Where to buy TF in Tokyo?

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Stryyder, Oct 11, 2016.

  1. Stryyder

    Stryyder Just another soldier

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    So I'm very excited to be taking my first trip from sunny California to the beautiful land of the rising sun. My wife and I will be taking an 8 day, 6 night trip (time change ftw) this week, touring Tokyo, Kyoto and Mt Fuji. So, of course, I have 2 big missions. 1: Visit 1 or more Pokémon centers; 2: Buy local TFs.

    But therein lies the rub. I know NOTHING about the commercial scene in Japan. Here we have Target, Walmart, TRU. I don't know what they have there. So I figured I'd check here.

    Is there anyone here who has been to Japan, preferably Tokyo, and can tell me some local places that sell Transformers? Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. Thatotherguy

    Thatotherguy Well-Known Member

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    Nakano Broadway is an absolute must visit. That place has shops selling an amazing range of Transformers. My girlfriend was not impressed by how much I spent there :D 
     
  3. Kero

    Kero Well-Known Member

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    Are you looking for vintage or new? I haven't been there for many years, but for vintage you should look at Mandarake stores which specialize in used anime goods. I would go to Nakano Broadway (Chuo line west of Tokyo). For newer ones, Yodobashi or Bic stores, specifically ones that specialize in hobby. Hopefully members that actually live there can chime in.
     
  4. jackisking

    jackisking Yeah, the MP line is soooo dead

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    If your looking for newer transformers try amazon jp you'll have to use a credit card and make a new account but for the newer transformers their prices are either on par with stores or most of the time cheaper.
     
  5. RobotoChan

    RobotoChan Nothing to see here

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    I have picked up plenty of new stuff from the local Yamada Denki. If you have one nearby then check it out.
     
  6. GiganGoji

    GiganGoji Well-Known Member

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    As has been asked before: new figures or older?

    I spent a month in Tokyo this summer, and I can vouch for the following:

    Nakano Broadway is a giant maze of a building - it has only like 4 floors, but it felt like 8. It's full of small shops, but they're packed to the gills with amazing stuff. I was Godzilla hunting more than Transformer hunting, but I saw plenty when I was there.
    Mandarake - Multiple locations throughout Japan. The "Complex" in Akihabara is the largest one I went to, but they also have locations in Nakano Broadway. Another bonus: they're one of the stores where purchasing 5,000 JPY or more gets you tax-free for foreign citizens. (Note: they also have a website that you can order from, and they'll ship to the US. The catch is, the items online are also in the store, so it might sell out in-store before your order processes).
    Yodobashi Camera and Bic Camera - not just cameras. They're the closest to Target/WalMart that I found. Great for new stuff (though one location had a half-dozen Fall of Cybertron Blast-Offs, poor things). They also have the tax-free shopping deal.
    Jungle - I don't remember the exact address, but they have a location in Akihabara. I ended up getting a few (rarer) Transformers from there (at what I considered to be insanely awesome prices), so it's definitely worth a look.
    If you're desperate for newer stuff, there are some other toy-specific stores that can have a large number of figures in stock, but at higher prices, like Yamashiroya by Ueno Station, and Hakuhinkan by the Ginza area.

    I mean, my month visit is nothing compared to forum members who actually live there, but I hope this helps.
     
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  7. Stryyder

    Stryyder Just another soldier

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    This is great information, thanks guys. I'm mostly looking for new stuff, not a lot of vintage. Nakano seems the way to go and also seems like a great place to check out in general.

    Thanks everyone!
     
  8. primalxconvoy

    primalxconvoy グーグル 翻訳は素晴らしいです!

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    For new stuff, especially Headmaster stuff, you might be disappointed. I would try the Akihabara branch of Yodabashi camera, the Ueno shop called "Yamashiroya" (both near their respective stations) and perhaps Odaiba and Ikebukero branches of Toys R Us. Odaiba's "Diver City" also hosts a life sized Gundam.

    However, as I said, be prepared for disappointment. Headmaster stuff has been almost impossible to buy in regular shops, and those that do, even places like Yodabashi Camera and especially Yamashiroya put quite a big mark up compared to Amazon Japan. Amazon Japan though, usually needs a pre-order as soon as it's released for such, lest the scalpers get them and offer them for a more expensive pre-order at the same site. You will also need a Japanese address to send them to. American cards should be fine though.

    Also, Transformers are NOT as popular in Japan as you might think, with most smaller sized toy departments in places like Aeon Mall, Ito Yokado and Seiyu (which is owned by Walmart) only stocking the beginning wave/s of any given TF range before giving up. You'll find more toys when the next Bay film comes out, though, almost anywhere at the start. In Japan, though, power rangers, Gundam, etc are the main toy range, not TFs.

    If you just want to window shop and buy any random tfs you see (for any price), then go ahead. Just don't expect to find a plethora of affordable, brand new TFs on every corner.
     
  9. GiganGoji

    GiganGoji Well-Known Member

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    Nakano might not be the best place for NEW stuff (scalper prices on those) but still worth a look for everything else.

    The Sunshine City TRU was extremely disappointing. Not a lot of shelf space for figures, and very little selection with what they did have (and high prices on top of it all).

    I DID pick up Skullcruncher (or "Skull" rather) at a Yamada location for about 2800 JPY or so, so that was pretty sweet. Was it Shinjuku? I can't quite remember where.
     
  10. jackisking

    jackisking Yeah, the MP line is soooo dead

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    That was probably the best transformer display i saw was at Sunshine city, I went to Yodabashi and Ueno and they had transformers but not really a section. I guess Nakano has cool stuff and is a nice visit but overall I wasn't too impress probably because I'm old enough to remember the toys stores we had in the 80's where it was literally wall to wall with stores. I think the largest one here was Children's palace ....which eventually became a DIY so yeah it was pretty big.
     
  11. byk500

    byk500 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the previous posts about location. A couple of years back I fulfilled my dream and went to Akihabara. food is horrible by the way. I kind of felt like Transformers were on the back burner compared to other genres and I was hard pressed to find a good collection of masterpieces. Honestly, I don't think there is anything out there that you will see that you can't get for a better deal from the online retailers. Akihabara is really more about vintage collecting.
     
  12. GiganGoji

    GiganGoji Well-Known Member

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    Haha, well damn, they must have sold way out and then condensed the section while awaiting new stock. I have more TFs at my local TRU in Washington. I mean, no big deal, since I wasn't looking to buy any - I just wanted to check Japan off my visiting-TRU's-in-other-countries list.
     
  13. jackisking

    jackisking Yeah, the MP line is soooo dead

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    Haha, it probably looked the same. It looked more like an afterthought especially compared to the gundam section next to it. I was going to try to pick up a galvatron but all they had were mps like tracks and hot rod and legends skids and bruticus along with some stuff thrown in the corner. Even at amiami they had only two bruticus and an mp ratchet. The best transformers section was still worse than the worst gundam section which was probably the one I saw at sunshine city. Its why I suggested Amazon, prices were axtually better since tax was already included.
     
  14. primalxconvoy

    primalxconvoy グーグル 翻訳は素晴らしいです!

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    Food isn't horrible in Akiba! There's a Brazilian "Tusco's" bbq place on the side of Yodabashi Camera, while the alleys near Madarake have some great Turkish kebab places. Star Kebab has 1-3 places, including a walk-in place that does good food, and a take away place that does "sushi kebabs" (basically a donner kebab wrapped in nori seaweed).

    If you've ever read the "Otaku Encyclopedia", you should follow it (I'm casual friends with the writer, even though he teaches at Duke now...TARRRHEEEEEELLLLSSSS FIRST IN STATE!).
     
  15. Raiju

    Raiju Kaiju Mod Moderator TFW2005 Supporter

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    This right here.

    Kiddyland and Toys'R'Us will have some of the newer stuff too but each store is a bit of a crap shoot, admittedly. The Kiddyland in Omotesando carries some of the newer stuff. The Yodabashi Akiba in Akihabara is pretty impressive, but definitely check out Nakano Broadway.

    If you do hit up the smaller hobby shops around Tokyo, make sure you ask if the figure(s) you're interested in is either new or used (they're usually marked as such but only in Japanese). Mandarake sells mostly used/secondhand stuff but they're usually in good shape, so keep that in mind if you're expecting new MISB merch (Japanese collectors and stores tend to take care of their figures really well). Happy hunting!

    Dude.... I got hooked on Star Kebab when I was stationed in Korea. Now I have to track down some Star Kebab in Tokyo. :D 

    Yeah, after my wife and I hit up the Tokyo Toy Show this year (to look at the new MP offerings like Inferno, and to pick up some Beast Wars Classics figures along with MP Loudpedal), we took a walk over the long bridge and headed over to Odaiba and Diver City Mall. The big Gundam statue is certainly big in person. :D  Too bad I'm not much of a Gundam fan at all so the nearby Gundam gift shop didn't really appeal to me other than an opportunity for a photo-op. For me, Transformers > Gundam but I know the vast majority of Japanese toy collectors disagree with me there. :lol 

    Transformers just isn't nearly as popular a brand as compared to Gundam. It's why I supplement my toy hunting with HLJ (speaking of which, HLJ just put up preorders for all the 10th Anniversary Movieverse figures). Online shopping is an absolute necessity for TF fans living in Japan as brick and mortar stores sadly just don't have the stock on hand when you go out hunting. I feel Nagoya has better TF stock in their stores than Tokyo (others have said Osaka is better than Tokyo for toy hunters too).
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  16. GiganGoji

    GiganGoji Well-Known Member

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    I picked up a boxed Godzilla figure at one of the Mandarake locations, and they were really good about explaining (in English) that a part on the wing had broken but had since been repaired, and they took it out of the box to show me and asked if I still wanted to purchase it. I really appreciated that.
     
  17. primalxconvoy

    primalxconvoy グーグル 翻訳は素晴らしいです!

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    Yes, most of the smaller shops sell used. There are some "ma and pa" shops in Japan that sell toys and they usually don't reduce the price of they don't sell. The upshoot is that you can find really old toys and they haven't increased the price, either. I've bought first generation, boxed battle beasts for pennies....
     
  18. Kero

    Kero Well-Known Member

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    In case you don't know, 新品 means new and 中古means used
     
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  19. Maz

    Maz Square One TFW2005 Supporter

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  20. primalxconvoy

    primalxconvoy グーグル 翻訳は素晴らしいです!

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