Sword Buyers Digest:

Issue #188, April 2024

It's April Fools day, and as has become something of a SBG tradition, the April edition of the Digest contains some appropriate April Fools silliness in it.. No Rick Rolling or fake articles, but definitely a generous pinch of whimsy here and there..

Swords in the News

Masamune Exhibition, Tokyo

Some of Japans most treasured swords, including a genuine Masamune sword and Dojigiri 'demon cutting' sword are on display right now at the Tokyo Museum. If you can't go in person, this article and its pictures is probably the next best thing.

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Another Resin Replica..

In what may be a sign of things to come for sword replicas - the official $500 blade Elden Ring replica sword is made from resin.. Maybe it's okay for this one, but definitely makes you wonder and even miss stainless steel replicas..!

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31 never seen before Nihonto from Private Collection on Display in Kyushu

He started collecting with a short sword in high school in the 1950s and built a private collection that has never been shown to anyone other than family members and close friends, but the collection of the late Japanese sword collector Tesuro Kitazaki is now proudly on display at the Kyushu National Museum.

Light Saber Fighting a real sport in France

The French Fencing Association recently instated Light Saber fighting as a real sport - see how the rules work and how it is expanding globally.

Beyond 'Shogun': Samurai from history who were not Japanese

The story from Clavell's Shogun TV adaptation was not based directly on a true story, but there WERE indeed several non-Japanese Samurai. Here are their stories..

Magnet Fishing nets a 1,100 year old Viking Sword

What happens if you go fishing with a magnet in the UK and dredge up a Scandinavian sword from over 1000 years ago. Do you get to keep it? Can you get in trouble? Read the real life story of magnet fisherman Trevor Penny's stunning historical find.

Mel Gibsons Braveheart Sword Prop Sells for $76K..

The original prop sword designed by Simon Atherton from the 1995 smash hit 'Braveheart' recently sold at auction for $76K. Find out behind the scenes details and the prices of some other props from the movie (some of which were considerably more affordable).

Top 10 Swords from Dungeons & Dragons

If you love fantasy swords, you will definitely appreciate the top 10 list of the most infamous magical blades from D&D (let's just hope that if they make official replicas, they are NOT made from resin.. But don't hold your breathe)..

Speaking of Dungeons and Dragons..

Lego is definitely getting its medieval and swords & sorcery groove on with a newly leaked release of official D&D Lego sets with Dragons, Paladins, Githyanki Warlocks and more.

'Samurai Swords' found on Kansas Road

Just one look at the pic suggests that they aren't a sword set belonging to any members here, but it is nice that the local authorities are trying to re-unite them with whoever accidentally (or otherwise) left them abandoned on the roadside (imagine it would read as a very different story if this happened in the United Kingdom!).

Montana based LARP group struggles to gain traction..

It was a disappointing result for this Billings based LARP group when their call to recruit new members failed to generate even a single member. Shame that so many people these days are truly lacking in imagination and a sense of old fashioned nerdy fun..

Another teacher brings a real sword to school in Japan and...

..like last month, it ends in tears (and blood).. The teachers heart was in the right place, but boy oh boy did his demonstration go wrong.. (safety FIRST!).

New NHK Series with Paul Martin

Recognized as one of he premier experts of Japanese swords around the world, in conjunction with NHK (Japan's national broadcasting channel) author Paul Martin has created a series of 5 minute bite sized videos highlighting some of the most beautiful and iconic Japanese swords ever made. Click here to see the streaming video playlist at NHK world on demand.

Find Out More Here

Best Forum Posts

Best posts from the official SBG Sword Forum

Favorite Sword related Fiction

If you love swords and love movies, what can be better than a good sword movie? The answer is of course, nothing is better - but out of all the movies over the years, which ones are the most popular in the sword community these days? Find out in this thread..

Discussion of Shogun TV series props and sword fittings

It is making Samurai swords and Samurai culture great again, but how historically accurate are the sword props and fittings? The forum discusses.

Who makes the toughest Japanese Katana on the market?

From Howard Clark's L6 Bainite, Ronin Katana's 1060 monotempered blades, Cloudhammer's S5 and many more - SBG forum members discuss which companies make the toughest Japanese style swords at all price points.

Forumites weigh in on Mark Zuckerbergs Sword Making Skills..

It's worth watching the videos linked in there for a chuckle, but forumite 'MrStabby' gets karma for his own hilarious post and observation.

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Video of the Month

While the sword skills on display are without a doubt next level, wait until around the 2 minute mark to see something that leaves me scratching me head..

The way he can draw and sheathe the sword almost as a single action feels like AI or CGI, it's actually quite real.. And with this guy, it is hard to say if the pen really is mightier than the sword..!! Flashy - yes, but definitely worth a look..

Real Listings that FEEL like April Fools Pranks..

Instead of our usual monthly listings of the Sword of the Month in this special April Fools edition of the digest we will be taking a look at some sword listings from around the interwebz that FEEL like they SHOULD be an April Fools prank, but sadly are all too real..

Here's one I found on Etsy from a seller who lists the kind of swords others sell for $60 or so with a x8 markup..

'Hannah Forge" sells this untempered, folded (unspecified) steel monstrosity for $433.54 as a 'weeding gift'. A cursory view of their store reveals that nearly every sword they sell is at this price point..

But the exact same sword is available here for under $60.. Plus it also comes with a leather sheathe that 'Hannah Forge' throws away ("it's the sheathes that Hannah Forge rejects that makes them the best?")

That kind of price discrepancy is bad enough..

But it gets worse - because below is a review on the Etsy site itself for a 'Norseman Viking Sword' by the same company with the same markup and the same generic Pakistani hilt construction methods..

A picture does indeed paint a thousand words - though in this case, I think most of them would be expletives...

Of course not all sellers at Etsy are like this, though it is a marketplace where 'buyer beware' has more meaning than normal..

Sword(s) of the Month

Just because SBG has recently passed it's 18th anniversary doesn't mean that we are a bunch of out of touch fuddy duddies..

Sure, we tend to appreciate subtle things like a blades hardness, tempering, smoothness of polish, overall construction, fit and finish of the fittings and it's weight and balance - but there are times when we throw all that old fashioned nonsense out the window to appreciate a sword that is so darn gaudy it burns its image so deep into our collective retinas that we see it for days afterwards even with our eyes closed..

With the sword industry seemingly moving further and further in this 'form over function' trend - let's take a look at why the kind of swords we recommend at SBG are just so boring, and answer the question once and for all. How many different design elements can you possibly cram into one sword??

Rogue's Gallery...

Pixelated Painbringer

The Glittering Gargoyle

Lime Green Glareblade

Smaug’s Regret

The Glareblade

Yuckblade Elite

Eyesore Edge

Disco Dagger

Rainbow Warrior

It is a bit of a worry that younger collectors entering the sword market for the first time will probably gravitate to this new generation of 'wall hangers' and that for the most part, the only way they are practical or functional is that they cause brain hemorrhaging just trying to follow all the crowded details and garish, clashing colors.

With such OTT bling on display, you would expect they would do away with those free sword stands they occasionally throw in and instead include a pair of sunglasses with each purchase to prevent retinal burns..

Hope you enjoyed the April fools edition of the Sword Buyers Digest. Until next time, Happy Swordening all!


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