Friday, July 11, 2014
So long, Jyarinco
The early players like Popy and Bullmark were well represented, as were later arrivals, in addition to indie sofubi makers. In fact, Jyarinco released a number of Real Head collaborations and stocked a cabinet of indie toys for years.
Jyarinco's story arc is becoming all too familiar, and there are fewer and fewer shops like it in Japan. A major factor is the difficulty of getting new stock. The Internet has become a major means for collectors to unload toys. It's also difficult to compete against the larger shops when it comes to bringing in new product and attracting customer foot traffic.
Personally, I'm not a fan of the trend of everything moving online. I get the convenience, and I think it's great that the Net opens up buying chances for folks who aren't near a shop. But when things tilt so far that the last remaining physical shops are closing their doors, then that's a problem. There really is no substitute for walking into a shop, seeing something for the first time, and chatting with the owner about it. I'm not a luddite, but I do hope the pendulum doesn't swing so far that it knocks out the remaining indie shops.
Whatever the reason for his deciding to move on, I wish Jyarinco's owner all the best in his upcoming endeavors, and I thank him for a dozen great years. The shop leaves a real legacy, not just as a "remember back in the day" line, but as a model of what still can be with current and future shops, where owners are passionate, knowledgeable, and great to talk to and learn from. Thanks so much for that and for the chance to see and buy some great toys!
So long, Jyarinco.