Sadly, the longer you collect, the higher your chances of having a mishap. Nevermind fault or folly, accidents happen. Stuff breaks. Things fall. We have naught to do but take to the Internet, vent our frustrations, and mope. If anything, they at least make interesting stories. Oh life, you and your villainous trials!
I like to think Hacker's mishap infused with purity. That is, no one was directly culpable, and there was no deception or malice intended. A pure and radiant accident. Like getting caught in a hailstorm in the middle of July. It's hard to get angry because there's no one to blame. Responsibility, if any, is spread so thin that emoting strongly seems childish and wasteful. As the British say, Keep Calm and Carry On
I have learned many things in my collecting career—things that I can store for future consultation, or better yet, use for anecdotes. One thing I picked up early, is that rattling noises are bad, especially with scaled figures. Rattling means something has come loose, and nothing should ever come loose when you're dealing with fragile pieces of PVC.
As I popped open Hacker's box to ascertain the damage, the source of her rattle became clear. Hacker was missing an arm. Well, not missing, per se, just misplaced. Her amputated limb was getting snug with one of her twin tails in the blister box. To vindicate the good people at AmiAmi, her box was well padded with an exccess of packing paper. There was no sign of physical damage on her box.
Beautiful, I thought with some trepidation, but hey, accidents happen. In a batch of hundreds (maybe thousands), it's expected to get a few bad apples. Both humans and machines make ocassional mistakes.
I snapped a few pictures, and opened her blister box for further examination. Not surprisingly, all that PVC on PVC action lead to some nasty paint transfers. The navy of her sleeve had rubbed dark streaks into her hair.
And vice versa, though the yellow wasn't nearly as obvious. I've highlighted the yellow smudge on her arm.
In vain, I poked her arm back into her shoulder, only to have it tumble back out. I repeated this action three times, for reliability's sake, then I mulled. I considered my options. What to do? Do I glue her arm back in, ignore the stains, and carry on? No, such inertness didn't sit right with me. After all, a factory defect is a factory defect, and figures aren't cheap. Besides, I had heard of GSC's legendary customer support when it comes to broken figures, and thought it the perfect opportunity to try it out myself. So I snapped more shots, and sent a polite email explaining my situation.
(For those that are wondering whey I would email GSC about a Max Factory figure, the two companies have a long-standing relationship, and GSC distributes all of Max Factory's figures, so they fall under the same umbrella.)
Then, I brewed myself a cuppa, and waited.
Three days later, I got a straight-froward reply.
Ah, I thought as I performed a brief, undulating dance, so, this story has a happy ending. And, more importantly, Good Smile Company's customer support is as legendary as rumoured.
Three weeks later, a package arrived in the mail. Huzzah! I love that they priced the package at 1 yen, so even if customs decides
Replacement Hacker's arm is exactly where it should be. Happy times.
Also, notice that replacement Hacker does not come with a box or a base. I'm guessing some finanacially motivated people out there attempt to procure extra figures off GSC's customer support just to make a profit, and such measures are taken to (rightfully) make their lives harder.
|Pictured: Awesome customer service.|
Satisfied, I went matchmaking. I pulled out my boxed figures and examined their bases. I sifted through them until I found one that fit Hacker—Fate Testarossa's base, plain clothes version. One of her pegs slips snuggly into Hacker's foot. The base is a little small, and Hacker's a little wobbly, but until I can create a more suitable base, it'll do.
Water proved futile when tackling her hair stains. Instead, I grabbed my rubbing alcohol and swabbed the stains with a Q-tip. If anything, the alcohol worked too well, and lifted off both stain and paint. I went from darker lines, to faded patches, which was only a slight improvement. Anyone looking close enough will still see the damage, but it's less obvious than before.
When I was done, I was left with two upright Hackers, looking equally beautiful and unimpressed.
|Apathy twins will apathize.|
Overall, Hacker's amputation was a pleasant experience, as far as accidents go. So, wide world, have you ever recieved a broken figure? Have you ever contacte GSC for replacement parts? I'm a lucky duck, in that many of my mishaps were easily remedied. My worst experience with a "new" figure goes to Max Factory's swimsuit Clalaclan. My worst experience with an used item was when one of my figures came snapped in half (Superglue fixed that one too, but it was unpleasant). Have you had an especially hair-tearing experience?
I feel like I have to dedicate a paragraph to lauding GSC's famous customer support. In all honesty, they could have easily blamed the post office and left it at that. "Not our problem after it ships" is a popular excuse to dodge responsibility, but GSC rises above such petty defenses. If I've learned anything about running a business (which I don't know how to do in the slightest), it's that healthy customer service is positively correlated with long-term profitability. So, GSC, good on you, for understanding that taking care of your audience means taking care of yourselves. Respect, birdies.