Saturday, April 25, 2009

Road Blogging from Japan: Nakano and Monstock and Soba, oh my!

Kaiju Korner is back in Japan! The big events are just around the corner, starting with Superfestival tomorrow. But there's plenty to do in Tokyo in between shows. First stop on a very rainy day was Nakano Broadway.
Kaiju Korner spotting! (It's OK. One up's boss put it there. ^_^ )

I sold some toys to this dude (Steve Brown) a couple months ago. Check out the yo-yo master's crazy vids on You Tube!
Here's the Broadway yo-yo shop, called Spin Gear:

Hulk Hogan and Big Boy sharing a shelf:

Canine lit 101:

A Rubik's for the genius in the family:

Cosplay is alive and well in Tokyo!

More Hulk Hogan. The dude is everywhere!

This is something interesting I saw a lot today. Discount stickers on toys. For years and years, Japanese toy shops used to keep their toys at the same price, whether or not they sold. Then you started seeing prices reduced. Now you're seeing full-on price slashes. I picked up a nice Ryusei Ninja (see below) for 30% off the original asking price. Never would have seen that last year.

After Broadway, I headed over to Akihabara to get some noise cancelling headphones. Then I went to Itabashi to visit my good friend Isao-san at Monstock. The shop makes one of my favorite minis - Mini Destdon - as well as other cool toys by Hariken and others. Some shots from the shop:

Isao-san brought me over to his new shop, which is also in Itabashi, in a tiny alley around the corner from the station. The new two-floor shop has a small bar on the first floor and gallery/exhibition space on the second. Today was the last day of an exhibition of Atelier's work.
In one of the nooks was this crazy DVD of Soft-Man, featuring the trials and tribulations of a walking ice cream man that is so soft its body totally collapses if anything touches it. Not to worry, Isao-san assured me, Soft-Man's brain is in the cone, so if the body is melted, squished, squashed, or otherwise pulvarized, Soft-Man lives on!
The exhibition also featured prints and drawings:

Mr. TTToys stopped by to visit:
Soft-Man resin pieces! More Monstock figures and gallery store shots:

Next we had dinner at a soba shop. I had some cold soba (a major staple of vegetarians in Japan). Then Isao-san suggested we try this. It's called something like "conuyaku" and is made from po-tay-toes.

The day's loot. I picked up the headphones for a nice 30% off retail. There are some real bargains to be had these days. From the signs all around, it looks like a lot more are in store for Golden Week, which starts next week.

Well, that's all for now. Time to kick back and get ready for Superfestival tomorrow. From the sound of things, it looks like a ton of folks will be converging at the show!


evilrabbit said...

awesome report!
I especially love the shot with all of the pabasu's, I had no idea there were so many.

andy b said...

I think a lot of those are customs. Every time I go in, I see something mind-blowing and ask Isao-san to make sure if it's coming soon or just a one-off. ^_^

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