It's-a me, Mercutio, gimme all your money or I'll cut you!
September 17, 2014 4:17 PM   Subscribe

 
It's possible that the internet and various fandoms have irrevocably warped my sense of what constitutes bad merchandise, but nothing in the link seems particularly egregious to me.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 5:07 PM on September 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Imagine going back to the mid-70's and telling people that it would only be a few decades before we had computer games that were almost movie realistic; virtually everyone in the developed worlds (and a large share of people outside of it) would be tied into this massive computer network that allowed us read the news, order goods and services and share photos with families and friends; and that in vast, menacing, inscrutable China, there were people whose job it was to search that massive computer network so that they could target the manufacture of computer game character sexual fetish action figures.

The response I'm imagining is "Go home Harlan Ellison, you're drunk!"
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 5:07 PM on September 17, 2014 [13 favorites]


> It's possible that the internet and various fandoms have irrevocably warped my sense of what constitutes bad merchandise, but nothing in the link seems particularly egregious to me.

Stripper Princess Peach is pretty far off the beam even for bargain store Chinese knockoff stuff.

Otherwise, yeah. I don't follow any fandoms, but after decades of getting vicarious entertainment out of Chinese factory trade magazines and wholesaler catalogs (pre-Internet) and distribution websites (these days), the stuff here is pretty run-of-the-mill. Not even egregious as trademark ripoffs go.

Not when there are Buddha Mario bar games (with payout odds controllable by the console owner), AC Delco Super Mario Plush Toy, and a variety of ocarinas spinning off the Zelda franchise which actually don't look bad at all (their sound being a different matter), but leaves you with the lingering feeling that some company was set up in China solely for producing knockoffs of every ocarina in the Zelda franchise, which prompts you to look at their website (nsfw) and that's when you decide you've seen enough.
posted by ardgedee at 5:35 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


And seriously, if you want to experience true horror, start shopping for counterfeit Pokemon tat.
posted by ardgedee at 5:36 PM on September 17, 2014


I dunno, those Mario keychains near the top, with their badly painted colors and wide, mad staring eyes... I dunno, there's almost a certain appeal to it.

Not when there are Buddha Mario bar games (with payout odds controllable by the console owner)

This is customary with all video gambling devices.
posted by JHarris at 6:13 PM on September 17, 2014


This is so wonderful
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:26 PM on September 17, 2014


AC Delco Super Mario Plush Toy

It's-a me! Mario! READ ALL SAFETY WARNINGS BEFORE USING.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:08 PM on September 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I want to RTFA but blogspot is blocked in China.
(And Ali Express doesn't ship here either!)
posted by MsDaniB at 8:12 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


...now I'm looking at final fantasy stuff, even though I swore off wall scrolls in during the bush administration.
posted by Betty_effn_White at 8:29 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's possible that the internet and various fandoms have irrevocably warped my sense of what constitutes bad merchandise, but nothing in the link seems particularly egregious to me.

You clearly didn't get down to the part where the writer compared a pair of costumes to "semi-inflated binbags."
posted by Guy Smiley at 8:29 PM on September 17, 2014


China really is the Infinite Improbability Drive of manufacturing.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:45 PM on September 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I've ordered twice from AliExpress. Each time, within 12 hours, a bank fraud unit is calling me with a fraud report on my credit card.

"Did you order video games for your PS3 in China?" "Uhm, no." "Okay, we are cancelling your card. Contact your bank to get a replacement."

I got some cool stuff, but the inconvenience was way too high.
posted by eye of newt at 8:46 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't know if any credit card companies still do this, but back in the wild and woolly days of the Internet, Discover would issue temporary virtual credit cards. You'd find something you wanted to buy, get a virtual Discover card for that value, input that "card's" information into the website, and make your purchase. The vendor would get the money without ever getting your real credit card information. I used that feature to buy some MP3s at ten cents apiece from what I can only assume was the Russian mafia, and never had any trouble.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:14 PM on September 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


> back in the wild and woolly days of the Internet, Discover would issue temporary virtual credit cards.

Discover only discontinued it this year, but the principle still exists in various forms. It's similar to the mechanism Apple is going to be using for its new virtual pay system. Conceptually, anyway.

I haven't had any problems (yet -- knock on wood) buying direct from China, through AliExpress or otherwise. I'm usually doing it to get electronic parts or other equipment that have no knockoff value (specialty cable connectors, etc.) so they're not going to be the sort of merchandise scammers would list to attract victims.

AliExpress provides an escrow service, in which the seller doesn't get any money until the sale is confirmed by the buyer as complete and legitimate. If one reseller isn't willing to sell through escrow, a competitor might.
posted by ardgedee at 3:24 AM on September 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I didn't even realise escrow was optional on Aliexpress. I have made dozens of purchases and never had it not be there. It is certainly optional on the parent site, Alibaba, though.
posted by netd at 4:06 AM on September 18, 2014


It's possible that the internet and various fandoms have irrevocably warped my sense of what constitutes bad merchandise, but nothing in the link seems particularly egregious to me.

I order comics out of Previews and none of this stuff would register as a blip there.
posted by Legomancer at 6:15 AM on September 18, 2014


a variety of ocarinas spinning off the Zelda franchise which actually don't look bad at all (their sound being a different matter

On the other hand, STL Ocarina makes some good ocarinas, many of which are Zelda-themed (and some Lord of the Rings, and surprisingly, Iron Man and Spider-Man) and some of which are also teacups.
posted by Foosnark at 6:24 AM on September 18, 2014


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