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!
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, Bogot?! 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!
For several hundred dollars less than the “sale price” of Gurren Lagann, you can have a signed picture of Tyrion Lannister, along with a nice quote! With a certificate of authenticity! After all, A Lannister Always Pays His Debts! I’m sorry I couldn’t think of a better joke.
Sure, when you buy Gurren Lagann for the MSRP of 670 dollars, you’re getting 27-episodes of quality anime action and melodrama, but for just under 600 bucks, you can also OWN a piece of legendarily forgotten animation history, by having a cel from a Hanna-Barbera cartoon show nobody knows about because it only ran for 10 episodes! This premium cel features such classic characters as Ed Huddles, Bubba McCoy and Fumbles the Dog! I sincerely hope whoever cashed a check for writing “Fumbles the Dog” is already dead so I can’t track him down and cause him pain.
This is one of the rarer later-model Dodge Dynasties, since immediately afterwards Dodge discontinued the car and replaced it with the slightly-less-ugly-but-still-awful Dodge Stratus. And for only about 70 dollars less than the Gurren Lagann MSRP, you can get a functional car that some dude drove from Austin to Redondo Beach! And the dude who’s selling it probably left his Mountain Goats mixtape on the dashboard. Sweet.
Yup, for 50 bucks less than the sale price of Gurren Lagann, you could’ve donated to Zach Braff’s (now fully-funded, and then some) Kickstarter campaign, and you could’ve had him filming himself saying ANYTHING YOU WANTED. Such as, “I’m a greedy, cynical idiot who makes dumb movies that try desperately to sound profound but are just the whining, whimpering death tones of a feckless sitcom star.”
For less than the MSRP of Gurren Lagann, you ladies (and men!) could be the envy of your fashionista friends, thanks to Nerd Chic powerhouse Modcloth, designed by apparently-haute-couture New York fashion designer, Rachel Antonoff! I don’t know about any of this, but my girlfriend is both repulsed and allured by this stuff!
For less than the sale price of Gurren Lagann, you can horde any assortment of the four flavors of Soda Shaq! Who knows, maybe they’ll be worth something someday. Just look at Crystal Pepsi.
I’ve sampled two of the flavors so far: The Vanilla Cream Soda is ehh, the Orange Cream Soda is pretty good. Also, don’t try mixing them with cheap bourbon. Don’t ask why I know this, just… don’t do it.
Of course, this is an auction site, so the price could go up. But as of this writing, for less than the price of Gurren Lagann, you could own a piece of Milton Memora-Berle-ia! You’ve got through the 26th, or, coincidentally, the same day that the Gurren Lagann Blu-ray set is released!
I did some brief research, and from what I’ve gathered about the Trilobite-collecting world, the creepier and scarier-looking the Trilobite, the more money people seem to be paying for them.
So, why not go another direction? For nearly 100 dollars less than Gurren Lagann, you could own this penis-shaped Trilobite fossil from nearly 400 million years ago! Scare and delight your friends with this ancient extinct hideous bug creature!
I know, I know – “why the hell would I want to live in Tucson?!” I asked myself that every day I lived there for most of my life. But Tucson is actually a pretty cool town, and this one-bedroom apartment is in a pretty good neighborhood, considering the price. Now, would I recommend living in Tucson versus paying for and watching Gurren Lagann? That is a personal choice. Put a gun to my head, though: the latter.
Wikipedia says that “Raising these animals in captivity is extremely difficult and should be left to those with tortoise experience and those willing to devote time, research, observation and foraging and growing their required food demands,” so be prepared to devote your life to this tortoise! Because there’s a good chance it will outlive you!
There’s no price listed on purchasing a Capybara from the above-listed breeders, but apparently they go for around 600 bucks! Also, Capybara’s cannot digest anything with Vitamin C, so you’ll need to sprinkle it into their diet so they don’t get scurvy! That’s right: for less than the MSRP of Gurren Lagann, you can own a pet that could legitimately get SCURVY!
Or you could just buy Gurren Lagann on Blu-ray. It comes with a lot of cool extras. It’s a free country.