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theshape
31st January 2013, 01:57 AM
Thought i would post this to share my recent experience of toy hunting in Japan:

I Arrived in Akihabara on Tuesday about 4 pm, dumped our gear then headed out. First store I saw a vintage TF in was one on the main strip (not sure of its name, but I think it may be Liberty store 7). Only vintage TF they had was a boxed Road Casear set, not in very good condition for about $300 – passed on this as I already have it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130122_162358.jpg

Checked out some other toy shops, one was golden age toys, which was closed on Tuesdays, would have to go later. Finally saw Mandarake Akihabara.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mandarake_Complex,_Akihabara.jpg

Huge store, really cool. Checked out each floor but the toys are on level 7 and 8. Found the TFs on level 8 – nice selection of g1 and g2 stuff. A boxedC-305 Ranger caught my eye, price was ok so grabbed that. Also Saw 2 diaclones, a red sunstreaker for ~ $300 and Black Van for ~$100. Behind them I saw a Japanese Dino Rider for fairly cheap so I grabbed that too.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130122_170902.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130123_132838.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130123_132940.jpg

What i got:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_2263.jpg


Next day I hit Shibuya, Cool place, must visit. It took me ages to find Mandarake (its downstairs). Pretty cool shop, not as many cool TFs as Akihabara. Saw a G2 Roadblock so I grabbed him. They had 2 boxed Japanese Scorponoks, one was about $1000, with a really nice box. They had some other cool toys there, notably a Boxed castle grey Skull from MOTU and some other 90s stuff.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130123_162719.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130123_162732.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130123_162805.jpg


Checked out Golden Age toys. Nice store, but very cramped, not the best place to have a good browse as the owner tends to keep an eye on you in case you steal something. Saw a Metrotitan, but I got one recently, so passed on that. He had 2 diaclone cars (omnibots) which were cool to see. He also had a boxed Mego batman tucked in a corner somewhere.

Day 3 was Nakano. Mandarake there is a short walk from the station. Unusual place, as unlike Shibuya, it was full of pensioners. It was the right place though. Down the stairs I saw the TF wall. It was magnificent. Right away I saw 2 boxed Dinoking figures (one of my grails), so I decided on those 2 first. I had my eye on an original Twincast and Soundblaster too. I decided to grab the Twincast and the dinoking pair. Went and had lunch and couldn’t stop thinking about soundblaster (I hardly ever see originals for sale) , so my wife convinced me to grab it and I did! Other Toys of note were a Diaclone Inferno for around $600 (!) and a diaclone hoist.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_2316.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_2318.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_2319.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130124_123213.jpg

My haul:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_2336.jpg

Day 4 was Disney Land

Day 5 Went back to Mandarake in Akihabara and got a G2 Dreadwing which caught my eye last time

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130126_182935.jpg


Day 6 Met up with Linja who happened to be working in Japan. Really nice guy, showed him some stores. Went back to liberty and something caught my eye – Microman Walther P38 (it was dated the day after I visited the first time). Price was really good, it was unused, all paperwork and unapplied stickers – Must buy. (they had 2 boxed tapes, Frenzy and Laserbeak which were really expensive)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_2495.jpg

Day 7 back to Aki Mandarake for one last look, Decided to get the g2 optimus to go with my dreadwing. Was convinced by the old “it would cost me XX to ship this…might as well”

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_2571.jpg


Managed to get bubble wrap and wrap all the toys, took half in suitcase and half in hand luggage. Got Megatron through with the old “ship him in bot mode” trick, but I did sweat a little going through customs :o
Home now… got to find room for these damn toys….and pay some bills
Big thanks to Heroics Blog and Kurdt the Goats map for all the locations


Tip 1: I Stayed at a hotel called the Washington in Akihabara. Cost me $100 per night, small room but it’s a 2 min walk from the train station. They didn’t even want a bond for the room which is nice and had free wired net (5 mb/sec)
Tip2: if your wife/GF is looking for a good place to shop, my wife found Abab in ueno (15-20 min walk from Akihabra Mandarake on the main street, Chuo Dori) really good (nice/affordable ) You can leave her there whilst you browse the toy stores

Some pics of a toy section in department store

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130125_190748.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130125_190752.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v208/TheShape84/IMG_20130125_191029.jpg

5FDP
31st January 2013, 07:24 AM
Awesome haul theshape. You sure you're not heroic_decepticon posting under a different handle ;) :p

Megatron
31st January 2013, 07:54 AM
:eek: Some really awesome finds there! :D

Bidoofdude
31st January 2013, 07:22 PM
I slammed my face against the laptop screen trying to see what every TF in that window was. I SOOO want to go now.:D:o

liegeprime
31st January 2013, 07:32 PM
That G2 Meanstreak reaaaally caught my eye!! Looks like you had a great time theshape! 5FDP we're sure it's him and not HD cos he passed on the boxed Road ceasar set - as per his post "he already has it".... that line of thinking is not at all like HDs :p:p though they follow the same high standards with regards with condition ;)

Ode to a Grasshopper
31st January 2013, 08:49 PM
Come to think of it, a sticky thread dedicated to members' hauls from Japan trips might be worthwhile.

Things like Goki's posted hauls and my own on-the-ground finds should probably be kept to standard acquisition threads, but it might be nice to have a dedicated thread for members who come here for holidays and to pick up rare-for-gaijin TFs.
I recommend that the first post in the topic have a link to heroic_decepticon's excellent Toy shop maps (http://heroicdecepticon.blogspot.jp/p/heroics-toy-shop-locator-guide.html).

Skullcruncher
31st January 2013, 09:00 PM
Nice shape - I think I posted several boxes back when I was there as we only had room in hand luggage for a couple of triple changers. :o

Was the purpose of the trip TF Hunting or did you get to see some sights as well?

theshape
1st February 2013, 10:59 AM
Thanks for the kind words guys. Im not as fussy as HD with condition (no one can compete with him! :p ).


Was the purpose of the trip TF Hunting or did you get to see some sights as well?

It was more of a "why not" impulse move, the main reason was for toys, saw a few other things as well. Worth going for sure (my wife liked it a lot more than she thought she would)

BigTransformerTrev
1st February 2013, 11:45 AM
Always wanted to visit Japan properly. Have been twice and both were stop-overs to and from Europe so did not get to explore. Now I REALLY want to go even more than before! Congrats on the success of your hunting Shape!

Shirokaze
1st February 2013, 12:03 PM
Really nice Haul man! And nice work getting all those sneaky in-store pictures. I'm usually too scared of being told off by staff :o

Skullcruncher
1st February 2013, 12:29 PM
It was more of a "why not" impulse move, the main reason was for toys, saw a few other things as well. Worth going for sure (my wife liked it a lot more than she thought she would)

Cool, we went for 2 1/2 weeks but it wasn't enough - planning a trip already in 2015 for a month holiday there, so many things to do/see and much more interesting that a holiday in Australia!

Slag
1st February 2013, 07:26 PM
Dammit i only just saw your pics.. Would've loved Road Ceaser. And that battlebeast base ting.. and that giant Tetsujin!!!!!
Wipes the drool from the screen

And original soundblaster and twincast.! and the others
(Hyperventilating)

GoktimusPrime
2nd February 2013, 10:16 AM
I liked reading about Day 6 and meeting up with Linja. :) I find meeting other fans to be incredibly fun. :D Meeting with local fans is also interesting because they can offer a different perspective than Western fans and vice versa. ;)

Linja
5th February 2013, 09:11 PM
Haha yeah was great to catch up while in Japan.

To clarify I was working in Japan for only 3 weeks and my first trip so I didn't know all the cool places to go see. A few people had recommended Nakano Broadway Mandarkare (prob spelt wrong hehe), and The Shape personally recommended it. So I went along and man that place was truly awesome.

I picked up a whole swag of Dragonballz figures haha, even though I was originally looking for Transformers. I collect mostly Masterpiece and combiners, really digging some of the 3rd party stuff too. (I do have some old G1's particularly combiners)

On the Sunday had the chance to catch up with Shape and his wife in Akihabra and they kindly showed me around to a couple of shops he had spotted some TF's in. I had been to a few of them before but was shown a few I had totally missed. Again Akihabra was another fantastic place to see toys you don't normally see. It was really great to catch up with another collector in the nirvana of TF places Japan :) thanks again Shape for taking some time out from your holiday!

Anyway I'm back in Melbourne with my haul too, and managed to scrap through with an extra 1.5kg of luggage without being charged.

theshape
5th February 2013, 09:29 PM
Haha yeah was great to catch up while in Japan.

To clarify I was working in Japan for only 3 weeks and my first trip so I didn't know all the cool places to go see. A few people had recommended Nakano Broadway Mandarkare (prob spelt wrong hehe), and The Shape personally recommended it. So I went along and man that place was truly awesome.

I picked up a whole swag of Dragonballz figures haha, even though I was originally looking for Transformers. I collect mostly Masterpiece and combiners, really digging some of the 3rd party stuff too. (I do have some old G1's particularly combiners)

On the Sunday had the chance to catch up with Shape and his wife in Akihabra and they kindly showed me around to a couple of shops he had spotted some TF's in. I had been to a few of them before but was shown a few I had totally missed. Again Akihabra was another fantastic place to see toys you don't normally see. It was really great to catch up with another collector in the nirvana of TF places Japan :) thanks again Shape for taking some time out from your holiday!

Anyway I'm back in Melbourne with my haul too, and managed to scrap through with an extra 1.5kg of luggage without being charged.

No worries mate! If i hadnt gone past that shop again i wouldnt have found that Megatron! It was transformers "Fate" :D

Hursticon
5th February 2013, 10:07 PM
An awesome recount of a very drool-worthy trip dude;

I always love when members post these sorts of documented Japanese Toy Store trips as it is just a real joy gazing upon all the wonderful booty said stores contain, seeing G1 anything on a shelf & in volume just bring backs very early lingering memories of my childhood where I would walk past the local toy store a stare at all the awesome Transformers... :D:cool:

An amazing haul you acquired too man; those Dino King figures are very few & far between but the G2 Dreadwing & Smokescreen set are just as awesome in my opinion! ;):)

KalEl
9th February 2013, 08:09 PM
Holy poop!!! I need to go to the places!!!!!!!!!

Jetfire in the sky
11th February 2013, 06:06 PM
Japan trips definitely deserve a sticky :p

Anyone on here who is thinking of going DO IT!!! There are very good deals for flights that are usually put on by Jetstar which aren't as bad as most people say. You will be blown away, not just by the TF and toy side of things but everything else this amazing country has to offer. Great post Shape, I wish I could have been more detailed in my two weeks of madness there :-) But I will be going back soon, perhaps even this year :D Better start saving.

私は日本が大好き

Don't know if it's correct :p But blame google if it isn't.

GoktimusPrime
11th February 2013, 07:13 PM
私は日本が大好き

Don't know if it's correct :p But blame google if it isn't.
The internet never lies. ;)

Slag
11th February 2013, 07:42 PM
The gf is hounding me to go. (she wants to see snow)
maybe in a year or 2.

GoktimusPrime
11th February 2013, 07:52 PM
I'd like to hear (and see photos of) more international meet ups between OTCA members! :D I had so much unbelievable fun at the Osaka Meet, not just because of all the toys that I saw and bought, but really because of the people I met up with... Australian ex-pat and local Japanese fans. Sitting around and chatting about all things Transformers (and other nerdy stuff :D)... hearing about things from a Japanese perspective and vice versa; it was like a geeky cultural exchange! :) We saw a lot of traditional stuff like temples, shrines, castle etc., but one of my definite highlights was the Osaka meet and just socialising with fellow fans. I guess when it comes to meets, whether it be in Parramatta or Osaka, the big highlight for me is enjoying the company of fellow collectors. :D Yes, getting new toys is great too... but I really enjoy catching up with people with similar interests. ;)

<day.dream>
How awesome would it be if a group of OTCAers all managed to go to Japan at the same time and do a big "tour of duty" there? :cool: Yeah, I know logistically it'd be really hard because we're not all available to travel at the same time (especially for those of us with families). But similar to how we've had small contingents of OTCAers travel to BotCon together, maybe it'd be possible to do small groups to Japan together? Although I suppose without an event like BotCon happening, there's little incentive for people to want to travel together... unless people wanna go attend a Japanese toy convention or other TF related event at the same time.
</day.dream> :p :p :p

valkyrie_76
11th February 2013, 08:15 PM
The gf is hounding me to go. (she wants to see snow)
maybe in a year or 2.

Sneak out with me next month......I leave on the 22nd to HK then onto Osaka on the 27th.

Slag
15th February 2013, 09:00 AM
Sneak out with me next month......I leave on the 22nd to HK then onto Osaka on the 27th.

i would love to, but it's not really an option for me this time of year.:o

i'm heading to HK in june... so leave some stuff for me:p

Sinnertwin
13th March 2013, 10:21 PM
This brings back so many memories :)
GF and I hopping on and off the trains, the people, Shakey's Pizza, the spaghetti shop in Nakano, mild tremors 6 levels up at Akihabara, the kebab shop at Omotesando and so many more. *sigh*
I want to go back. Nay, lads! I need to!

Ravagecat
9th May 2013, 01:41 PM
Thanks for sharing your adventure theshape :) some awesome photos and finds :cool:

I really want to go back to Japan and spend more time looking for vintage Transformers. I had 3 days there back in 2004 and found a few things(was more of a stop over on our way to the US) which we spent 2 weeks there. Wish I had of spent more time in Japan and less in the US TBH. I'll get back there one day :)

Mythirax
11th May 2013, 12:30 AM
Awesome to see some photos of the stores. :D :D fun read!