Yeah, what AC is doing on the RIC stuff is bulk shipping their orders, to get a lower rate from the shippers, and then baking that shipping cost into their price. Then you pay shipping from AC to you within the USA. Lately that IS saving people some money, as the DHL cost from ShonenRIC seems to be rising weekly. On the RIC stuff AC is pretty much always the least expensive in total. For example, from ShonenRIC the new 25cm Rodan'19 RIC Ver is $190 + $166 = $356 - From AC $249 + $80 = $329. You're saving $26 going with AC versus ShonenRIC.
On std stuff, despite not having their old exclusive distro deal, Diamond does still distribute the std vers, with the shipping from Japan baked in, and then the retailers have an SRP they can offer the figures at and make a margin. I don't think AC is using Diamond for all of their stds, so it pays to shop around to Shop.KaijuLive, or Sideshow, or Flossies Gifts. For example, From AC the Rodan'19 Std Ver. is $179.99 + $80 shipping = $259.99 - From Shop.KaijuLive $225 + Free Shipping. You're saving $35 going with KaijuLive.
It does appear that the RMC KinGoji and the FSL Gigantic '54 both might be Japan-Only releases... that's what I'm hearing. Neither have appeared on the US RIC site. I haven't yet seen the pricing for the std ver of either of them, and it's possible they're RIC only as well. Kind of waiting for next week to see if std versions appear on the Japanese retailer sites like Hobby Search.