Announcing MGW Figure Search

We’re finally announcing the long-teased MyGrailWatch Figure Search!

This is somewhat of a continuation of last year’s “Our Vision for the Future” post. There were some changes to what we planned and how it was executed or not. Still, I believe that our vision for the future remains clear.

This post is solely about MGW’s Figure Search service. We’re going to focus on what it is, why it exists, for whom it’s intended, and when will it be made available.

What is it?

First, I’ll start with what it is not. MyGrailWatch (or MGW) Figure Search is not related to wrist watches. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. They are lying.

At its core, MGW Figure Search is a live search aggregator. It allows users to search multiple online stores at once, with a single query. Said user may apply filters that determine the inclusion or exclusion of products based on price, availability, etc. Once filtered, the search results will be displayed to the user. They may then perform various actions on the items, such as visiting the retailer’s product page.

Here is one of our teased screenshots. It shows the search results from a parallel search—a search which combines the results of two or more separate ones—with price and availability filters. Apart from that, it shows the user interface and search results being decoupled from one another.

MGW Figure Search Search Results

We plan on announcing additional functionality at a later date.

Why does it exist?

It exists for several reasons, which can be summarized as convenience or necessity.

Both new and experienced collectors tend to use known reputable platforms such as eBay or Amazon. While they are legit, they allow individuals to sell with them. Among the good ones, there are individuals looking to take advantage of others. They could be selling bootlegs, scalping, or not selling anything at all. Ultimately, visiting a store and wondering whether you’re buying a bootleg or being overcharged shouldn’t be a part of the experience.

We aim to rectify this by focusing on retailers who specialize in selling anime figures and merchandise. It goes without saying, but I want to say it anyway. These retailers are curated, individually added, and not paying to be included.

Even though we intend to cut the chaff, we don’t want to limit you to one region or even language. For that reason, our blog lists international, Japanese, and now, Chinese retailers in the product guides. This service will continue our desire to bring your grail closer to you. No matter where you reside.

Next is standardization.

We understand the product search is only a small part of running a shop. Things like handling payment, shipping, and adding the products all come before it. Searching is what this service is meant to do and do it well.

Features such as excluding (known traps), infinite scrolling, or limiting figures by price can be a low priority or even a no-go for some retailers. MyGrailWatch wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the pure love of bishoujo figures. By standardizing the search, you, me, and MyGrailWatch are able to search for the things we love, the way we please, within reason.

For whom is it intended?

If you’ve read this far, it’s probably made for you. Joking aside, it’s meant for collectors who are constantly searching for figures; whether they be random or grail-like.

Who may use it?

Everybody! Everybody holding an MGW Membership, that is.

This is being designed as a premium service. This service forms a part of the monetization goal for MyGrailWatch. It will be entirely funded with revenue earned from membership fees. By doing so, we have the freedom to focus on making it better for those who support it: You

We chose this method for a few reasons. Firstly, we’re still opposed to third-party advertisement; they’re ugly, can be blocked, and accounts may be disabled. Optimizing the design for ad placement isn’t something we want to do either. Making it completely free won’t be viable from a development, but especially, a hosting standpoint.

Making it “freemium” was also something we decided against. Gimping the service in order to convert free users to paid members is unappealing. Even if we were so inclined, we don’t have the development resources to do so and deliver a special experience. That’s not to mention other commitments.

When’s it going live?

April 1st is celebrated as that wretched April’s Fools day. Figures aren’t jokes, but we’re still pushing for the private beta to open on it.

You will be eligible for the private beta even if you don’t hold an MGW Membership. If you do hold one, you’ll automatically be “in.” Information relating to how many spots will be available and the duration and phases of the beta will be made available later.

All things…

I’m glad to finally have the opportunity to talk about it. There are more features, but I really only wanted to mention those that we’ll have ready for the beta. The more ambitious ones shall come later.

If you are interested in the service and would like to stay updated, we invite you to join us on Twitter, subscribe to the RSS feed, and sign-up for an MGW Membership here.

May it never be a lie: “MyGrailWatch is creating a world-class service dedicated to 3D representations of 2D pretty girls.”

Thanks for your time (if you haven’t skimmed) and have a good day!

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