As a long term fan of Sailor Moon, the 20th anniversary events and merchandise are a continual temptation. If I were a collector of figures, this would be a very wallet-draining year. However, as much as I adore Sailor Moon, I do not actively or aggressively collect items related to this series. I do make an exception for toy versions of in-show props–I have a Cutie Moon Rod from the 90s and one or two brooches from the same era. Typically the second-hand prices of these items keep me from purchasing them. I continually hoped that these items would be redesigned and released for the 20th anniversary… and I was not disappointed.
Bandai and Tamashii Nations created PROPLICA, a portmanteau of “prop” and “replica” to produce high-quality toys from the Sailor Moon series. These products are aimed at adult collectors, not children. They appeared to have a remarkable level of detail and accuracy in the promotional photos. I considered it for a few weeks and pre-ordered the first release, the Moon Stick.
The Moon Stick is Sailor Moon’s first weapon. It is used in the first arc of the manga and the first season of the anime. She uses this weapon to perform the attack “Moon Healing Escalation!” in several iterations–some before the discovery of the Silver Crystal and some after. When the Silver Crystal has been found, it can be mounted in the Moon Stick to amplify the attack’s healing ability.
My experience ordering the Moon Stick was not a smooth process, but it has a happy ending!
I preordered from the Crunchyroll store. The preorder required payment when the order was placed, not when the order was ready to ship. When my order shipped in late May, I carefully followed the tracking information. The package reached my office, I took the Moon Stick home and unpacked it, my husband and I went out to buy batteries, I installed the batteries, and then… nothing. I clicked the star-shaped button that makes the wand display light and sound, but nothing happened.
My first thought was that the batteries were incorrect or actually dead. I didn’t have any other items that use the same LR44/SR44 batteries, so I ordered a new set of batteries. They arrived in a few days, and I swapped those in. Still nothing.
I started fiddling with the Moon Stick, and that’s when it became apparent that it was defective. The Moon Stick activates two modes via a dial on the bottom gold knob of the handle. When a mode is activated (e.g. the wand is on), it emits a “twinkle” noise and the trio of LED lights in the handle light up momentarily. My wand did not do this unless the gold knob was forced PAST the mode indicator line and held in place. The moment I let go, it went dead. Holding the knob in that position was awkward, required a fair amount of force, and clearly risked damaging the Moon Stick.
I contacted Crunchyroll Support with my product issues, requesting an exchange of the defective item for a working item. Crunchyroll Support requested that I provide photos or a video showing the defect, so my husband helped me record a video using my phone that highlighted the lack of function. For several weeks there was no response, so I sent a follow up. Thankfully the reply after that follow up was prompt–within a few hours I had a return shipping label for the broken item, and in about a week my new Moon Stick had arrived!
I was really worried that I would experience the same issue, but thankfully that was not the case! ♥ I installed batteries in the new Moon Stick, and it performs the light and sound functions exactly as advertised. I am very happy that Crunchyroll Support exchanged my order–I would have a very, very different reaction and review if they had not! I feel comfortable ordering future Sailor Moon products from the Crunchyroll store knowing that I can rely on customer service if there is an issue.
Installing the Batteries
I am completely satisfied with the Moon Stick. This is a very beautiful item. It is true to the design of the animated wand and does not look sloppy or low-quality. It makes me really happy to have it out on display~ ♥
Having received this product and being satisfied with it, I am even more excited for the upcoming PROPLICA Cutie Moon Rod!