaya . This time give people numbers upon their arrival which will designate their place in line. This is how most Dolpas are run to avoid the scalping issue in the first place. Please see the announcement page for more information. We still do not know if the individual who purchased all of the first run preorders will have his orders filled or not.
By Chobittum/ Editing by Tenshi no Mon
For Volks fans, the announcement of a limited doll is always a cause for excitement- especially if it’s a collaboration with a beloved property. The recent joint exhibitions with the Junichi Nakahara properties are no expception to the rule and have been extremely popular in Japan and internationally. Nakahara’s artwork is simply stunning, and the one-off dolls Volks has created for the exhibition have been greatly anticipated by Volks fans all around. So when Volks announced they would be doing a small initial release of their brand new Lorina 2 sculpt at the Kyoto Takashimaya’s Nakahara exhibition, doll fans were thrilled!
I ask you to then imagine coming to the exhibition bright and early, traveling five hours by train and looking forward to seeing the beautiful art and hoping for a chance at the extremely limited doll only to be met with an enormous line. The line is filled with people who are not locals and admittedly not interested in the product, no, they are all foreigners who are simply holding places in line. Then the Takashiyama exhibition staff begin counting the people in line and announcing that there were only 100 dolls available- and each person is allowed to order 2 dolls apiece. Slowly you begin to realize that the only people who were up front in the line and stood any chance of getting a doll and they have no interest in the product whatsoever? The final nail in the casket is when every single person at the beginning of the line orders two dolls apiece and a single man of foreign nationality is going back and forth and paying for every. single. doll. himself. It quickly becomes apparent that this man has hired people to stand in line and collect the dolls for him.
This was exactly what happened on Saturday at the Nakahara exhibition at the Kyoto Takashimaya store. The truth slowly came out via live tweets of people who were on the site – one single man, a Chinese reseller, paid 50 people 4000 yen (approximately $USD40) to stand in line for the doll from 5am until the exhibition opened at 10am. Even though there was a limit of 2 dolls per person, this man had each of these 50 people buy 2 dolls each, and then he went to the counter to pay for all 100 dolls at once. A video was tweeted of the sale itself, and there have since been pictures released of the reseller(s) involved.
Volks fans took to twitter and other social media websites to vent their rage, and are calling for a boycott of the sale of the ill-gotten Lorina 2s. Some poor fans had come all the way from Tokyo (5+ hours away from Kyoto), only to find that once they’d gotten to the exhibition, they never even had a chance no matter how early they’d turned up.
Eye witnesses report that “none of the people in the front of the line seemed to be genuine doll fans”, and so far information indicates that the reseller is placing the dolls up for resale in Mainland China. Even worse, this has clearly been solely for profit as it has been reported on twitter that the reseller has placed a mark-up of approximately $USD400 on top of the original doll’s price. He will clearly need to make some money back, as the total cost of all 100 Lorina 2’s is approximately $USD120, 000.
Among many unfortunate factors is that technically the reseller didn’t break any rules – each purchase ticket was handed to a different person, he simply paid for all of them. Consequently, there does not appear to be any recourse for any fans, nor the companies involved. Furthermore, Takashimaya’s public statement is that they were “unable to conclusively determine that the purchase was for resale purposes”, and that the purchase would be honoured.
Volks has not released any public statement. Needless to say, this statement by Takashimaya was not greeted with enthusiasm and both companies involved have come under criticism by the public. This incident made at least one print newspaper in Japan, as well as several online newspapers, and TV station representatives can be seen commenting on witness twitter and blog posts for comment – I expect there will be/already has been a TV report on the incident as well.
It has been a very sad and angry time for Volks fans, but hopefully the company will see their way to helping Lorina 2’s come home to those who want to welcome her. Nothing has been confirmed as of yet, but it is hoped that she may be released for the May Dolpa. Hopefully she will be released by Volks via lottery to the public so as to lessen the impact of reseller… dare we say “scalper”…. activity.
From Nakita: As fellow doll collectors we, at tenshinomon.com, feel for the poor fans who missed welcoming such a beautiful doll due to extreme scalping methods. We also would hope Volks does not honor this scalper’s orders. It is one thing to debate the technical ‘rule-breaking’ issue for the incident but quite another for a company to be able to know right from wrong and honor their dedicated client base. It will say much about Volks as a company in the manner with which they react to such exploitation of their presale methods. Volks obviously needs to open a sumika in China!
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