A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised

Thursday, November 17th, 2016 9:17am CST

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Posted by: william-james88   Views: 49,547

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From reading the comments it has come to our attention that buying our dear toys online is not the simplest endeavour, especially when the price range can be so wide along with all the differences between each online vendor. With Masterpiece toys, there is also the issue of having it imported for you or importing it yourself. Added to that, with a Masterpiece Megatron toy, you also have to deal with it turning into a gun and what that might entail. So here is a rundown of a range of online vendors (not an exhaustive list, I just picked those of which I know best) showing you what your options are, how you can get him for much cheaper than it seemed at first, but also what you are giving up with the cheaper price. I hope this helps.

Importing from Japan

We will now be looking at 4 Japanese sites where you can import the figure yourself. This means that you are to deal with possible customs fees (applicable to Canadians, Europeans, ect) and will be paying a hefty fee to ship the product from Japan. However, these sites get their products from Takara and thus will have the best prices online. None of these Japanese vendors will be opening the package to insert an orange plug into the barrel.

Nippon Yassan: We are starting with them because unlike every other Japanese vendor, they actually give you an estimate on the shipping, which you must pay up front. This gives us our best idea at what other places will charge for shipping. Here are the shipping quotes given for Masterpiece Megatron to ship to North America (or a similar distance from Japan).

Transformers News: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info

Keep in mind, these are all estimates and they may fluctuate depending on vendor and the conversion rate. We can see that for 2-3 week shipping without a tracking number, it is 24.90 Yen ($22.82 USD), with 3$ more for tracking, and the 3-4 days shipping, called EMS, is 4500 Yen ($41.24). These estimated shipping prices will be used for the other sites as we go through the list.

The price of their Megatron is 16580 Yen ($151.94 USD). They have both a pay up front option (where you pay for both the figure and estimated shipping up front) and a pay later option. I have only ever used the pay upfront option (in fear that the yen would rise).
Here is a quote from them regarding this payment option:

"You will receive a notification for the deadline of the payment few weeks or few days before the release of the product, if it reaches the deadline without the payment, this pre-order will be automatically cancelled."

Since they do not have the item in hand to weigh, it can be that their shipping estimate is wrong and they are at liberty to ask you to pay more for shipping if it's more than expected. However, this rarely happens and is more an exception. For instance, it happened with Fortress Maximus, who is very in his own league. You cannot cancel an order with them. They will mark a low amount in the customs form to help the package get through customs quicker and avoid the buyer to pay extra duty upon arrival. I suggest you write to them to confirm you want them to do that. This comes in very handy for people living in countries that have strict duty laws and a heavy taxation.

Price Range of total from 2-3 week shipping to 3-4 day shipping: 19070 - 21080 Yen ($174.75 - $199.77 USD)

Anime Export: Their offer expires November 28th 2016. After that, you will not be able to get this toy for 16100 Yen ($147.54 USD). The reason it is lower than other Japanese sites is because they require you to pay up front. And as anyone who took a finance course might know, cash today is always worth more than cash tomorrow and since they can keep a healthy cash flow (and require less credit from their supplier), they can pass their savings onto you.You will only be charged for the figure and you will be charged for shipping later when the figure is in stock. You cannot cancel an order with them. Also, like Nippon Yassan, they will help you with customs but you must write to them to let them know you would like a lower amount written in the customs form for the product's worth.

Price Range of total from 2-3 week shipping to 3-4 day shipping: 18840- 2060 Yen ($172.65 - $188.77 USD)

Amiami: They are an in between as you will see. Their price is a bit higher, at 17280 Yen ($158.43 USD) but you do not need to pay right away. You are only required to pay when the item is in stock. Cancelling an order is ill seen for this company. If you really can't pay by the time an item is in stock, they can relinquish your order but you may not be welcome to buy from them again. They will write the full amount of the toy's worth on the customs form.

Price Range of total from 2-3 week shipping to 3-4 day shipping: 20020- 21780 Yen ($183.46 - $199.59 USD)

HLJ: They are pricier than others, at 18400 Yen ($168.61 USD) and that is because they offer the most perks. Like stateside vendors, you do not need to pay ahead of time and you can cancel your order at any time before it is in stock. They are used to catering to western consumers and are thus currently looking into whether or not an orange plug will be attached to the barrel:

"Specifics of its packaging are still in the planning stage. When more information is available in the New Year, we’ll determine how best to get this item safely to our customers worldwide. If it turns out to require modification, affected customers will be contacted."

They will write out the full amount of the product's worth on the customs form and since this product is above a price treshold, they will only use the pricier (and faster) shipping option.

EDIT: This policy of theirs seems to have changed and thus a cheaper shipping option may be available.

Price of total for 3-4 day shipping: 22900 Yen ($209.85 USD)


Buying from Importers

As you may notice from all that is above, importing from Japan is not the most sraightforward or streamlined way to get your toys, especially if you have to figure out local laws (like taxation or gun replicas). If you don't want the trouble of importing a product yourself, country specific importers can do it all for you, at a cost. That means they will be paying the high shipping fee you saw above and will thus raise their price to pass the cost onto the buyers. Also, since Takara is contractually not allowed to deal with vendors outside Japan, importers usually deal with an extra middleman which also increases their cost and yours. Their price should not be seen as just the worth of the toy but also the fee for their service of importing it. Many countries or areas have their own importers. Canada has Ages 3 and Up, the UK has Kapow, Australia has Premium Collectables, China has Robot Kingdom, ect.

There are quite a few of these importers dedicated for US customers, like BBTS, TFSource, AJ's Toy Chest, Chosen Prime, VNC Toys and others. All these US vendors are currently selling Megatron for $230 USD, and some offer free shipping. They typically allow you to cancel any preorder that isn't in stock yet and you do not have to pay in advance. To conform to the US law, since they are US vendors, they will be adding an orange plug. It is unknown at this time if it will be glued or not.
While some do ship internationally, they write out the full worth of the toy on the customs form, to conform with US law.

Extra notes:

If you buy from Japan, make sure to pay in YEN. A few sites have their own currency conversion which is always less favourable than either Paypal or your own credit card exchange (I personally use an Amazon Visa card for these purchases since it charges no fees for conversion).

Australia has very strict laws and thus I would advise any Australians to look into their own country specific options for this toy (Premium Collectibles seems to be the best place for the least hassle, so head over there for more info. Griffin of OzFormers has put together a handy resource detailing the different laws around Australia and how it affects replica firearm Transformers.

USA customers are not charged duty and thus it does not matter if the price stated on the customs form is high. It would actually be advantageous for it to be as close to the worth of the toy so that it is properly insured.

All prices in this article including shipping are estimates


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Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1841685)
Posted by william-james88 on November 17th, 2016 @ 9:36am CST
Bumblebee21 wrote:
nycPrime wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:But in the case of BBTS for me: the cheapest shipping I can get to my place for a deluxe class figure is $13. That is almost as much as the figure. I tried it out for MP SG Prime: my shipping was going to be $30! And he's the same price between the 2!

Wait, what?! I've ordered a few times from BBTS. Shipping for only Leader Jetfire was $5, and about $10 for UW Computron. I don't think you're that far from me that would justify that much of an increase in shipping costs.

i guess they dont like pennsylvania

Must be jealous of all those great sports teams (as a Montrealer, I totally understand).
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1841687)
Posted by Bumblebee21 on November 17th, 2016 @ 9:38am CST
william-james88 wrote:
Bumblebee21 wrote:
nycPrime wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:But in the case of BBTS for me: the cheapest shipping I can get to my place for a deluxe class figure is $13. That is almost as much as the figure. I tried it out for MP SG Prime: my shipping was going to be $30! And he's the same price between the 2!

Wait, what?! I've ordered a few times from BBTS. Shipping for only Leader Jetfire was $5, and about $10 for UW Computron. I don't think you're that far from me that would justify that much of an increase in shipping costs.

i guess they dont like pennsylvania

Must be jealous of all those great sports teams (as a Montrealer, I totally understand).

most likely or they know hes dmax :-P
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1841710)
Posted by Emerje on November 17th, 2016 @ 11:33am CST
The theory that shipping is included in the price is flawed in several ways.

1) Shipping costs for anyone that qualifies for free shipping is going to be different depending on how far away they live from the warehouse. There's no easy way to calculate that.

2) The price they sell large items, like Grand Galvatron for example, are priced at Asian MSRP just like Robot Kingdom. Considering they also have the added cost of shipping these in from China they've already spread their own profits thinner than RK would being in China. So logically if they were adding shipping to the price it should have cost more, but it didn't, TFS and RK both charged $160.

3) The free shipping isn't just on the big ticket items they can sell for over $150, it's for any order over $150. That means if you were to buy $150 worth of clearance or sale items or even just items sold at MSRP you'd still get free shipping.

The model that TFSource uses is one that encourages buying multiple items in one order. It helps them sell older stock that may go on clearance anyway and entices repeat customers. This same store also uses a points program, effectively paying you for buying from them and rewarding loyalty. Ultimately they're built on small gains multiplied over high sales volume allowing them to afford free shipping if you're willing to spend your money on them. I suspect they also own their warehouse, otherwise they wouldn't be able to do order stacking which greatly reduces their overhead as they won't have to pay to lease their warehouse space.

On a side note, way back in 2000 BBTS did $4 flat rate shipping. In 2002 it became $4.99 and in 2005 it became $6.99, but it didn't last as they dropped flat rate shipping when they introduced Pile of Loot that fall when they overhauled the site into what we know today. So BBTS has experimented with discount shipping, but they couldn't make it work for them.

Emerje
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1841723)
Posted by SureShot18 on November 17th, 2016 @ 1:35pm CST
Bumblebee21 wrote:
nycPrime wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:But in the case of BBTS for me: the cheapest shipping I can get to my place for a deluxe class figure is $13. That is almost as much as the figure. I tried it out for MP SG Prime: my shipping was going to be $30! And he's the same price between the 2!

Wait, what?! I've ordered a few times from BBTS. Shipping for only Leader Jetfire was $5, and about $10 for UW Computron. I don't think you're that far from me that would justify that much of an increase in shipping costs.

i guess they dont like pennsylvania

I'm confused. I think I only live a couple hours away from Dmax and when I placed my orders I was able to use saver shipping for $5.75.
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1841729)
Posted by D-Maximal_Primal on November 17th, 2016 @ 2:03pm CST
nycPrime wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:But in the case of BBTS for me: the cheapest shipping I can get to my place for a deluxe class figure is $13. That is almost as much as the figure. I tried it out for MP SG Prime: my shipping was going to be $30! And he's the same price between the 2!

Wait, what?! I've ordered a few times from BBTS. Shipping for only Leader Jetfire was $5, and about $10 for UW Computron. I don't think you're that far from me that would justify that much of an increase in shipping costs.

Will and I discussed this before actually (a good ways back, before I was news staff). It really makes no sense. They don't give me the cheaper shipping options. I was appalled when I saw Onslaught on there and went to buy him individually back in January/February: the shipping was going to cost me $16. I'm not sure if it's just my rural area, or because the other shipping options won't work where I'm at, but I really don't know why BBTS has the weird options for my area.
SureShot18 wrote:
Bumblebee21 wrote:
nycPrime wrote:
D-Maximus_Prime wrote:But in the case of BBTS for me: the cheapest shipping I can get to my place for a deluxe class figure is $13. That is almost as much as the figure. I tried it out for MP SG Prime: my shipping was going to be $30! And he's the same price between the 2!

Wait, what?! I've ordered a few times from BBTS. Shipping for only Leader Jetfire was $5, and about $10 for UW Computron. I don't think you're that far from me that would justify that much of an increase in shipping costs.

i guess they dont like pennsylvania

I'm confused. I think I only live a couple hours away from Dmax and when I placed my orders I was able to use saver shipping for $5.75.

I'm about 5 hours west of Philly and 3 hours west of Harrisburg, if that helps with where you are compared to me. See, I look at the different shipping options, and it lists the saver shipping, but when I actually check out, it doesn't give me that option.

As an example, I just put MP Thrust in my cart and went through with an order (not actually placing it though). It only gave me 2 options: USPS Parcel mail, and Priority mail. Those are the only 2 options I get. One was $11.50, the other $20.

Edit: the costs keep changing on me (as evident by $13 deluxe, $16 voyager, $11.50 MP), but they have never really been cheap.
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1841737)
Posted by mooncake623 on November 17th, 2016 @ 2:26pm CST
Great article Will ;)^
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1841856)
Posted by BumbleDouche on November 18th, 2016 @ 1:52am CST
Reading that link on the Australian imitation gun-ownership/importation nonsense makes me realize just how lucky I was to be able to import Apollyon from overseas undetected.

I'd have to seriously reconsider whether or not he is worth replacing with the official product, just as a result of reading that information. For my state, it'd mean a several hundred dollar permit would be required & that would need renewing every three years.

Hasbro, Takara & the 3rd party companies have been raping us fans for years with their prices, now my government wants me to further expand the gaping maw that was my arse by voluntarily submitting to further financial rapage; one that basically binds me to a lifelong rent/upkeep (of potentially thousands of dollars) for an object that stands harmlessly on my shelf, in robot mode, no less.

Verily I say unto thee, Australia: FAR-Q!

It's this exact sort of nonsense that makes someone want to go out & buy a real gun & then go on a mental killing spree! & should this message be monitored by ASIO or whoever, I say this: whoever attempts to seize Apollyon from me will sooner have to remove that voluminous fake gun stock/silencer/handle-combination from their own arse, after I forcefully shove it down there, possibly via their throat or rectum... Dunno, I'll consider my options, should the need arise. Blood pressure: RISING! :BOOM:
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842659)
Posted by Cyberpath on November 22nd, 2016 @ 5:37am CST
New pic and translation from Loopaza Mega Store:

Image
There is also a notice that the last month coverage about MP36 Megtron have some error. The Fusion Cannon DO NOT have any light gimmick but sounds only. There is 3 patteren and about 9 different type of sound effect with the Fusion Cannon including transforming sounds, the class speech lines and the Fusion Cannon sounds etc.



Wish it were the other way around. Will probably skip this feature.

Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842694)
Posted by Va'al on November 22nd, 2016 @ 9:12am CST
Fellow Seibertronian Cyberpath has alerted us to the Loopaza Mega Store Facebook page - as reported in this other news story - as their Figure King scans bring us a detail concerning Takara Tomy Transformers MP36 Megatron, and specifically, the fusion cannon: no lights, sounds only! Check out more info and the image below.

There is also a notice that the last month coverage about MP36 Megatron have some error. The Fusion Cannon DO NOT have any light gimmick but sounds only. There is 3 patterns and about 9 different type of sound effect with the Fusion Cannon including transforming sounds, the class speech lines and the Fusion Cannon sounds etc.


Image
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842695)
Posted by Bumblebee21 on November 22nd, 2016 @ 9:15am CST
well third parties are immediatly better in the light regard
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842702)
Posted by Sabrblade on November 22nd, 2016 @ 9:45am CST
A talking cannon. Now Megatron can literally converse with his arm-mounted weapon. :P

Alternatively:

A talking cannon. Now Megatron has his own mode-locked Targetmaster! :P
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842703)
Posted by Alpha Dominus on November 22nd, 2016 @ 9:49am CST
Oh that's cool. While I don't expect to get this awesome figure for free, I was wondering what that crazy price tag was about.
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842711)
Posted by fenrir72 on November 22nd, 2016 @ 10:16am CST
Sound effects, voice clips but no lights. Acceptable.
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842714)
Posted by Ravage XK on November 22nd, 2016 @ 10:18am CST
I'm guessing any speech won't be from the English cartoon.
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842716)
Posted by fenrir72 on November 22nd, 2016 @ 10:20am CST
Ravage XK wrote:I'm guessing any speech won't be from the English cartoon.


100% "ie". That is not a speculation :lol:
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842718)
Posted by Sabrblade on November 22nd, 2016 @ 10:23am CST
fenrir72 wrote:
Ravage XK wrote:I'm guessing any speech won't be from the English cartoon.


100% "ie". That is not a speculation :lol:
Although, with Seizō Katō having passed away back in 2014, the voice clips will probably be recycled from preexisting sources rather than newly-recorded lines.
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842726)
Posted by Cyberpath on November 22nd, 2016 @ 10:56am CST
I don't like it. Seems cheesy to me. And everyone has a computer or a smartphone to play sounds. If Takara must put a gimmick in the fusion cannon I prefer lights. At least it has a photographic value. (And is kind of fun.)

Image

It doesn't seem to interfere with the look of the figure though.

Also, I hope that the placement of the gun barrel on his back isn't off because of another unnecessary gimmick.

Figure's looks > gimmicks.
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842753)
Posted by william-james88 on November 22nd, 2016 @ 1:16pm CST
Alpha Dominus wrote:Oh that's cool. While I don't expect to get this awesome figure for free, I was wondering what that crazy price tag was about.

But Prime is the same price tag and he doesnt have any electronics. I dont think its related. Its just a price point figures of that class share.
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842765)
Posted by Emerje on November 22nd, 2016 @ 2:16pm CST
william-james88 wrote:
Alpha Dominus wrote:Oh that's cool. While I don't expect to get this awesome figure for free, I was wondering what that crazy price tag was about.

But Prime is the same price tag and he doesnt have any electronics. I dont think its related. Its just a price point figures of that class share.


Megatron (24,840 JPY) costs more than Optimus (23,760 JPY), most likely because of the electronics. Just look at what electronics did to Shockwave's price, he's a pretty simple MP, but costs way more than similar sized figures.

Shockwave - 18,144 JPY
Coronation Starscream reissue - 14,040 JPY
Soundwave reissue - 17,064 JPY
Ironhide - 10,800 JPY
Inferno - 15,120 JPY
Optimus Primal - 12,960 JPY

As you can see they also don't really adhere to price points either.

Emerje
Re: A Guide to Buying MP-36 Megatron Online: How to Get him for $175 and more Useful Info Revised (1842779)
Posted by william-james88 on November 22nd, 2016 @ 4:09pm CST
But can we really assume its electronics and not the parts count? Also, I still find that Shockwave price quite high. As you already assessed, I keep being really surprised electronics cost that much.

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