The Holy "Mami" Grail

A few days back, I received an EMS parcel from Mandarake's Kokura branch. An early birthday present if you will but, a much overdue addition to the collection. Upon receiving the parcel from my local postal services, my expression was immediately one of shock. Seeing the Mandarake shipment all squashed, dented and damaged had me visibly nervous about the condition of my precious cargo within it!

Immediately, I grabbed a blade to open up the cardboard box to check for the integrity of the contents within. It is probably at this moment where I should mention that I had not purchased insurance for it despite Japan's EMS offering free insurance up to 20,000 Yen! With the box opened, I could not immediately ascertain the condition of the contents within with all the paper placed as stuffing. But, I was certainly glad to know there was additional shock absorption.

Pull the paper out and everything looked to be in perfect condition and safely protected by bubble wrap! While I could not inspect the box itself without first removing the copious amounts of bubble wrap, there definitely was no visible dents into the box itself which removed a significant amount of weight off my shoulders!

Upon closer inspection, there she was and with hardly any visible damage to the box. She was finally here, Medicom's Real Action Heroes MGM Tomoe Mami School Uniform Version. A figure I had been hunting for the past two years was finally a part of my collection. If ever there was a grail Mami figure, this would be it. Limited to only 800 pieces, this is as rare as they come for any Mami figure.

Certainly, this two long years of searching did not go by without a story to tell. For the longest time, I had been holding off from purchasing this Mami figure as I had been saving up for her. Mandarake has one unopened with minor box damage going for 25,000 Yen and I had been eyeing that specific one until it was purchased by another lucky collector. At that point, any remaining copies of this particular Mami on Mandarake were selling for well above 35,000 Yen!

So, I patiently waited and waited. Until one day an email notification came in from Mandarake putting this very Mami figure up for sale. Unopened, with minor box damage for 12,000 Yen. Five days later, here she is at my doorstep. Some of you might be wondering, how severe was this "box damage" that Mandarake had stated. Well, the biggest one is as you can see above with it being a slight dent in the box.

The other bits of were at the usual spots, namely the corners. 

Of the 8 corners, 5 of them had some sort of bump and damage.

Some were obviously more serious than others.

But neither of them ever became noticeable from an arms length distance. Meaning to say, this was indeed very minor box damage.

I love a pristine box as much as the next collector but, nicks and bumps on the corners are to be expected from any figure box even with extra care. As such, I was certainly not going to lose any sleep over this matter.

A quick check underneath the box reveals the hologram of authenticity.

Then it finally set in, I was one of the 800 lucky owners of this very rare RAH Mami figure. RAH No. 672 Tomoe Mami School Uniform Version, check. Would I ever open this box? Probably not. Would I get another just to open it? Absolutely. Is this the end of my Mami collection? Far from it.

What about you? Do you have a grail figure and, if you do, is it already a part of your collection? I would love to hear what you think in the comments section below. As always, stay tuned to Tiro Finale for all the latest Mami updates and daily content updates. Until the next time, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


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