Monday, September 11, 2006 DOWN appears to have disappeared off the face of the internet. That wouldn't be a problem... except its disappearance has also taken off every site hosted on their network. Until they're back up, please note that is offline. Orders may be placed on our old shop however. Thanks.

Update at 6:44PM EST: Everything's back up. No explanation from EV1S about what happened but we're rolling along again.

Jump! Ultimate Stars $45.90

Akin to eggs and milk, games generally have short shelf lives. In NCS' experience, if a game doesn't sell well in the first 2 weeks of release, we can expect the inventory to sit in our warehouse for 5-6 years before the stock dwindles down to more manageable levels. Sadly, some games sit in warehousing for nearly 15 years without any signs of depletion.

The majority of new game releases don't sell well. There, we said it. In addition to our surfeit of old stock, we've seen associate warehouses brimming with old games that might go into a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico one of these days... Then there are the superstars. Games that sell well week after week, month after month... chugging along and defying all original sales projections. Jump Superstars is one of those games. Despite being over a year old, the game trounces all other NDS releases in terms of sales volume on a weekly basis.

With that out of the way, NCS opens up preorders for Jump! Ultimate Sars which is scheduled to arrive on or around November 21. New series' fighters join some of the old series' fighters and bout it out in a battle royale of stylus poking fever. Popular characters from Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, One Piece, and Bleach are joined by somewhat less familiar heroes from Rurouni Kenshin, Dr. Slump, Hunter X Hunter, Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, and many more for a total of over 300 fighters in all. To add extra challenge to the fighting, developer Ganbarion includes Wi-Fi battle functionality to ensure that one is never in want of a competitor.

Distributors mention that Jump! Ultimate Stars will include a preorder bonus. Perhaps it's another booklet. Per our usual preorder allocations, NCS expects a 1:2 ratio of bonus to game for Ultimate Stars. As such, early preorders will receive the bonus.

Animal Crossing Ichiban Kuji

Banpresto has started preorders for a 500-piece set of Animal Crossing toys which are allocated as follows per factory container:

Tom Nook Plush Doll (40 cm) : 4 pcs (US$49)
Blathers Plush Doll (30 cm) : 8 pcs (US$39)
Totakeke Plush Doll (20 cm) : 12 pcs (US$29)
Mug (9cm - 3 kinds) : 128 pcs (US$8.75)
Strap (10cm - 5 kinds) : 348 pcs (US$3.95)

The cost per set is roughly US$2200 + $650 in shipping costs. The bulk of the weight is in the mugs. Since it's unlikely anyone is going to purchase a full factory container, NCS plans on breaking up the cartons and selling the items individually... Orders are welcome by clicking the items above.


Preorders are welcome for Banpresto's Aquapict product which features three silicone jellyfish fluttering inside an illuminated tank. With bulbous bodies and drifting tendrils, the animals swim around in lackadaisical fashion. In the normal operation mode, five colored LEDs in blue, green, purple, red, and yellow may be selected to change the hue and possibly the mood of the viewer. A deep-sea mode switches the color to a dark blue tint which may serve to relax an aggrieved individual. Preorders are scheduled to ship on or around Nov 30, 2006 at JPY14,800 or US$145 from NCS.

Dragon Quest Dungeon R

Square Enix has started preorders for a Dragon Quest inspired board game which features PVC figures, monster cards, and assorted parts. The set contains the following items (according to the solicitation):

» 14 monster cards
» 18 PVC figures (heroes, monsters, etc)
» 28 diorama parts (treasure chests, blocks etc)
» 1 checkered playboard
» 1 cardboard wrap-around "wall unit"

Preorders are expected to ship in mid-late November 2006 at JPY5800 or US$58 from NCS.

Motoko Kusanagi 1/7 Scale PVC Figure

After showing off the upcoming Motoko Kusanagi PVC figure at the recent Wonder Festival, Japanese manufacturer Alter has opened up preorders overnight. Motoko stands at 1/7 scale and is dressed in two-tone ninja duds which complement her purplish tresses. Her pose is casual and the Major unzips her vest to reveal voluptuous attributes underneath. Repeat: Voluptuous.

Kusanagi sports a pair of combat boots and wears enough padding to prevent major damage should she take a direct hit. For return fire engagements, she hefts a firearm in her right hand. The Motoko figure is fixed pose and a transparent base is included for display purposes. Preorders are scheduled to ship in mid-late December 2006 at JPY5800 or US$58 from NCS.