Rare Gokus Possibly Lost At Sea After Major Shipping Accident

Rare Gokus Possibly Lost At Sea After Major Shipping Accident
Photo: Bandai Namco

Goku collectors are left wondering what fate awaits their beautiful sons after a bad storm caused the massive One Apus container ship to potentially lose over $US200 ($266) million worth of cargo in the Pacific Ocean northwest of Hawaii late last month.

The ship was hit by a massive storm on November 30 that, according to Reuters, led to a swell that caused it to roll, dislodging over 1,800 of its containers. Safely back at port in Japan, the ship’s cargo looks like a giant collapsed Jenga set. Fortunately, no one onboard was seriously injured.

The same cannot yet be said for the Gokus and other action figures that were apparently onboard at the time. Fans who had pre-ordered the extremely rare Figuarts Ultra Instinct Sign transformation of Dragon Ball Z’s Goku from the Premium Bandai shop earlier this year received an email yesterday announcing that their sold-out collectibles were travelling on the One Apus and would at the very least arrive long after their previous December delivery dates.

Photo: Bandai NamcoPhoto: Bandai Namco

“The containership that carried Bandai products was hit by severe storm and lost many containers near Hawaii,” Premium Bandai wrote in an email to customers shared with Kotaku by Goku enthusiast Kevin Snow. “The ship is at Port of Kobe, Japan for investigating its damages. It will take several weeks to over a month. We are currently waiting to hear about the container’s status from the authority, and we’ll announce any shipping information as soon as it’s available.” (The company did not immediately respond to a request by Kotaku for comment.)

The Ultra Instinct Sign Goku figures, which were priced at $US60 ($80) apiece when pre-orders went up over the summer, were originally supposed to be convention exclusives, but had to be sold online after events were cancelled due to the ongoing covid-19 pandemic. Many are now listed for more than twice that on Ebay and other reseller sites.

“They all sold out in fifteen minutes (I got one in that order), which made people understandably mad,” Snow told Kotaku in an email. “It’s from the popular ‘Figuarts’ line and many collectors of that line are completionists, myself included. So Bandai opened another preorder period for the Gokus that lasted about a week, basically selling them on a ‘made-to-order’ basis. Once the preorder window ended, no more Gokus.”

Screenshot: Bandai Namco, Fair UseScreenshot: Bandai Namco, Fair Use

According to Snow, the first batch of pre-orders shipped out fine, but the “made-to-order” batch were the ones that were on the One Apus, leaving many collectors to simply wait and hope that their orders survived and are undamaged. Figures of Android 17, 18, and the US release of Kid Gohan were apparently also onboard at the time of the accident.

“[H]ope we can get a response on what their plan is if the Gohans were lost,” wrote one collector on the action figure forum TheFwoosh. “People joke about this sort of thing all the time, and the fact that it actually happened sucks,” wrote another on the action figures subreddit.

Some collectors are now frantically trying to buy duplicates of the figures that are still available, like Kid Gohan, in case their worst fears are realised. For those looking to complete their Figuarts set with Ultra Instinct Sign Goku, however, that’s not an option unless Bandai decides to do another made-to-order batch.

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