Friends, our hobbies are expensive. Whatever you collect, chances are you've probably sat there, ensconced with regret, thinking to yourself, "y'know, in any other country, what I paid to get a DVD boxed set of Lancelot Link, Secret Chimp could've fed a family of three for a month."
Take pity, then, on the poor, bedraggled anime fans of the Western world. As the DVD market dried up, piracy ran rampant, and the general popularity of anime waned, companies that made it their mission to release anime in the West have either shrunk, gone out of business, or generally fucked off.
There are some survivors, but the one that drives the most ire out of any anime fan is easily Aniplex USA. See, in Japan, anime fans are used to being gouged and stripped of all their money by expensive. limited-release boxed sets and the like. Aniplex USA, seeing the home video market in the West evaporate as streaming services like Netflix became the norm, had an idea: "What if we charge just about the same amount of money as we do for Japanese fans, in the West?"
And thus, the FIVE-HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLAR Blu-ray boxed set of the rather popular series Gurren Lagann was born. That's a quite a bargain! I mean, considering that the MSRP on the thing is actually SIX-HUNDRED AND SIXTY-NINE DOLLARS. AND NINETY-EIGHT CENTS. Coming out tomorrow!
For the uninitiated: Gurren Lagann is a terrifically entertaining, ebulliently animated piece of entertainment from Gainax, creators of Evangelion among others. It's a hot-blooded show about giant robots, sharply dressed pilots, and all sorts of colorful, exciting mecha mayhem.
This guarantees two things: one, this will sell out. Every other absurdly-expensive Aniplex USA boxed set has, and I don't see how that'll change. Especially since Gurren Lagann is a terrific and entertaining show and people want it.
Two, the people who want it but can't afford it will be really angry and upset and whine on the Internet.
In the spirit of this, I present 20 things that are somehow less expensive than the Gurren Lagann Blu-rays!
Sure, 500 bucks will also get you a brand-new Xbox One, and 400 bucks will get you a Playstation 4. But! What these busted old Xbox 360s lack in power, and also lack in their ability to work, is easily made up for in volume! Think of all the things you could do with 20 broken Xbox 360s! You can use them as blunt weapons! Shoot them out of a cannon! Line them up like clunky dominoes! Endless possibilities!
19) 10 Bottles of Dan Aykroyd's 2005 Vidal Icewine Reserve, 500 Dollars
I guarantee that this won't be the only Ghostbusters-related thing on this list, but to start, how about 10 bottles of Dan Aykroyd's wine, from his personal winery? Guaranteed to make you less hungover, distraught, and in immense pain than watching Nothing But Trouble!
This is actually one of the rarest of all Nintendo 64 games, because the "Sculptor's Cut" of the abysmally awful Clayfighter 63/3 was only released as a rental game for Blockbuster Video. As such, just the cartridge alone goes for over 200 bucks; moreso if you want one with its original packaging. Because why wouldn't you want a horrendously ugly claymation snowman threatening you to play one of the worst and ugliest fighting games ever made? Because it features both Earthworm Jim AND Boogerman. Take THAT, Super Smash Bros.!
Now, don't go crazy thinking you'd be able to afford a COMPLETE fursuit for around the same price as Gurren Lagann. No way, Furry Jose! Complete fursuits cost in the thousands of dollars, unless you've got the moxie and the know-how to make your own, which still costs a pretty penny in materials alone. But, if you still want to be able to rock your exquisite taste in jorts and T-shirts while still flaunting you furry pride, these "partial" fursuits are for you!
Before the Xbox 360 Kinect was unleashed on the world, the only way to play crummy video games by waving your arms and legs around like an idiot in front of a dumb piece of plastic that doesn't actually fucking work at all was the Sega Activator! I'd be hard pressed to think of any game that supports this thing that's somehow worse than Star Wars Kinect, but Eternal Champions gives it a run for its money. Just in case you're actually curious to own this thing, for a fraction of the price of Gurren Lagann, here's the VHS tape they boxed in with every Activator:
Of course, this is just an entry to point out that there's virtually an unlimited amount of weird, useless, and expensive crap you can find on home-made craft paradise Etsy for around the same price as Gurren Lagann. For reference, here's some cute Wind Waker-inspired wedding cake toppers! Now I just need to find a wife. And friends to invite to the wedding. And 450 dollars for this crap.
For less money than Gurren Lagann, you can get a year-long pass to the Happiest Place on Earth! But cool your jets, hotshot - the 500 dollar pass doesn't include useful things like "parking," and is only good for 315 days of the year. Don't plan on being able to waltz in to Disneyland with this thing any time during the month of July. Still, though; given the option of watching Gurren Lagann or the possibility of going on Space Mountain 315 days out of the year, my vote is on the latter.
Yet another Etsy listing? I'm re-visiting the same well of knick-knacks too many times! But, hold on there - is that a 1:1 scale, fully lit replica of the Ghostbusters ghost trap? Huh. I don't cosplay one whit, but I do live in constant fear of spooky ghosts. I think I need this. You should probably get one, too.
At the time of this writing, going back the Google Flights map I linked above, you can book a one-way flight from LAX to the scenic capital city of Columbia, Bogotá! You may ask yourself, "why the heck would I book a one-way flight to the capital city of one of the most notoriously crime-ridden countries at the beck and call of the high-stakes drug trade?" Well, pal - I don't really know. But it's a funny thought that for less than the cost of Gurren Lagann you can fly yourself to a foreign country.
Here's one for all the book nerds out there - a genuine, one-of-a-kind first AMERICAN edition of George Orwell's historically significant novel about furry oppression, Animal Farm! If there's any book collectors out there, this doesn't seem like a bad price for what seems like a relatively good condition. Granted, it's not the original British pressing of Animal Farm, but that'll set you back a couple grand at the least. Plus, in complete deference to everything else on this list, Animal Farm is the kind of the enduring classic that is worth every cent.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, read on the next page for more useless, expensive crap!