Bite The Bullet
Airsoft Investments (2000-02-20)
This week I touch on a topic not usually covered in any airsoft review; a topic which has been regarded with distaste by many avid airsofters. The concept of appreciating airsoft pieces is a lesser scrutinized part of the sport but even our favorite hobby is not immune to the laws of supply and demand. To illustrate this point, let's take for example the Tokyo Marui Biohazard 2 Desert Eagle. Based on the popular Sony Playstation game Biohazard 2 written by Capcom (known as Resident Evil 2 in the USA), only a very limited number of these airsoft pistols were ever made. When they first came out, many people were impressed by the finely crafted walnut wood box, the unique styling with its elongated barrel, and the undeniable "exclusive and not everyone has one" aura surrounding it.
Despite this, sales of the Biohazard 2 Desert Eagle were slow initially with some retailers having trouble clearing their stock. But then as Playstation's game Biohazard 2 gained popularity, Tokyo Marui's own Biohazard Desert Eagle began gaining an audience and stock depleted rather quickly towards the end of 1999, almost a year after the game's release.
Towards the early part of 1999, the Desert Eagles had all but nearly disappeared from shelves and some retailers were evening holding auctions to gain the best price on remaining units. Other forward-thinking speculative private investors had already stocked up a few to sell during times of shortage and were auctioning them online. We saw the asking price go up rather quickly in 1999 and bidding prices were in some instances almost as sky-high as some of the major internet stocks of today! The most I ever personally saw one for sale was on a major online auction site for USD$520!
Of course, most seasoned airsofters will know that this same story could be about the Tokyo Marui HK51, MP5SD5 (which will be re-introduced this April), SunProject M40A1, WA Speedcomp/Prokiller, and a host of other popular yet discontinued airsoft. What made the Biohazard truly unique though was the difficulty in modifying an existing Desert Eagle to anything like the Biohazard version, thanks to the Biohazard's elongated 10" barrel. For HK51 lovers, at least slapping on a fixed stock and a longer barrel on an MC51 gave something close to the real thing!
Based on Tokyo Marui's own regular Desert Eagle Gas Blowback, the Biohazard Desert Eagle really didn't represent any new breakthroughs. With the help of the game's outstanding popularity along with the limited production scheme of the gun, it was a surprise hit. I still know of several places that have the Biohazard Desert Eagle but with the introduction of the Biohazard 3 92F, I wonder how much upside is left for the Biohazard 2. This time without the wooden box, the Biohazard 3 92F comes in the standard Biohazard styling with Racoon City Police's logo emblazoned on the imitation wood grips. Chrome silver barrel coupled with "RPD" engravings on the slide make for a complete collector's package. Whether the Biohazard's appreciative appeal will hold up in this round will largely depend, in our opinion, on 2 main factors: the ongoing success of the game Biohard/Resident Evil 3 and the speculative climate of airsoft investors.
If you're an investor and you feel both factors will hold up, pick one up for yourself now!