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The Lonely Man
Today was the beginning of a rather sudden end to Ngee Khiong
, the leading source for Gundam and mecha related toy news on the internet. For as long as I can remember, having gotten back into Gunpla, I would visit Ngee Khiong on a daily basis (if not more than that). For the English speaking community there is no greater source for breaking news, price announcements, official & show photos, and even front running reviews. Unfortunately NK has decided to close down the site, leaving a giant gap in the community. Leaving a community shocked, saddened, confused, and angry. A community, apparently to blame.
In a post fore-running a final message NK said the following…
|Lastly, in before that last posting of this blog, I would like to clear off some guesses as to why the sudden end. It's not about having no time to maintain it; not about having other priorities or work; definitely not about money. The truth is, I'm extremely disappointed with the development of the Gundam and Gunpla community as I see it now, so tired I don't want to share my interest in Gundam and Gunpla anymore on this blog. I used to think that things would be better with more timely information on various products and news, but the segregation, discrimination and general perception of many so-called Gundam and Gunpla fans is worse than 5 years ago, despite my effort of showing objectivity in whatever I say through the blog, and I don't want to be part of this anymore. Fact: I have all the time and energy in the world to update my blog - just see how many posting I did last month, but I have zero intention to do so now. [Source]
He speaks of a conflicted Gundam community to which any fan will agree. Among many battle lines have been drawn between the die hard fans of UC, SEED, and 00. Each group attacks and defends with vigor, comments often nothing more than blatant trolling attempts. Depending which online community you visit the extend of the conflict varied. On Ngee Khiong there wasn't much room to voice your opinions aside from from a small chat box. When the PG Strike Freedom was announced people used that small outlet to argue about Gundam SEED Destiny. When details of the new 00 movie began to emerge people used that small outlet to argue about Gundam 00. Between the incessant bitching and growing spam (any open posting system online is just a magnet for the shit) it's easy to see how one could become disenchanted. Still, it's something best (and easily) ignored.
What I don't understand is the accusation against the Gunpla community. While we're just as opinionated and a minority of the whole Gundam community, I don't see the same issues. Personally I loath CE and think 00 was perhaps one of the biggest Gundam related letdowns, but I hardly ever talk about it, and never let it effect my Gunpla choices. I have a small handful of CE kits whom I love or hate based on their design or engineering merit, not their source programming. Mike (Penguin Truth
), our resident hater, will make CE equips whenever I show him something from the time line, but even he recognizes a solid kit when he sees it.
It's this same simple mentality I see in every Gunpla community I partake in. We're here for the enjoyment of the kits and the building processes above all else. Opinions might differ but we don't 'segregate or discriminate' based on them. I may feel that the Ginn/Dinn is the stupidest fucking thing I've ever seen, but I will treat someone who built one no differently then had they built a MK II. I honestly believe that the rest of the community feels and behaves the same way.
This leaves us with mixed feelings regarding NK's departure. The majority are sad over the loss but range from confused or upset over the reasoning. NK has indicated an upcoming post he originally planned as "a great bashing on many people." If one wants to bitch about the sad state of the Gundam community, I'll be the first to agree. But keep in mind the vast
majority of us like what we like, dislike what we dislike, and discuss it only in a civilized manor.
Don't attack and attempt to typecast the Gunpla community in the same way. If anything things have improved over the years. Straight build "snappers" exist side by side with those who craft up extravagant modifications.
It should also be noted that NK has noted that knock-off kits, "the value of Gunpla in your life," and vampire sites as contributing factors in his decision. Though, while we await his follow up, it's tough to understand just what impact they had on him.
R.I.P. Ngee Khiong. You will be missed.