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.

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