I've been after a Firebird for awhile, but even though I've gotten close a couple times it has eluded me, till now! I had certain requirements that were difficult to fill. Firstly anything from Gibson was going to be too expensive. Second it needed to be a "proper" Firebird with a set neck and mini humbuckers. It's just not something that comes up very often, especially down here. I was having a look around on ebay, not really expecting to buy anything, and suddenly there it was. An auction for a new Tokai FB-53, the starting price was $299 AUD and there were no bids, and only an hour left. I quickly set to researching. It's a MIC Tokai and new ones usually go for $800-1,000 down here. I suspected a scam, but the seller had great feedback. I found that it appeared to be an older model, so I assumed it was NOS. I was still unsure, but with the protections ebay and paypal have in place I figured I'd go for it. I waited til the last few minutes, put in a bid and watched. I was the only bidder and got it for $334 shipped. Still a bit unsure though. That was last Friday, it got here on Tuesday, and as soon as I opened the box all my fears melted away. It was gorgeous! Up on the knee immediately and the set up is pretty good, and it practically plays itself. Having a couple SGs, the feel is similar, and acoustically it sounds amazing, which is always a good sign. I had to wait a bit to plug her in, and in the meantime I tweaked the setup a bit to match my tastes. Through the amp it just screams bluesy rock n roll. The pickups are great, definitely got their own thing going on, which is partly why I wanted one. And it just looks so good! One minor issue is the balance on a strap. If people think an SG is prone to neck dive you haven't really experienced it until you try one of these. Looking into the issue it seems that where the top strap button is located on mine, on the upper part of the body, is the culprit. Most Gibsons have it on the neck heel like an SG and according to many on the interweb that position isn't as much of a problem. So I think I'll get a pair of those new D'Addario strap locks and install them in the new position. Also, the tuning keys can be a bit hard to get a good grip on in certain positions, but I expect that's something I'll just get used to. Once I've had a chance to really play it for a month or so I might add to this post. But for now I am really pleased. I got a guitar I've been chasing for awhile for what seems to be a steal, and it's everything I was hoping for and more. Just need to track down a case for it now.