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Hideo Kojima autograph signing at Uniqlo NYC

I wanted to have a Metal Gear Solid week this week on gameSniped but there weren’t really anything that we haven’t covered in the past. Just like any other sequels or related games, a new Metal Gear game usually generates a ripple on the previous games. So you might want to check your collection to see maybe some of that Metal Gear stuff is slightly valuable now.

Anyways, yesterday, June 11th here in New York City, was the Hideo Kojima autograph signing event at Uniqlo. I wasn’t planning on camping early but a friend decided we should do it, then he decided he didn’t want to do it. But then at the very last minute he said that he wanted to anyways. This really wasn’t like any other events I went to where there were things going on every 10-20 minutes.

Getting There

I went to the Uniqlo autograph signing back 2 years ago when Metal Gear Solid 4 came out. That was actually one of the best signings i’ve been too because it was stress free and I didn’t wait a long time in line just to get an autograph (just 2 hours before the event started). This time around though, me and a friend of mine waited around 13 hours. The guys at the front of the line were there since 4pm the previous day (pictured on the left). The next guys didn’t get there until 9 or 10 and this is when Mr. Kojima visited the store. We actually didn’t arrive until past 11pm. At this time there were only about 15 or so people in line. It was growing every 20-30 minutes by like 1-3 people. We had nothing better to do at this point so we decided to play Mario Kart DS. We had 12 hours left anyways, why not ya know?

Around 5-6:30am they started to bring their shipments in. We figured its probably the shirts but judging from the previous event 2 years ago, I didn’t think they would have alot. Later in the day we found out that they did have alot and it practically covered half of the sales floor. It’s pretty impressive actually.

The Line

This was the first event of the day for Mr. Kojima and I expected that the line would get a little crazy by 7-8am. By 6am, 70 people were already in line and by 8am there were at least 100. I didn’t expect it to be huge, but by 11am the line had grown to about 450+ people. I wasn’t exactly sure how they were handling the autograph signing and if they had a limit of people, but that didn’t stop them from handing out t-shirt order forms to everyone at around the same time. I ordered 3 shirts but only 2 were given to me inside the store. I guess squeezing in extra orders even if Kojima wasn’t there anymore wouldn’t be such at bad thing wouldn’t it? They also handed us a number (more like an order number actually). I think maybe they intended to give these to guarantee that they can give their stuff signed (compared to 2 years ago, they handed us wristbands). We were also given out a raffle ticket to win 1 of 4 free copies of Peace Walker Limited Edition.

We did notice on the order form that they would only be signing copies of Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker which was also provided at the table. It was really upsetting to hear this but at the same time I tried to remain optimistic about it. They didn’t actually mention this to us so we just ignored it.

The Final Hour

At around 11am, everyone’s pretty anxious to see the man. He was actually a little late due to traffic but it was ok since it was only a 15 minute delay. By around 12:10 he arrived in a white Hummer limo wearing one of the Uniqlo shirts that says BIG BOSS.

It went pretty quick after that. When we went inside the store is when we were given our t-shirt orders but everyone seems to be buying more at that point. I saw one of the guys in line had his entire bag full of t-shirts I was thinking maybe he had alot of friends on ebay. Once we entered the store it only took about an extra 10 minutes to meet and greet Mr. Kojima. I actually didn’t get to take a picture of him signing my copy of Snatcher. Everyone was sort of shocked to see it even Mr. Kojima himself was making some sort of comment about it (I don’t understand Japanese very well so I didn’t get what he was saying).

Here’s a few pictures of some of the guys I was in line with with their stuff signed by Kojima.

from left: Policenauts ! (PS1 – JP), Peace Walker LE (US), this guy I met in line, Martin, was at the Uniqlo signing 2 years ago and got his MGS Essentials and his MGS4 LE Signed. He finally completed the set and got MGS2: Substance signed. This set alone would probably be worth around $600-$700+.

Hideo Kojima signing a copy of Peace Walker

left: role play between Liquid Snake and Solid Snake..

left: guy with a fox hound tattoo. tight! this is definitely better than the zune tattoo, same guy doing some interview, and a view from inside the store where people are lined up.

from left: autograph signing invitation flyer, entirely-not-free-shwag Peace Walker t-shirts


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