Being A Sailor Moon Fan Sucks

I often think about the trouble I went through as a kid to get Sailor Moon merchandise and I think the scarcity of anime on American TV in the 90’s really influenced my collecting habits as an adult collector. This 20th anniversary boom has really messed with my mind in terms of what I was used to between 2003 and 2013.

Those years, the dark times, we literally had nothing new to buy, nothing to surprise us in stores, and no easy way to get the Japanese toys without paying a premium on grail-items. Remember the eBay price on a original Japanese Star Locket? The World edition of the Moon Stick? Times were tough for moonies. I think they’re tough again.

There are way too many things to choose from. ‘A constant bombardment of merchandise on Sailor Moon Official. Toothbrushes? You got it. Stationary? Mountains. Dolls? Paradise. Figures? Every size, shape, and character.

But what about before Toei Animation stripped everyone of their licenses to sell Sailor Moon merchandise and sent us into that black hole? The 90’s were an odd time to be a kid who was unfortunate enough to like cartoons from the Far East.

Anime? No! We had to wander into the Japanimation section of our Suncoast Video stores.

It was even weirder being a young girl looking for anything with as much girl power as Sailor Moon. Nestled between a practically naked Cutie Honey and the pornographic Ninja Scroll was perhaps your chance to discover the romantic Fushigi Yugi. Maybe you’d spot The Vision of Escaflowne somewhere in near the controversial Neon Genesis Evangelion.

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But hey, fortunately Blockbuster Video had a visible copy of Revolutionary Girl Utena with big yellow text on the cover that said “from the director of Sailor Moon,” right? Well, Utena is at most an inkling similar to Sailor Moon, and Kunihiko Ikuhara is a modern anime god, but it would be many years before I could fully appreciate the artistry of Utena. Heck, I actually love everything I just listed. Most importantly, I enjoyed them as an adult.

Sailor Moon was the show that I could feel at home with: it was safe, it spoke directly to me and my experiences, and it definitely spared me embarrassing conversations with my parents. When I spotted any dark-blue boxed North American version of a wand from the show I was immediately begging my mom to buy it for me. I needed it. Sailor Moon was the only fandom that felt truly mine. But now, who is Sailor Moon really for? Is it for collectors who need every piece of merchandise they throw out to us? Does it really stand out in a sea of tens of anime that are released and streamed online every season? How does Sailor Moon Crystal really stand up to the promise that was made back in its inception that it would be for adults? I would certainly say that I find the original series more violent. I have little reason to buy the Crystal merchandise considering that I only enjoyed 1-out-of-3 of its seasons so far.

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Right now it looks like only the Proplica line is on a “must buy” list for me and I feel sort of guilty for it. When the first SH Figuarts was released for the series I joyfully ordered two in one hit. I was ecstatic when it arrived. That’s a $45 5″ toy, mind you. It’s kind of nuts. If you follow my Youtube Channel you’ll know I ended up buying the entire line of those figures. Was it all worth it? I’m not sure.

I’m a collector whose collection evolves with me; I’ve already shed most of the Atsumete figures from my display, and possibly those SH Figuarts are next. I still can’t shake the feeling of guilt. The intense need for Sailor Moon collectibles I felt as a kid hangs over me like a ghost. It was hard being a moonie as a kid, and maybe it’s still just as hard now. We now suffer the original vs Viz dub comparisons; the comparisons between Moonlight Memories toys and stuff from the Miracle Romance cosmetic line; or even comparisons in art styles between seasons of the remake. It’s weird to have stuck around for so long, feeling like a relic from the old days when you had to scramble to find out which channel still shows the original anime after it’s been cancelled on Fox or later on USA Network.

So older moonies, are you still out there? Do you remember the struggle or are you still living it?

14 comments on “Being A Sailor Moon Fan Sucks

  1. Still out here! Still struggling… wishing my 10 year old self had more money to buy all the cheap dolls that were on clearance when KBToys went out of business…

    In fact, I just bought the Rainbow Moon rod Proplica today from Hot Topic, and boy the guilt is kicking in.. but it was a great price! But… yeah..

    I was able to get a display case and finally get my figurarts on display. To my disappointment, the first two I opened up were damaged. Well, didn’t help I dropped Sailor Moon, so her head broke, and Mars’s arm falls of with just a touch. They don’t move as well as I had hoped, but you have to be very careful with moving them too! Needless to say, they are still pretty, and I would still like to get the collection of them. Still not sure if they are really worth it though, which again, struggle…

    So yes, I still understand. There is a lot of product I wish I could buy, but don’t see it as worth it. Also, how many times can we release a Sailor Moon figure. Don’t get me wrong, I love them, but hey, they released that other sailor moon figurarts because why? the color changed? No, thanks, really. Oh hey, an evil Sailor Moon that appeared in one episode? Nah, I’m good. Ohh, Sailor V you say? Wait, isn’t half that stuff in with the Sailor Venus version as it is?

  2. We are still out here! When SM hit the U.S. I was 22 and working at Suncoast Video. Let’s just say that all the SM merchandise that came through out store never made it out to the floor. Hot Topic always had the Japanese toys and merchandise and it was fun to visit them weekly to see what they got in stock. I’m now 42 (good god!) and still collecting. I mainly concentrate on the figures and proplicas, while still trying to complete old collections from the 90’s (just got the SMS laserdisc collection!)

    I love collecting SM and I see myself not stopping as I get older. Friends and family know my love for my collection and wouldn’t expect me to quit as well.

  3. Despite growing up as a diehard Moonie, I’m not into the new line of SM products with as much fervor as my young self would have been. Mostly due to growing up and the financial responsibility that came with it. However, that’s not to say I’ve stopped collecting. More than ever now, I’m more interested in filling the gaps of my collection with the vintage toys. MIB/NRFB 1995 Bandai dolls and the like. =) I enjoy the challenge of that far more.

  4. I told you this many many times before I was part of the save our sailors campaign I bought the Luna P ball to save the American license I bought the black dream home movie on VHS subtitled Vhs dub and black dream hole on DVD that had both of them. I forever probably about $150 on all three versions for what failure! I literally bought all the American merchandise I could before the license was torn away back then I was ashamed to be a fan of Sailor Moon guys liking Sailor Moon were mocked in high school but now fast forward to 2016 there are a lot of dudes that like Sailor Moon and I actually am proud to be a sailor moon fan what’s even more hilarious is the Sailor Moon fan club fandom this time around is actually more loving and kind than any other fandom I’ve been part of that includes Disney and I’ve been part of the Disney community for over 25 years I remember the Sam goody days forking over hundreds of dollars for DVDs that are now you can easily get for $10 at a swap or even eBay I think Sailor Moon in Japan really doesn’t care about its western audiences they do a little bit but not too much Just look at VIZ also think a lot of the merchandise for sailor moon is absolutely unnecessary and deep down inside at the end of the day buying merchandise does not make you any more or less of a fan. I mean if people enjoy collecting that’s fine I do too. But some people feel the pressure if you don’t have the newest item you’re not part of the fan club that’s totally false I’m a living testimony of being a great Sailor Moon fan without having the international Sailor moon fan club

  5. Here and still dreaming. Every time I see a 90’small toy up for sale and a bright sticker on it with a SUPER CHEAP price on it I almost feel robed. I agree proplicas are on the top for me. They are not overly priced in my opinion and always look nice. When I see new figures pop up I’m just thinking “will this be like the others, same pose, nothing amazing about it?” I’ve never preordered a sailor moon figure and I most likely won’t. And I can’t help but roll my eyes when they have all these versions of Sailor Moon herself when there are so many other amazing characters! Or when they make an item limited AND exclusive. It’s like a slap in the face (to me) for international fans. They are missing out on opportunity when it comes to figures. Pop star version of Minako, baking version of Makoto, HUMAN LUNA, the sisters, the generals, the amazon trio and quartet! The list is endless. If they can make so many One Piece figures to the point that they are making female versions of male characters sailor moon should be a breeze! There are technically 10 main sailors and an additional… 10 (I think) Scouts of some sort.

    Over all I feel that they are making merch to please their pockets because they know people will buy whatever they make.

    • I agree a thousand times over that we have so many other great and interesting characters to see merchandise of. I always see a big black hole in my collection where I think Queen Beryl should be!

    • i totally agree with everything you said!! as for me yeah i think we can say proplicas’ prices are reasonable coz they have lots of sounds and voice,and lights and quality is good etc! but if we compare now the 90s toy being sold online im really surprised on how those prices be tripled or 4x the original price! as im reading aije’s article im thinking if only i (or my parents) had the money to buy me that sailormoon doll that im looking at a glass window of that gift shop when i was still 13… now.. im looking at all these merch and i was also thinking why are they so expensive?? and they keep on going and going..releasing new stuff! like you I don’t plan to preorder…oh! you mentioned about they make an item limited and exclusive? and its a slap on the face for international fans.. let me tell you something, i am in japan! but in kumamoto prefecture. and kumamoto is so far from tokyo that I don’t even feel im in part of japan!! im not sure you are aware, members of the fan club have those exclusive sits on the musicals (in osaka) never had in kyuushu area! they have sailormoon cafes!! “in tokyo and roppongi” ONLY!! they have the exibit!! in tokyo only!! sometimes they have activities for sailormoon fans and members!! held in TOKYO ONLY!!! when they release some collaboration goods it takes forever for the lower part of japan to get those goods! we are even luck if it get here! like those chocolates that have free sailormoon book marks on them! and those sanitary napkins! and some of the gatcha stuff!! i tell you im in japan but still feel like an “international fan” here!! its kinda unfair for fans who’s too far away.. 🙁 T.T
      Lastly yeah i think the one incharge of making and releasing figures is not very creative…and doesn’t think out of the box unlike those in the one piece!

  6. As a child I had a nearly complete collection of the sailor moon action figures and had a few of the barbie dolls (even the mars who had the wrong shoes, I rebought her for the right shoes). Sadly when I moved at 14 they all got left behind. For Christmas I asked for the Moon stick and the compact and I did get both. I even found out where my parents hid our presents (in my fathers boat) took them out and played with the moon stick long before Christmas. I still have both of them, even though they’re both severely beaten up (littlest brother loved the moon stick and batteries exploded in the compact taking out the sound).
    I still want the wands and the newest action figures which is why I’m collecting those. I’d love to collect more but that requires a lot of money I don’t have (not to mention the newly acquired husband rolls his eyes when I preorder things and I have to remind him that though he doesn’t like what I do get I could be getting a whoooole lot more).

  7. Hey! I totally agree. I always longed to buy the English manga or music box star locket when I was little, but those items were located in one store in the mall that was kind of far away from my house. I do not collect the proplicas and related merchandise so much now but instead focus on the music. SM has one of the nicest sound tracks for a cartoon, anime or western. I even play the piano fantasias of the main themes at work. By the way, on the topic of sound and music, I recently acquired a new iPhone, and after viewing your youtube video on SM tones, I searched high and low for your email tone, which I adore. No luck. Can you please, please send me the file? In case you should need more tones, I would be happy to share mine!

  8. Hey, this text reall touched me, I was searching on google if collecting sailor moon merch. is worth it and I found this text, I didn’t even knew that you wrote this text until the end haha. I sold my whole Sailor Moon Collection except my Proplicas. I also had every single one of these develish s.h figuarts even the new super mercury one, which is just a rip-off from the regular one. I just realized that the only thing toei animation wants is money, they dont care a bit about the collectors with their huge lack of quality control. I will definately collect the proplicas(although they are just noisy plastic toys for adults haha) and maybe the gasahpon sticks cuz they’re amazing but in my opinion the rest is just toooooo expensive, like the Miracle Romance Brooches, they’re just Plastic things which could be a lot cheaper but Toei Animation and Bandai and so on know it doesn’t matter how much the price tag is, we idiots would buy everything that they gave us

    • You’re totally right! Thanks for leaving this really well-thought-out comment! Half of everything that gets released now would have never had these high prices in the 90’s. I feel the same way as you do about the SH Figuarts Mercury. I often sell merchandise that I don’t display or play with because it’s often a LOT of the same items released over and over but with minor differences (very frustrating!).

      • an example for the s.h figuarts line, I really enjoyed the super moon one, but for normal there were like 4 versions( limited, regular, anime colour -,- and the imposter one) or for quality control , my proplica moon stick , I got my first one not working and the moon shape was totally scratched up, I got a new one which was working but still it was scratched up like hell and the box is messed up too, I’m just so sad that Sailor Moon ended up like this, I can’t enjoy watching it without thinking about how we get ripped by bandai and so on for the big mass of merch…

      • And thank you for replying to me^^, it means a lot to me, I feel better noe that I know I’m not the only one who has this opinion:-)

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