Monday, June 10, 2013

Untradable Myachis

by Crazy Ivan

The other day I happened to be amid a crowd of Myachi Maniacs, as often I am, and before long, a trading frenzy broke out.  I'd brought a couple of semi-rares and semi-commons (mostly series 4.2 - 5.3x) and the dozen-plus collectors all had their Myachis so before long I was negotiating and brokering and answering familiar questions.  "Is this fair for that?", "How about this?", "What if I add that?", "What would you trade for this?", "What could I offer you for that?", "Which is my rarest?", and so on.

You have to understand that as a person who has (a) collected Myachis for a decade, (b) actually wrote the Sackthology and (c) has probably done twice as many Myachi trades as any three other people put together (and yes, that's counting Myachi Masters), most of the answers to these questions are second nature to me.  I hardly even have to think about most of them.  Sure, an odd small run Paki-Sack from a couple of years back might throw me off a bit, but generally I can rattle off answers to questions like this without even coming up for air.

Which is why I was so surprised when I found myself completely unable to answer a question.

One of the would-be traders held up a Myachi and said, "What would be fair for this one?"

In a sense, it wasn't a particularly rare Myachi.  It was the White Rabbit, the plain white micro-suede that comes with the blue paddle set.  And if that were all, I'd just say it was slightly rarer than a 5.4 (as you have to buy a $20 item to get it).  But this one had been personalized.  And it wasn't just any personalization, it was a work of art that Lucky had drawn on the Myachi for the Maniac in question.  It was not only one of a kind, but it was a really cool one of a kind.

"Nothing, bro," I said, after a long pause to think it over.  "There's no Myachi that would be a fair trade for that one."

"I know," he said proudly, "but if I was gonna trade it, what would it be worth?"

And here I was dumb-founded.  I mean, sure, if I offered him a Goldfish for it, he'd be crazy not to take it right?  There aren't more than three of those in the world and they're much older and more well-known than this particular White Rabbit, so as far as that goes, a personalized White Rabbit would be nowhere near the crown jewel of a collection that a Goldfish was.

This is an academic argument, of course, since there's no way anybody's ever going to offer a Goldfish for it, but it does beg the question, what would be a realistic trade for it.  If somebody really, really wanted it, what would they have to offer for it before it would be a fair trade?

I actually wrestled with this question for a while before I realized why it was so difficult to answer.  Sure, there are a ton of Myachis that I can name that one might trade for that White Rabbit and some of them would be "fair" by any reasonable standard, but there's no trade I can imagine where both people would truly get an even shake.  And eventually, I figured out why.  Some Myachis are just untradable.

Let me give you another example, but in this example, you have to pretend I'm not a Myachi Master.  Imagine that I'd turned Myachi Man down when he offered me a job, but I kept playing Myachi and collecting them.  But in this alternate universe I'm just "Aaron Davies", not "Crazy Ivan" and I don't write the Myachi Blog and I don't have a massive collection.  I just have a few Myachis from different points in history.

One of my most prized Myachis (now and in our theoretical example) is my first Myachi.  It's a Sour Apple Green that is so beat up and warn in that I might as well call it a Sour Apple Brown.  It's gone far beyond yummy and onto just plain falling apart.  I stopped jamming with it years ago and now it just sits on a tube on the shelf with my uber-rare sacks.  It's nowhere near as old or rare as the Goldfish, the Iridescent Rainbow or the Paper Tag Yellow Wetsuit that surround it, but in my mind it's just as valuable.  My personal connection to it gives it a value beyond it's official "Trade Value".

Now, the very fact that it's my first Myachi gives it a certain amount of value to the average collector.  Just the fact that it was the first Myachi in one of the world's largest Myachi collections gives it a value to anybody that a normal Sour Apple Green wouldn't have, but if I'd never become a Myachi Master, it would just be a Sour Apple Green and its Trade Value would be 68.  That would make it "officially" worth a Electric Orange Shag or maybe an Aqua Crush and a Fudge Stripe.  But would I make that trade?

The point is that a Myachi has a "Trade Value", but it also might have a "Personal Value" that tosses the Trade Value out the window.  See, the "Personal" value that I attach to a Myachi will never be the same to you as it is to me, so we're simply dealing with two different valuations.  You could offer me a trade with a total Trade Value that was twice what my Sour Apple was worth, but I wouldn't trade it to you because it I'm attached to it in a way that you're not.  Anything you could offer to get it would be WAY too much to give up.

In the same way, that White Rabbit will never be as valuable to someone else as it was to the original owner.  Sure, anybody would love to have a Myachi that was intricately detailed all the way around by one of the world's most famous Myachi Masters, but just having a Myachi detailed by Lucky is nowhere near as cool as having a Myachi that was detailed by Lucky for you.

I have a number of "untradable" sacks in my collection and you probably have a few in yours as well.  They don't need to be super-rare or mismade or even particularly valuable to other people, as long as they have a genuine connection for you, personally.  I can't tell you how many times I've been trying to work out a trade with somebody where I'm turned down by somebody telling me, "Well, that was actually my first Myachi."

And when I hear that, I don't pursue it.  I don't up my offer.  I recognize that we're dealing with a Myachi that will never be as valuable to me as it is to the person I'm trading.  And in my opinion, I think it's pretty cool that the only three Myachis I have that I would never trade are all sacks that nobody would be all that interested in trading for anyway.

Monday, June 3, 2013

New Series Teasers

by Crazy Ivan

I put up a post on Wednesday about a new series in the works.  And although I wrote a really long post about it, it's been pointed out to me that I actually give absolutely no details at all about what to expect from the new series.  I spend the whole post talking about how excited I am about it and why I'm excited about it, but I don't say anything at all about the series itself.

I'll admit that part of that was an accident.  I did mean to sneak a few teasers in there when I first set about writing that post, but I got so into recalling all the new series that have come and gone that I spent the whole post being nostalgic.  And when I look back over it, I kind of feel bad for anybody who read through the entire post looking for a few hints about what's coming.

So I decided to write a whole new post just to offer a few cryptic clues about some of the new colors and fabrics that are coming.  Keep in mind that we're still a ways off from the debut.  The Myachis are being manufactured now so unless we fly a few in, it could be months before any of these are available on the shelf.  But it's never too early to get excited, is it?

To be perfectly honest, I don't know 100% what will and won't be included in the series.  As far as I know, all the fabrics are settled and we're actually in the process of manufacturing them, but I've seen enough of these to know that it's never too late for something to change.  Heck, when the Red Line showed up, we didn't know about it until the Myachis hit store shelves!  So I preempt everything I say here with a warning that chaos is looming and anything can happen.

By far, the most buzz-worthy sack of the 5.4 series was the Starburst.  It had been a while since we'd done a good shag and this one was a lot more than just a "good shag".  It's a great jammer and has a really cool color, design, pattern... whatever.  It's been an incredibly strong seller with both the guys and the gals and it looks fantastic in a jam.  No wonder, then, that one of our first priorities in this new series was to find a legitimate "sister sack" for the Starburst.  And all I'll say is that we did.

Another them of the previous series was re-releases.  We brought back several incredibly popular patterns (like the Aztec Red and Blue Labyrinth) in this series and it was pretty well received.  With that in mind, if I'm recalling correctly (and nothing changes) there will be three re-releases in the new series.  One is a very recent sack, one is semi-recent and one is from way back.  I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that one of these re-releases is something I've been looking forward to for about 5 years.

The only other teaser I'm going to offer is that this will be a really fun series with a much more muted palette than the last one.  There are a few brightly colored sacks, but by and large it will be a slightly darker series.  Skull and crossbone patterns and camouflage are always really popular, so expect to see at least one of each.  Beyond that, I'm not saying a word.