Friday, November 16, 2012

The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy Boxed Set

Yoshitaka Amano is one of the world's foremost fantasy artists, and the limited-edition The Sky: The Art of Final Fantasy boxed set is a giant-sized, signed collection of five books plus bonus items that showcase Amano's ethereal illustrations for the first ten Final Fantasy games! The 12'" high, 11" wide, and 3 1/2" deep box that encloses The Sky has a hinged lid featuring artwork from Amano inside and out. Its contents include:
* Three 11 3/4" x 10 1/2" hardcover books, printed on high-quality stock. Volume 1 (144 pages) contains Amano's work for Final Fantasy I-III. Volume 2 (276 pages) contains his contributions for Final Fantasy IV-VI, and volume 3 (156 pages) features his art for Final Fantasy VII-X.
* All About Yoshitaka Amano, an 8 1/4" x 8 1/4" 128-page softcover full of photographs and images, the most extensive look ever in English at the artist, including an interview with Amano, a timeline of his career, a glimpse into his studio in SoHo, his favorite places in New York, a visual index of each illustration that appears in the three The Sky hardcover art books, and more!
* A 2 1/4" x 4 3/4" Final Fantasy animation flip book designed by Amano, containing two different "movies."
* A 10 1/4" x 11" acetate print with silver ink.
* Two 5 3/4" x 8 1/4" postcards featuring the interior and exterior artwork used on the box.
* And finally, a 5 3/4" x 8 1/4" card signed by Yoshitaka Amano!
-from the publisher-

I first came across the news of the existence of this masterpiece sometime in August. I found out that this is an English version of the set of the same name which was initially released in Japan back in 2001. The original retail price for the Japanese version is about US$ 600 and nowadays people are selling it at US$800-1000 on eBay. That is why it is a super duper good news when Dark Horse will release an English version for only US$ 139.99. It became a super duper better news when Amazon was having pre-order for this for $89.19. Without thinking twice, I immediately placed a pre-order.

However, the joy turns into a nightmare.. A big nightmare. On 31 October (the supposed release date), I was notified by Amazon that there was a delay due to Sandy storm. But today, I was terribly upset and angry when I received the news from Amazon that the order had been cancelled as the item is no longer available from supplier. Fuck!

After googling around, apparently Dark Horse only produced 1000 sets. A lot of people are angry, in fact, damn angry at the stupid publisher. I don't understand what's their fucking problem of only making 1000 sets. Firstly, the price is not that expensive. It were a US$ 600 set, I can understand if they ae making it limited because not many people would be forking out so much money for this. But no, the price is relatively cheap. Secondly, they "opened" the pre-order for so long. They knew that there were more than 1000 people were interested in this so why couldn't they make more? Or if right from the start they wanted to have it limited, they should say so. I personally feel very angry and cheated. I made pre-order and I have the assumption that I will get it.

I think the people behind is just dumb. There is so much money to be made and they just gave out the opportunities. What made me even angrier is the fact that some people are reselling the set for US$400+. That is about 3x of the original retail price or about 5x from what I would be paying initially when I pre-ordered through Amazon. I know the item is cool shit but I don't think it is wise to spend so much on books. I don't mind spending that amount for large scale toys but for books, no.. I am actually more interested in the 3 illustration art books. The bonuses are.. well.. bonuses which I can live without. And the reason why this English version is appealing is because of the book on Yoshitaka Amano (with the interview etc). Thus, no point buying the Japanese version as I can't read Japanese.

Now there is rumour that the stupid publisher will be releasing only the 3 artbooks somewhere in Spring 2013. Seeing the poor track record, I am sceptical.. And I am also sceptical about the price. Comparing the boxed set (5 books, tonnes of bonuses, a card signed personally by Yoshitaka Amano) with the future "set", the price of the future "set" should be US$ 20-30. I doubt it would be that cheap. Anything more expensive, it will be a rip off from the dumb fuck company. If they want to make money, the should have produced more of the boxed set.. or sell a boxed set for US$ 500+ if they really want to make it limited edition of size 1000.

Stupid shit horse! Pfft...

I am also equally pissed with Amazon. It took them more than 2 weeks to inform me that the book is no longer available. By now, it's too late even to buy it from resellers. Sigh.. I found that there are those being sold for US$ 160 somewhere near late October.. But nowadays, it is all US$450+++. For the inconvenience, Amazon gave me US$10 compensation. Wow great.. Very touching (sarcastic!)

I am still praying and crossing my fingers that I will find a reasonable offer. I mean I don't mind paying more than the original price as long as it is reasonable.. 3x or 5x more than the original is simply too much.


A said...

Shame on Amazon! Something similar happened in Europe. I preordered two copies; one from and another from When the release date was getting closer I cancelled my Amazon.con preorder. How could anyone thought that this massacre would happen? In my case I was lucky and received the UK preorder .... Yay!!!! But I preordered in the middle of July. The funny thing about UK is that the preorders were still open one week after the release date !! Without stock !!!!!
Good luck in your search for a copy.
Your blog is very entertaining!

darkrose said...

Thanks for your comment. Glad to hear that you managed to get a copy :) I only pre-ordered in Mid August so perhaps it was too late.

I have given up hope to get the boxed set and I will wait for the artbooks alone (if it is really coming out in Spring 2013). I mean all the additional things are cool but ultimately what matters most to me is the artwork.