What is the Nippon Niche Product Stocking Guide? To put it simply it's our attempt to help you understand the ins and outs of Anime product availability.
Let's start with Manga. Have you wondered why some volumes for a series are actively available while others are sitting out of stock? Maybe you've wanted to start a new series but Volume 1 has been out of stock for a month or more. You've probably been left wondering if this series is so popular and it's still in print, why can't I find volume 1?
The answer is simple, but it's not an easy one to deal with. All of our favorite manga publishers, VIZ Media, Kodansha, Yen Press, Seven Seas, Dark Horse Comics, and One Peace Books, have their titles on print schedules. What that means is they will print a designated amount of copies of a single volume then make those copies available through all of the various retailers. Once the Publisher has finished printing the designated amount of copies, they move on to the next volume or even a different series. The publishers will usually cycle through a series, volume by volume, following the former process. Once they reach and print what would be the most recent or current volume, they will then cycle back to the 1st volume. For a series with a large amount of volumes a cycle back could take upwards of 3 to even 6 months. We will always do our best to retain a fair stock of all volumes for the titles we carry, but in some cases we may be out of stock for an extended perioud of time. We offer our Reserve a Restock service to allow you to backorder older titles that are still in print. Utilizing our Reserve a Restock will help us show a publisher the demand in place for backordered volumes and hopefully give us and you leverage in convincing to hasten their reprint schedule for in demand titles.
Statues & Prize Figures
While mangas are a much simpiler product to stock, statues & prize figures are far more complicated. These products are usually manufactured in a limited supply, and in some cases are not manufactured until a certain amount is preorded by the general population. Furthermore, in most cases these products are only manufactured one time. Sometimes, they do receive reissues but that is strictly based on a combination of fan demand, series popularity, and even encouragement from the series creator.
A popular series like Dragon Ball, My Hero Academia, Demon Slayer, Jujutsu Kaisen and other more widely known series usually do not have any issues with the manufacturing demand for statues. In our case we rely on preorders to estimate how many statues we should be stocking for our customers. A popular series that has no preorders will usually be stocked at 6 to 12 units. For a more niche series we may stock around 2 to 4 units. However, in some cases, if a product from a niche series does not receive any preorders we may, in fact, choose to not stock the product.
If you are a collector it is always in your best interest to pre-order a product you want as opposed to taking a chance on us stocking it.
Action Figures & Toys
Action Figures and Toys stock and manufacturing operate very much the same way that Statues & Prize Figures operate. To understand how action figures and toys are stocked you can reference back to our Statue & Prize Figure Section.
If you thought everything up to this point was complicated wait till you learn about the stocking and manufacturing procedures involved in Plastic Models.
Who doesn't love Gunpla, the most widely known type of Plastic Model or Plamo product. But, there are other brands, lines, and manufacturers out there that also make many highly sought after kits. From Bandai's Gunpla, Figure-Rise and now their new 30 Minute Mission and 30 Minute Sister lines to Kotobukiya's Frame Arms, Frame Arm Girls, & Megami Device you have a wide range of product options to fit your needs.
As for stocking them, that is not as simple. The stock and manufacturing process involved in Plastic Models is more like a combination of the manga and figure productions. A majority of kits are manufactured by a specific amount and are then shelved once production is done. Out of all plastic model kits only a small percentage of popular kits are produced year round. Some have a production schedule where they will be reissued anywhere from 8 to 12 months after the previous run. Many kits wont go into production without receiving a certain number of preorders before production begins. Some kits are also only printed once which are then released out to retailers in a limited quanity.
Model kits are by far the single most difficult product to properly stock for fans. To retain an adequate stock requires very large financial backing that most independent anime retailers do not have. For our part we do our best to obtain and make available a wide range of product options, but as was previously mentioned, Pre-ordering and Reserving a Restock is the best way to guarantee you'll get that Plamo kit you've been looking for.
Thank you for taking your time to read our product stocking guide. We know it's a long read, but we hope you'll find this information helpful so that you don't ever feel like we're not trying to get you the products you've been waiting on.