Thursday, April 13, 2017

Japan Toy Hunt at Nakano Broadway

- Toy Hunting. It can be a rewarding adventure as long as you have the patience, the eagle eyes and the money.

- This post details about my recent Toy Hunt at Japan.

- I'm not going to go much into details of where all the Toy shops are located and how to get the best deals, there are blogs who offer a lot more information of that ( try THIS and THIS.)

- Before, Akihabara is the place to be if you wanted your Japan Toy fix.

so techie 
- I can say it right now to just forget about Akihabara and high-tail it to Nakano Broadway instead.

- Don't get me wrong, Akihabara has a lot of toy shops, it's just that Akihabara has already become too "mainstream" for most die-hard toy collectors. Akihabara is just for glorified "Otakus" (Animé fans) or for people wanting to buy some reasonably-priced electronic gadgets. Or take a Selfie with a Cosplay chick. 

- Nakano Broadway is located near Nakano station. Unlike in Akihabara where most toy shops are far apart or require entering a building and taking an elevator, Nakano Broadway offers rows upon rows of Toy shops near each other. Just when you thought that you've looked at every shop, there is another one right around the corner. 

- While I'm not going to go much about directions on how to get there, (because memorizing of where to go to using the Japan train is confusing as Hell and would take a lifetime to master) what I can provide you is that it is located at the North Exit at Nakano station of the Japan Railways (JR) Yamanote line. When you are already out of the train station of the North Exit just go straight to the covered walkway and you should see the Nakano Broadway sign.

- Most of the toy shops are located at the 3rd and 4th floor and is also the Main branch of one of the famous Japanese toy shop, Mandarake.

- Mandarake is a combination of the words "Manga", meaning comics, and "Darake", meaning "a load of". Mandarake started out in 1987 as a shop for buying and selling second-hand Mangas. Then a few years later blossomed into a toy store that has several branches around Japan and a trustworthy online store.

- Mandarake has several stores in Nakano Broadway (26, based on their website) that is categorized by the items that they carry. One Mandarake shop has all the Vintage toys, the other Mandarake store has Japanese vinyl monsters, and so forth.

- Even though it appears that Mandarake is monopolizing the toy business there, Nakano Broadway is not all about Mandarake. There are a couple of independent toy shops there that are also worth a visit.

- I was able to visit Japan at the last week of March with my older sister and my toy-collecting soul cheered when I saw Nakano Broadway. I was about to faint when I actually checked out the place as there toys upon toys upon toys.

- The good thing about Nakano Broadway is that it has something for every collector. Like Mangas? Check.Gashapons? Check. Godzilla? Check. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles? Check. Wolverine? Check. Sanrio merchandises? Check. Gravure photobook? Check.Check. Check.

- I would like to point out that most of the toys that are being sold in Nakano Broadway are second-hand. Although you can ask the staff if it is still new or not. There are usually tags on the boxes that are in English that indicates if it has already been unopened or if an accessory is missing, etc.

- Trying my luck, I tried to take pictures of the toy shops and quickly realized that some stores do not want their toys being pictured (but, that never stopped me from taking pictures secretly) and that haggling is out of the question. You pay what the tag says. (although I only tried haggling once)

- Another thing to point out, Japan charges an 8% additional tax besides the price of the item, Nakano Broadway shops inlcuded (although there are some shops there that do not have "inconvenience": you pay what the price says) It only becomes tax-free if you have bought an item(s) that has a total of 5000 yen or more, you just have to present your passport and sign a form.

- I was very happy with what I saw and what I bought. There are a lot of toys there that are not available here in my country (Philippines). I could literally stay there the whole day and replenish at the nearby restaurants and check out more toys and not have a care in the world.

- One of the best "toy hauls" that I got there is a 1999 Marusan Wonderfest exclusive Godzilla vinyl toy that is a based on the 1966 Godzilla toy, (one of the first Godzilla toys) that I got for 5000 yen (tax-free!!!)

happy kid!!!

- So if ever you are in Japan and only have a day to toy-hunt, Nakano Broadway is the place. Just remember the train stations or you might end up somewhere else and end up asking for directions to a Japanese local that knows little English. Good luck with that.

i just had to take a picture, hehe

- " the king"

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