Saturday, August 08, 2020

Kuji... Kuji...Kuji your head ah! This is Tikam!

Just the other day I was buying a Russian-Hainanese dinner at the Shashlik for my friends who helped me out with the last community webinar last quarter and came along this famous computer game shop called Qisahn. The shop is in the gradual process of diversifying away from their traditional business of selling console games and I saw some unusual Gundam miniatures on their shelves. 

After some enquiries, I was told that the Gundam figurines are not for sale. Instead, I have to pay for a ticket that would give me a chance to win the figurine. Thanks to the prodding of my friend, I decided to pay $14 for a ticket for a chance at a draw.

The outcome turned out to be a huge disappointment - easily one of my worst bets since adding Eagle Hospitality Trusts into my portfolio. For $14, I became the owner of three plastic Gundam clear folders as shown above.

Lucky draw gimmicks are not a new thing. When I was growing up in Senai, I used to play a lot of Tikam, but the stakes were very small. I would pay 20 sen to get four attempts and for some strange reason, I would consistently win more money at the local toy shop across the main road.

The new version of Tikam is what the Japanese call Kuji and it's quite a big deal. 

The latest Kuji series for Demonslayer costs almost $17 for a random bet features miniatures from this hit series that my kids are really crazy about. When I checked a game shop out at Bugis+, they were all apparently sold out. 

PO] Ichiban Kuji Demon Slayer III (Single Ticket) – Animono

I will probably avoid playing Kuji from now on. God knows how many annoying Zenitsu key chains I will wind up getting before I can get my hands on a proper Nezuko statue. I have spent so much of my income on Magic the Gathering cards in my younger days.

Of course, there is a way to procure the goods with less risk and you might even be able to come out ahead. You can pay $300-$400 to buy a batch of random tickets and then sell off a complete set of minis at a price 80%-90% of what you pay for and earn a raw profit from the rest of your random knick-knacks. I went into Carousell and I can see some folks are doing exactly that.

The lesson is simple - Capitalism is not limited to only the well-heeled. 

I think an enterprising kid can be a Kuji merchant on Carousell with a capital of about $1,000. 

It's almost like structuring your own CDO and selling it to the masses. 

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