It’s not unusual for fans and enthusiasts, regardless of the object of their love and devotion, to lavish a significant amount of their income on merchandise and branded goods. To a fan, an item is often worth much more than the asking price, and, rather than think about how much something costs, they simply focus on how they can obtain it.

Few people lining up on day one to buy an artist’s newest album, or the latest iPhone or games console, are ever heard to remark “gosh this is awfully expensive; I hope it’s worth it!” They just want to get their hands on the thing and make it theirs.

But know this, boys and girls: there’s a limit.

And that limit, as is evident by the incredible burst of chatter on twitter last week, is spending more than 4,700 US dollars on a character-themed Walkman.

The commemorative metallic-blue Hatsune Miku-themed Sony digital Walkman, of which there were just 3,939 units produced back in August, was sold on internet auction site Yahoo! Auctions for a staggering 369,000 yen (US$4738); more than nine times the original suggested retail price.

Why? Because of its unique serial number: 3939.

As well as being a play on words (reading “san kyū san kyū” in Japanese, thus sounding rather like the Japanese pronunciation of “thank-you, thank-you”), the number 39 holds special significance for Hatsune Miku’s fans ever since her first “live” concert, which was titled “Miku no Hi Kanshasai 39’s Giving Day”. With this in mind, Sony intentionally produced just 3,939 of its special edition Walkman music players, and, with the auctioned unit’s underside boasting that magical serial number “3939”, loyal Miku fans are able to tell that this is the very last of the units to be produced.

Of course, netizens went ballistic when they heard the news, and had plenty to say about it.

“Wait! What? Seriously!?”

“Jeeez… maybe this guy could pay my gas bill for me!?”

“If only he’d got 39,000 for it… Then it’d be the perfect sale!”

“No, no, no; 393,939 yen would be really perfect ;-)…”

“More money than sense!”

OK, so that last one’s not from Twitter, it’s from my mum, but you get the idea…

To this writer’s mind, at least, the model number “0001” would have made a much more interesting sale, and perhaps have been of more interest to prospective buyers and fans. Then again, claiming to own “the last” of something is perhaps more impressive than the first.

If that weren’t the case,  we’d have seen a whole host of alternatively-titled, much less dramatic-sounding movies in years gone by, including: “The First Samurai”, “First of the Mohicans” and, of course, my favourite “Indiana Jones and the First Crusade”…

Source: Netasaka 2ch