U.S. fans who were eagerly awaiting the green tunic of Max Factor’s Figma Link to complement their red holiday bows have some bad news coming their way. I had one on pre-order, and I just received this email from BigBadToyStore:
Diamond Comics Distribution has just informed us that they have failed to secure the licensing needed to bring the Max Factory Link Figma into North America. Diamond has completely cancelled all orders for the Link Figma for all retailers and distributors in North America, including a massive order placed by BBTS. We are extremely upset with them because they are forcing us to disappoint you and so many other people on this item. Diamond officially solicited this item to us back in September and our orders have been in place with them for months, this news was shocking and extremely disappointing to us. Diamond apparently did not have the licensing deal fully worked out at the time of solicitation and in the past few months some sort of problem arose and the deal with Nintendo could not be worked out. We wanted to let you know about this as quickly as possible so you can try to secure an order with international/other vendors.
We have quickly checked with several distributors in Japan, and all of them are completely sold out, as is Max Factory. We are going to explore more options on possible supplies around the world, but at this point it honestly does not look good. We will leave all preorders open in the meantime in case we can find some sort of solution.
We again are extremely sorry about this, we did not expect Diamond to fail us on this item.
Two things: 1.) Bummer. 2.) This does give an interesting look behind the scenes at how these import licensing deals work – and how they can go wrong. There are often very cool toys available in Japan that can’t be sold here, either because there’s a U.S. manufacturer with the domestic master license or for other reasons. (For example, Tsuburaya Productions refuses to export certain Ultraman figures to the U.S. due to a long legal dispute with the Thailand-based Chaiyo Productions.)
It does raise one question for me, though. If this deal just fell apart, it would seem there should have been plenty of Links ready to ship for the American pre-orders, and they were due this month. So how could Max Factory be sold out? Where are those Links that were produced and bound for the States? Or was there going to be an even greater delay while they went back into production? The answer is either that, or Diamond and Max Factory have known about this for months.
For those of you who want a Link, he’s still available at AmiAmi as of this writing. Be prepared to pay international shipping costs, however.