Zelda: Hyrule Historia Goes Hysterica

7 01 2012


Nintendo’s highly anticipated book, The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historica, is nowhere to be found on store shelves across Japan.  Hitting the streets on December 21, it sold out in days, and now the gouging has begun.


Click to Enlarge


The average price for the tome on Amazon.com is Y8,655 ($112), up Y5,100 over the price the book was originally offered at.  Fans looking to score a copy off Yahoo! Auctions fare a little better, the average cost being only Y4,508 ($59), Y1000 ($13) over cover price.  Although because of the nature of auctions that price could fluctuate rather quickly… the serious bidding usually only occurs in the last few minutes of the auction cycle.

This phenomena isn’t limited to this single item, though.  It’s common practice for Japanese companies to short products sold to the otaku, or fan, market.  It creates the feeling that if you see the product, you must buy it now or you might not get another opportunity.  This marketing technique was successfully deployed by Good Smile Company when they released the original Hatsune Miku Nendoroid figure.  If you didn’t buy it that day, you didn’t buy it.


Thanks a lot for driving up prices, jerk.


Fans bought armfuls of the figure, hoping to make a killing on the secondary market.  For almost a year, the cheapest you could find one of these figures was Y6,500 ($85), Y3,600 ($47) above retail.

Nintendo used this technique as well when they released the Wii video game console in North America.  There was incredible demand for the system… a demand that wouldn’t have existed had it been easy to come by.  Sony has used it in the past, as well.  After Monster Hunter Portable 3rd proved a hit during Christmas of 2010 in Japan, they stopped mass shipments of PSP units to stores.  If you wanted a PSP, you had to place an order directly to Sony from an electronics store.  It’s not that Sony didn’t have enough systems to meet demand, they simply used this opportunity to create false demand through rarity.




2 responses

7 01 2012
Daniel Roger

I purchased The Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historica book soon after it’s available. It’s a great book and waited for bit long time. After buying it I’m now satisfied. Thanks

7 01 2012

I wish I would have gotten one to look see what they have from the 8 and 16-bit games. For some reason I thought it came out this week. Oh, well… I’m sure I’ll find one eventually.

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