Okay, so the question is posed a bit with tongue firmly in cheek and a heavy dose of rhetoric on the side, but ranting on about this in another venue had me thinking of what the general thoughts are with respect to freshman releases of toys right now. With the seemingly ever-increasing attention being places on sofubi/soft vinyl and toys in general, I think we are seeing newcomers to the hobby at a rate not seen before. As a whole, it is great; we are seeing the hobby open up and a lot of new makers and creativity come in. But, and maybe I am speaking just for myself here, this flood is also bringing with it a lot of detritus, and leaving our nice, appreciating beaches covered with a load of rubbish. I don't want to name any makers specifically, this is not about calling anyone out, but today I saw the first release info for a toy - which I am sure many would regard as the epitome of fugly in numerous respects (and I am completely fine with that) that I have been following the development of with excitement for some time. But, seeing the - let us say, diplomatically - very 'generous' ask for this - I really had to scratch my head and reflect on where the retail prices have gone for toys lately. The aftermarket [and vintage market, but I am not going to go there] is a whole other beast, but I am speaking just towards pricing of toys from the manufacturers. Of course things have been always on the rise, and we are all dealing with the increased cost of living, some more than others. But I feel like we are reaching a state where even fresh out of the gate toys are virtually inaccessible to the average person who does not have loads of disposable income or unlimited trust funds at the ready. Part of this is a gripe from an old man who has seen the shifts in trends and sales model, but right now it seems to be that with every new release we are seeing a massive price bump in what toys are being sold for. And this is not explained or justified in any other manner other than quoting the price. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people out there in this hobby - some of which we have the fortune of even having on the board - who have put in their years of blood, sweat, tears, research, travelled across the world, stuck it out in the fumes of vinyl pulling, practised away at learning the minutiae of painting skills, learned from their forbearers in the field, handled the flood of emails/PM/DMs, spent late nights packing, made inordinate trips to the post office - in short, they've paid their dues. They have every right to value their toys and work in this regard, and have built fan followings to suit, as they've earned the respect of the community. I am speaking of someone seemingly new, who has not been through this, but just has an idea, makes a new toy, and puts it out there like it is gold. I can't think of many toys now which have had the retails price we are seeing in 2023, and even then the ones which tend to are limited to the 'personal relationship' only type exchanges on highly hyped art toys and such (I am sure everyone knows where the bounds of this lie). But it saddens me and is disheartening to see this trend now bleed into even average toy releases. Ones which I feel are actually about the hobby and appreciation of silly vinyl dollies inspired by Japanese monsters.These should be accessible and the joy and love spread, beyond any notion of value or scarcity. But, I will grant you, that comes from my own way of collecting. There are clear exceptions to this rule, and I will give a specific shout out to @Roger's recent Mudbelly figure as being such a fun, widely available, and affordable toy that brought happiness to a lot of folks I am sure (which is just as it should be). It is not everyone, of course, but I seem to notice a lot of these new people on the scene come into it specifically for, or at least see, some of the crazy prices that are being generated by hyped and 'art toys,' and think that that in itself somehow lends legitimacy to their own creation. So they either think it is on par, or use this sort of pricing to artificially generate hype and demand through the inevitable aftermarket sales. It is a very poor model, but sadly with the undiscerning and large market that sofubi has right now, this evidently works. And because this pays dividends, it only increases, and the next maker comes out and does the same thing, but at an extra level of inflation. It is a self-eating snake. I don't know if this is going to plateau or eventually blow up in all of our collective immature faces, but I am wondering where it is headed. It is not the first rant on this topic, and I am sure will not be the last, but with each passing year of the hobby's development, I feel the shifts we are seeing are massive. So anyhow, a point of reflection for today. Welcome thoughts of the community.