The new Sailor Moon x Samantha Vega collaboration will release sometime this Fall. I am a huge fan of this line, and have quite a bit of wallets, pouches, purses, and jewelry in my collection. Although the collaboration is mainly under Samantha Vega, there are other brands such as Samantha Thavasa or Samantha Tiara. They are all part of the same 'company', except each is targeted for a different market or audience. For instance, Samantha Tiara is the brand name for all of the jewelry products.
One of the items I really enjoy collecting (and using) is the Sailor Moon x Samantha Vega wallets. Here's a look at the long wallets produced in the last four years since the collaboration started in 2015.
All of the wallets are made of real leather, and quite roomy inside. There are lots of card slots, areas to hold cash, and a zippered pouch inside for coins and other loose items. They are all very well made and can last through long-term use. In 2015-2016, the long wallets were released under Samantha Vega, and the later two years were released under Samantha Thavasa - Petit Choice.
These long wallets usually cost around $250 - $275 USD. Of course, it may be more after other fees and shipping. You can purchase these wallets (and other goods) during release at Isetan Japan. After about a month or so, they usually move the remaining stock to Premium Bandai Japan. Since none of the merchandise from this line does not ship overseas directly, you have to use proxy service to obtain them.
One of the things to note that many bootlegs exist for Sailor Moon x Samantha Vega, Samantha Thavasa, and Samantha Tiara. This is mostly due to the higher retail price, and popularity. A fake long wallet runs anywhere from as low as $20 USD. Of course, the quality is the biggest difference. If you trying to avoid a bootleg, here are some very easy ways to tell:
- Price - This is the easist way to spot a fake.
- Glitter - The real version have glitter embedded in the leather. So pretty!
- Crooked Bow - I know this sounds funny, but I've noticed a lot of the bootlegs have crooked Crystal Stars or bows.
- Smell - If you already bought it, you can actually take a sniff. The fake ones will obviously not smell like leather.
- Lining - The lining inside a bootleg wallet can be pretty random, and the pattern usually have nothing to do with the brand or Sailor Moon.
- Shape - The bootleg wallets does not hold its shape well.
My verdict: As a huge fan of Samantha Vega products, I really enjoy this collaboration. The wallets aren't cheap, but I think they are definitely worth your money in terms of quality and durability. My favorite part is the embedded glitter in the leather. I don't think I've seen any other brands do that! While I buy them for collection purposes, I do choose to use some. I can confirm that they hold up well through usage and time. Since they are made of leather, I use Coach leather cleaner and moisturizer to clean and maintain everything. In fact, I've been using one of the wallets for over two years, and it looks as good as new.