Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Japan 2013 Toy Car Shopping

I have friends telling me that they would like to go hunting toy cars with me in Japan one day. I can do that according to your schedule if you can buy me a ticket to Japan (strictly Singapore Airlines). Jokes aside, I need to check my own working schedule too because I have my own commitments in life. For the shopping trip this year, Ken Box messed up my schedule totally because they cancelled their Omocha Carnival at the very last minute. I don't have the luxury to amend my schedule for the Wonderland Market 2 weeks later because all flights were full. I planned my trip 3 days before my flight which I took 3 weeks in advance for the previous one. For Ken Box, I was a little reluctant to go to because I had a hard time on my trip last year as I spend 30 minutes looking for them. I am not spared again this time because they shifted to another location. I had tough luck with Ken Box all the time.

If you are really into rare variants or looking for a particular model of a Tomica, Ken Box is a shop you will not want to miss. They arrange all the Tomica according to series and Tomica serial number. The range is just too wide to be true.

You will be able to find Tomica issued by various minicar shops in Japan.

You also find Tomica from the vintage black & yellow box of the regular domestic series.

Besides Tomica, you will also find other brands such as Diapets or Eidai etc.

I bought some Tomica in Ken Box but what made me excited are the 4 Korean toy cars I bought. I can hardly find these in eBay and I don't think I seen the 3 of the models in eBay in recent years. I think the Korean toy cars made me more excited over the Tomica I bought. The most satisfying purchase for the trip. I will do a posting on them soon if I have the time to do so.

Since Minicar-TMT is not too far away from Shu-Stock, we will check what this shop has to offer.

You will be disappointed if you are looking for Tomica because only a few pieces are available only. They have lesser toy cars as compared to my last visit in 2010.

There is a good range of Tomica Dandy and basically vintage toy cars from the 70s to 80s.

There is also a good range of Yonezawa Diapet but I didn't find the cars I need for my collection. We headed to Shu-Stock next after Minicar-TMT. I am surprise that I did not flash my wallet here because we will spend a few hundred dollars on every shop we visit usually.

Because we score almost nothing (well, my friend bought something) in TMT, we are looking very much forward to Shu-Stock because we know there will always be something waiting for us to bring back.

As usual, we were fascinated by the range of Tomica Shu-Stock has to offer. Honest opinion, there are lesser stuff to buy comparing to previous visits. Since the carnival is cancelled, I will spend my money in Shu-Stock. Apologies for the poor photos taken in Shu-Stock.
These are just tip of the iceberg. I managed to fill up 2 basket full of Tomica and toy cars of all ranges from 500~5000yen. Finally, I ended up paying more than a grand in a single shop. Felt good and painful at the same time.

You can actually see Minicar Global from the train station and it is a shop which requires least walking.

I bought a couple of Yonezawa Diapet here. Besides Tomica, Diapet started to grow in my collection.

Tomica are sold on consignment basis. This is also a shop I love to visit as you might find some bargains if you are not concern on the condition.
There is a wide range of Tomica Dandy in Global.

Time to make final payment and move to next destination, Gulliver.

After greeting Nakata San, we dash off to the cabinets of toy cars which are under consignment basis.

I am actually looking for Cherica (by Yonezawa) as there were abundant of them when I visited in 2010. There were almost gone in 2012 and I hardly see any this trip. I bought many Tomica instead.

II ADO is one of my favourite shop because you never know what you will expect to find. Good for collectors who collect all brands of toy cars.

Although it is a small shop but we spend more than an hour or two in II ADO.
If you are into Tomica only, you will be disappointed in II ADO because they have just one cabinet full of them only. I did not buy many Tomica here as I converted my cash into Diapet.

You have to keep your eyes open most of the time as cars are just all over. Ask for assistance if required once you found something you need.

You can find almost any brands here. You name it and they have it. I even saw 2 Mandarin in one of the cabinet.

After 1.5 hours of shopping, I bought many Tomica and Diapet. I am always satisfied with Diapet shopping in II ADO because there are always so many to choose from here.

I bet many collectors especially friends from Indonesia buy from CREAmart. We travelled out of Tokyo to Saitama Prefecture specially to this shop to check it out. This is for all of you who bought from CREAmart. We travel almost an hour from Tokyo to Kawagoe and I use my instinct to walk to the building where CREAmart resides. I am astonished that I managed to find CREAmart in no time without using my google map and this is the first time I visit them.

CREAmart found and it's on the 3rd level.
CREAmart is a small shop that you might bump into the cabinet behind you if you have a big ass like me. The online shop looks larger than the physical shop.

Besides Tomica, there are also other toy cars available for sale.

Small numbers of Tomica are found in almost every cabinet. I spoke to the shop owners, a friendly couple, in their early 30s. They hardly speak a word of English and my Japanese is as good as their English but they are very friendly and helpful people. I managed to get the stuff for a friend who requires some TL in his collection.

I found another item for another friend also my boss from Let's Play. Price is 12,800yen for this pumpkin carriage which is way over boss's budget. I am happy that I did not buy this or boss will snap my neck without mercy. If I were to come to this shop again, I must look for places or toy cars shops interesting enough in Saitama before making another trip. My new year resolution for 2014, visit Japan again!

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