Let’s talk a little bit about lust. If you collect anything, chances are that there is a holy grail item, something that you greatly desire but is nearly impossible to acquire. Maybe it’s an out-of-print edition of a book, or a rare and valuable trading card of some favorite athlete, or a pretty, limited-run postage stamp. These treasures add a definite zest to collecting, igniting passions, squelching common sense, and obliterating the checking accounts of collectors fortunate enough to add these things to their troves.
For me, Volks’s 1/4 scale Uesugi Kenshin statue is the prize that I’ve had my eyes on for years. I never expected to own her; for one, Volks’s wares are notoriously difficult to purchase outside of Japan, and for another, Kenshin was sold only as a resin kit. There was no way I could afford the model, and I do not have the requisite equipment or skill to assemble and paint it anyway. My only hope would be to buy a prepainted recast – and E2046 hasn’t stocked this item in a long time – or for a prepainted, preassembled kit to magically present itself. The late, sorely-missed Heisei Democracy mentions that such an item was in fact sold at the winter Wonder Festival in February 2008 – for an astronomical price.
So time passed, and I didn’t think much about this Kenshin figure, since there was little point pining away for something unobtainable, until one day, on a whim, I spent some time browsing through Yahoo Japan’s listings. And I saw this figure. There were a lot of reasons to hesitate – the price was insane, I would have to go through a middleman which means an even more insane price in addition to requiring a considerable amount of faith in someone a hemisphere away, and the possibility of losing the auction, which presents its own unique set of problems. But hesitation never really entered my mind; after all, this figure is it. This is number one, my prize, and who would deny that magic had occurred? All it would take to acquire this figure would be to meet the price. But Gott im Himmel, what a price.