if we could find someone willing to ship some copies from Europe, it's possible it would be cheaper to have them shipped in to a single location in the states and re-distributed from there... could look into it if there's interest.
Edit: Apparently much different. Most believe the Abacus Spiele version is more robust.
The versions are in fact different. The Grandpa Beck's version doesn't contain the Mermaid cards. I think they're important in the gameplay to make it a better experience. There is nothing wrong with them not being there, but it's the inferior version. The card art on the Schmidt Spiele version is also a lot cooler.
As a note, I purchased this last month from a Yellow Submarine store while in Shinjuku, Tokyo for Y1500.