Monday, November 26, 2007
Our store is hosted on Yahoo's e-Commerce platform, and the problem is not on our end, but with their secure servers and is effecting about 45,000 other stores on the web. The problem is so widespread CNBC has picked it up as headline news.
We're working with their engineering team to solve the problem and at least get a simple secure checkout process up and running so that you can continue to place orders on the store until the main problem is fixed.
I really apologize for this, I know today is the day that many of you start ordering your holiday gifts and we want to get those orders processed as soon as possible. If you have been to the store today and have been unable to place an order please rest assured that we'll get the store back up and running as quickly as possible.
9:48PM (UPDATE): Backup and running. There may be some intermittent slowness until load balance is fully restored, but checkout should run as normal. We've been testing for about 90 minutes now and everything seems to be good to go!
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thank you very much!
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Monday is the Veterans day holiday here in the US. We'll be working that day, but all Government offices will be closed including the post office, so there won't be any postal deliveries made next week until Tuesday. UPS and FedEx deliveries will not be effected.
I have one date push to share this week. Bandai told us that they needed to bump Flag Vol #2 (DVD) from December 4th back to January 8th. I have been a little skeptical of this title after reading some of the online reviews, but Jerry (one of our highly respected Otaku friends) wrote in this week and highly recommends Flag. He characterizes it as a 'thinking mans Anime' and understands why some reviewers have had some trouble figuring it out. I often read bad reviews about an Anime that I end up really enjoying, and I think it's important that you take what other people say with a grain of salt (even pro critics like Chris Beverage misses the mark as often as not). We all have slightly different expectations for a series, and until you've tried one out for yourself, what do you really know - and then of course, it's too late and you might get hooked! So that's exactly what I'm going to do this weekend - because if Jerry says it's good then I have to see it!
Kerry Deacon, the CEO of Navarre, which is the company that owns Funimation (yes I know, it's a rich tapestry) said this week that the demise of Geneon will probably be good for Funimation's sales - as in fewer Anime DVD releases mean higher sell throughs for Funimation's existing titles - good for them, but not necessarily for us. He also 'eluded' to a couple of Geneon licenses like Black Lagoon and Hellsing as great licenses with uncertain futures. If you've seen the headlines and are reading that as "Funimation is interested in picking up former Geneon titles" - don't. As of the end of October any hopes for a quick fix distribution deal coming out of Geneon are over - there is simply no staff left there to support it. I'm sure the folks at Dentsu have been getting calls from the other US Anime studios like Fun, ADV, and Media Blasters trying to cherry pick Geneon's catalog of licenses, but as to any progress on that front - well that's something we probably won't know about for awhile.
After a better than usual October, sales continue to be brisk for us going into November. To be honest, after the Geneon debacle we didn't really know what to expect this holiday season, but it's pretty clear now that our order volumes will be as strong as ever, so I decided to move our 'Gobble Up the Savings' November promo up a week. Between Thanksgiving and about the second week of December we pretty much work around the clock, and after looking at the numbers from past years I felt that if we could encourage some of you to do your holiday shopping a little earlier this year it might help us a bit during the rush. We'll see how it turns out. :-)
In addition to the 'Gobble Up' coupon savings, we've discounted every in stock item in the Figure and Toy section an additional 10% to ensure there is plenty of Anime goodness to go under the tree this year. Combine that discount with our current coupon savings and our economy shipping option and you've got your self a real deal - and you didn't have to pay to join some loyalty club or wait for a particular brand to be put on sale. :-)
To save 3% off any in stock order over $99 use code: GOBBLEUP3
To save 5% off any in stock order over $199 use code: GOBBLEUP5
To save 7% off any in stock order over $299 use code: GOBBLEUP7
Coupons are valid ONLY for NEW orders and are good through Thursday, November 15th - so don't wait - shop early and save!
Our partner sale with Adult Source Media continues this week, so you can still save up to 40% off on all of their titles. We've done a big buy in of extra stock for the sale so the low prices will only be valid while our extra sale stock lasts. Adults only please!
It's been another big week for new arrivals, with Viz and Funimation putting more of their late November DVD releases into our hands early. In addition to DVD's we have another huge manga update with 46 new volumes from TokyoPop, Viz, and CMX. Be sure to checkout the excellent Azumanga Omnibus Edition which collects all 4 volumes of the series in gigantic hardcover edition.
This week the rest of our Saber Maid figures arrived, which features Saber in a skimpy black and white lace maid outfit. My personal figure of her had to come out of the second shipment, and I have to tell you the pictures do not do her justice - this is just a fantastic figure, for the way she has been sculpted down to the level of costume detail and paint work. PVC figures have been getting more expensive recently, but this one is definately worth the price. We also received the absolutely gorgeous Blanc Neige figure which not only is perfectly sculpted and highly detailed, but is also a great value. We have filled all of your pre-orders for these now, and only have a few left over in stock, so get em while they last! Check below for the scoop on everything that's come in, or check our updates page for the complete story!
My parting words for you this week are - Ice Witch!
That's it for this week. Have a great weekend - and ENJOY your Anime! :-)
Monday, November 05, 2007
This week we finally received confirmation of what we already knew - that Illumitoon is pretty much history (at least from doing anymore DVD releases), which leaves several rather lackluster series like BoBoBo, B'tX, and Beet the Vandel Buster incomplete on DVD. It also leaves the DVD release of AM Driver canceled altogether. I don't think that Illumitoons demise is a product of a weak market, I think it was a product of bad management. The company was fairly new, formed by a group of former Funimation execs who got some venture capital and tried to license and produce series that they thought would be mainstream hits, only to release those titles with a very poor marketing and distribution infrastructure. They did manage to get their titles picked up for cable TV, but they never put any weight behind the DVD releases which were actually produced on the cheap and poorly packaged - so they never developed a following and thus, they are now gone from the DVD scene. My feelings are with the fans that did start to collect their series, but at least we can take solace that their they only got one or two volumes of each series out and that fans have not made too large an investment in their products.
Bandai Entertainment and Kadokawa are leading us to believe that they will be releasing Lucky Star soon, which is quite exciting. Bandai has no comment on the show for now, but they have included a teaser trailer on the forth Haruhi DVD, and you can view that trailer here. Bandai will probably make a formal announcement once they have set a date for the release, and we'll be anxiously awaiting that!
The folks at Adult Source Media called us up and asked if we would like to run a sale on their items through some of November, and I thought it was a great idea, so you can now save up to 40% off on all of their titles. Adults only for a limited time!
It's been a heck of a week in regards to new arrivals, with most of the studios pushing titles out to us deep into November's release schedule. I love it when we get stuff in before anyone else, especially when we are able to get a new release to you 2, 3 or maybe even 4 weeks before people can buy it at the store. This week we are shipping Death Note 1, the final volume of Haruhi, Witchblade 2, My-Otome 3 and tons of others way before fans going to place like Best Buy will ever see them. You can always count on us to have it first (shameless plug).
It's the first week of a new month, and as usual we received an absolutely HUGE new manga shipment on Wednesday that included great stuff like Claymore 10, Silver Rain 7, Shana 2 and several excellent new series such as Fall in Love Like a Comic and Yagyu Ninja Scrolls - 51 new manga in all! We also have another lavish new figure update, and I wanted to mention that - once again - the new Motoko figure has sold out within 24 hours of her arrival, just like the last one. Sorry if you missed her! I also want to mention that we have not yet received our entire shipment of the gorgeous Saber Maid figure, and what we do have is already spoken for, but the rest of her are in transit now and will be arriving mid-next week so get your orders in now before she sells out! Check below for the scoop on everything that's come in, or check our updates page for the complete story!
My parting word for you this week is - CHI! That's it for this week.
Have a great week - and remember - ENJOY your Anime! :-)