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Unicorns come and go

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danemonji

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Hello

I have a theory that unicorn knives such as Kato (shigefusa also following) are a dying breed and stay desirable while
1. The maker is alive and well
2. While there are enough knives being sold on the market to keep the maker popular.
3. Prices stay fair and true to quality.

From what i see the Kato hype seems to slowly die off since more and more kkf members are selling their Kato collections and turning to alternatives which are more easy to find and on par with quality.
I think that the fact that just a couple of vendors have monopoly on his work and control the price and sales volume is slowly killing his good name and popularity in the knife community.
Just compare reviews and articles from 2015, 2016 with the ones from 2018 and 2019 on this forum and you will see same people going from hype to dissapointment from wtb kato to wts kato.
 

Matus

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Yes, there are waves of hype or popularity and at the end of the day (wave) the knife is being appreciated either by those who actually enjoy using it, or by collectors. Those who bought one either out of curiosity, or because the knife was ‘in’ (or had flipping potential) usually sell their and move to the next one. Nothing too surprising about that.

Now since Kato was mentioned as an example - I do think that it is a great knife and I would wish it would - after being hyped , kept as drawer queen and flipped - find its way to those who will enjoy using it.
 

DitmasPork

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Hello

I have a theory that unicorn knives such as Kato (shigefusa also following) are a dying breed and stay desirable while
1. The maker is alive and well
2. While there are enough knives being sold on the market to keep the maker popular.
3. Prices stay fair and true to quality.

From what i see the Kato hype seems to slowly die off since more and more kkf members are selling their Kato collections and turning to alternatives which are more easy to find and on par with quality.
I think that the fact that just a couple of vendors have monopoly on his work and control the price and sales volume is slowly killing his good name and popularity in the knife community.
Just compare reviews and articles from 2015, 2016 with the ones from 2018 and 2019 on this forum and you will see same people going from hype to dissapointment from wtb kato to wts kato.
Buyers are just as responsible as vendors for inflated prices on coveted knives. Have you ever paid well beyond "fair price" for a Kato or Shig—like twice original retail price?

Personally, if I had the money, I wouldn't be bothered paying a high price for something I really wanted.
 

F-Flash

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I had kato kikuryu gyuto 240mm, paid 1052€ for it. Sold for same, since I preferred my toyama in use.
(yeah stubid me, could have got 5* that amount now).

But imo that was fair price for it. Anything more is collectors premium.

There are quite a few unicorns that can be sold for more in second hand market than what it cost buying new:

-kato
-shigefusa
-ashi honyaki
-tatsuo
-billipp

All respect to collectors, but I prefer patina
 

Corradobrit1

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Buyers are just as responsible as vendors for inflated prices on coveted knives. Have you ever paid well beyond "fair price" for a Kato or Shig—like twice original retail price?

Personally, if I had the money, I wouldn't be bothered paying a high price for something I really wanted.
Not justKato and Shig. Have you seen what Ashi Hamono honyaki are going for recently. $2900 for a 210 *gulp*
 

labor of love

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Question, is it a unicorn if it’s available in BST virtually any day of the week?
I feel like I can’t view BST without tripping over several Kato for sale threads.
 
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DitmasPork

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Not justKato and Shig. Have you seen what Ashi Hamono honyaki are going for recently. $2900 for a 210 *gulp*
Yup, saw that. I've nothing against seeing prices soar for certain knives—though it puts them out of reach for many, it certainly makes a lot of current owners very happy.

Most of my knives have depreciated in value, but two of them are worth three times what I paid—so it balances out.
 

DitmasPork

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Question, is it a unicorn if it’s available in BST virtually any day of the week?
I feel like a can’t view BST without tripping over several Kato for sale threads.
It's been raining Katos lately—but they still sell—unicorn to those who don't have it and really must have it. I remember when KS were a hot ticket—wished I sold mine then.
 

labor of love

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I dunno, you might be surprised. Some of them sit for a while in BST.
 

labor of love

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Seems like most don’t don’t make it to the website judging from what maxim posts on IG.
 

alterwisser

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Buyers are just as responsible as vendors for inflated prices on coveted knives. Have you ever paid well beyond "fair price" for a Kato or Shig—like twice original retail price?

Personally, if I had the money, I wouldn't be bothered paying a high price for something I really wanted.

I’d argue that buyers are more responsible... without a buyer there’s no market = price drops
 

ma_sha1

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I am new here, for what it’s worth, I see the same thing that OP saw. As a noob, I am curious about the unicorns, so I want to try one. but the mystic of workhorse grind has been deciphered, I bought the poor man’s Workhorse instead, a 210 Mazaki weight in at hefty 208g, specs 6mm/5mm/2.7mm/1mm is a carbon copy of Kato geometry with slightly thinner tip. Now my curiosity on workhorse performance is satisfied, i no longer has the urge, I can move on without Kato.

The BNIB knives are collectors, & many “collectors” are there because the appreciation history, thus, it’s easily justified as investment. As soon as these trend is gone, the investing type of collectors will be gone too, & may even trigger a crash, leaving behind some true collectors, but much smaller group, they won’t be able sustain the market without investors.
 
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labor of love

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To address the OP, it’s hard for me to understand the mind of a collector. Maybe more guys are letting them go, but also as it’s already been pointed out there’s still deep pockets that will gooble up whatever falls on BST.
It’s very likely a lot of non collectors are losing interest.
 

lemeneid

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I am new here, for what it’s worth, I see the same thing that OP saw. As a noob, I am curious about the unicorns, so I want to try one. but the mystic of workhorse grind has been deciphered, I bought the poor man’s Workhorse instead, a 210 Mazaki weight in at hefty 208g, specs 6mm/5mm/2.7mm/1mm is a carbon copy of Kato geometry with slightly thinner tip. Now my curiosity on workhorse performance is satisfied, i no longer has the urge, I can move on without Kato.

The BNIB knives are collectors, & many “collectors” are there because the appreciation history, thus, it’s easily justified as investment. As soon as these trend is gone, the investing type of collectors will be gone too, & may even trigger a crash, leaving behind some true collectors, but much smaller group, they won’t be able sustain the market without investors.
Sure, keep thinking Mazaki=Kato ;)
 

aboynamedsuita

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Hello

I have a theory that unicorn knives such as Kato (shigefusa also following) are a dying breed and stay desirable while
1. The maker is alive and well
2. While there are enough knives being sold on the market to keep the maker popular.
3. Prices stay fair and true to quality.

From what i see the Kato hype seems to slowly die off since more and more kkf members are selling their Kato collections and turning to alternatives which are more easy to find and on par with quality.
I think that the fact that just a couple of vendors have monopoly on his work and control the price and sales volume is slowly killing his good name and popularity in the knife community.
Just compare reviews and articles from 2015, 2016 with the ones from 2018 and 2019 on this forum and you will see same people going from hype to dissapointment from wtb kato to wts kato.
Didn’t you start a thread awhile ago about “collectable knives” and list both kato and shig amongst your top 3? Maybe your theory is just self reflection. Hattori KD has had unicorn status for years and is still coveted, even the recent batch jck had sold almost instantly.
 

DitmasPork

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Help me help you here. As it stands this comment hardly makes sense.
Sorry if sounded off topic comment. Was just thinking about how knives fall in and out of popularity, with prices following demand—and what those three Katos are worth today.
 
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