It is a very sad day indeed.
On Saturday, Brother Eggplant gave me a Riso Print Gocco PG-11 as a surprise gift for designing his wedding stationery. I was so excited to start printing! I promptly began Googling all articles Gocco related, until I came across a letter posted on Flickr from an a representative of NEHOC, an Australian Riso distributer:
Re: Print Lamps
As sad as it is to type we all have to move on (well eventually when stocks do run out), Print Lamps will not be remanufactured.
The main reason PRINT GOCCO has been discontinued is the overall problem with manufacturing a batch of Print Lamps, not just the initial $$ outlay (RISO have the $$) but the fact it will take 15-20 years get the return on investment as they have to manufacture so many. You are right in thinking it’s a few million to make a batch, take the figure you are thinking, double it, then double it again.
No shareholder in their right mind would authorize tens of millions on a product that will take 15-20 years to become profitable. The board would be sacked. It’s the fact it will take so long to recover costs that makes the Lamps unfeasible. Problem for us all is there’s nothing else to use in the GOCCO.
There is now only one factory in Japan that lays dormant until Print Lamps are produced, then a few hundred people are employed (yep hundreds), to manufacture the batch, then the factory is closed again. The raw materials are now harder to get, more expensive and I feel the factory land is now more valuable than the product it produces.
The Print Lamp situation is a mess as (personally speaking here) I think RISO started running out much faster than expected (everyone else noticed PRINT GOCCO sales are ironically increasing!) leaving them short of time and lacking a plan to stop GOCCO so customers were prepared. Although I feel if we had known earlier we simply would have bought them out of stock quicker than we did. I have been rightly accused of making the US problems worse by taking RISO’s Lamp stocks – sorry – but we saw it coming a few years ago and bought up big so we are OK for the next 8-10yrs, but after that . . . . . .
OK back to lurking for me but before I stop typing this 100-page essay, can I please request customers (and wholesalers) in the US to stop asking me for PRINT GOCCO supplies. NEHOC is currently under contact with RISO and will not supply to the US. Frustrating for me to see the situation you are in too as I have a warehouse full of lamps & GOCCO stock but I just can’t supply you at this point in time – sorry.
Gocco is no good without lamps, and Riso is discontinuing production! It looks like nothing can save Gocco this time around. This has to be one of the most disappointing pieces of news I’ve heard all week, especially since Paper Source was selling brand new machines as recently as this year. I was lucky enough to stock up on a big stash of bulbs and screens through various online retailers, but for those who own a Gocco, I strongly recommend seeking out supplies (especially bulbs) if you don’t want to be left with an unusable machine.
Gocco Supply Resources:
Long live Gocco!