Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Taipei Toy Shops 2010 redux

The Taiwan toy scene changes pretty quickly. Popular toys come and go, and so do toy shops. So, here's an updated 2010 look at some of the city's main shops. This post is a combination of material from an older post, some revisions and deletions, and some completely new material. I've also added some addresses, phone numbers, and websites. So, here we go...

Taiwan is becoming more and more important in the Asia toy scene. In addition to the yearly Taipei Toy Festival, there are frequent collaborations and exclusives between Taiwanese companies and companies from Japan, Hong Kong, and elsewhere. Plus, Taiwan is the home of some great designers like Mark Chang and BB Birdy.

Many of the best shops are located in the Eastern part of the city. They're all within walking distance of the Ding Hao department store (pictured above). To get there, take the MRT to the Zhongxiao/Dunhua station and get out at exit 11.

Monster Taipei is one of the city's main toy stores. It's located on the 3rd floor of the Ding Hao department store. MT carries all kinds of stuff, from Star Wars to designer toys to a bit of kaiju. The owner of the store, Jen Huang, is also the force behind the Taipei Toy Festival.

Info for Monster Taipei:
Address: Zhong Xiao E. Rd. Sec. 4, No 97, 3F-24C, Taipei, Tawan
Tel: +886-2-2740 2428

Pics from the shop:

On the floor above Monster Taipei is Tin Tin toys, one Taipei's oldest toy stores. They specialize in Japanese toys like Transformers, Kubricks, etc. They're also got a few tin toys and a small amount of vintage Japanese stuff.

Info for Tin Tin:
Phone: +886-2-2776-2990


Beware the fierce guard dog! ^_^ (actually he's super friendly!)

A short distance from Ding Hao is Monster Gear. It's in an alley behind the complex, about three blocks back. Monster Gear is run by the same people who run Monster Taipei. MG is a bit different, as it has more Japanese toys (including some sofubi), tons of Bearbricks, and clothing.

It's also the site of toy and art exhibitions held several times per year. For those who have been toy shopping in Taipei before, MG is in the space previously occupied by Pixie.

Info for Monster Gear:
Phone: +886-2-2771-5700

Some shots of the store:

A couple of minutes' walk from that shop is Hot Dog Toyz. They carry a range of toys and have a ton of small blind boxed series (including a mountain of CI Boys!) Also lots of Bearbricks, US toys (like Spawn, Simpsons, etc) and some Japanese toys, like Bandai kaiju. Pics:

Next, there's Paradise, which is about a minute's walk from Hot Dog. Paradise has grown into one of the premier toy shops in Taiwan and should be a top priority for every toy hunter. The shop, which occupies two floors, has a good variety of Eastern and Western toys. It also has sells exclusive toys, shirts, and other items. Plus it hosts events featuring visiting artists like Joe Ledbetter, Tim Biskup, T9G, and Amanda Visell.

Info for Paradise:
Address: No 17, Lane 187, Sec 1, Dunhua S. Rd, Taipei, Taiwan
Tel: +886-2-2711-2249

In 2010, the shop was completely renovated. Here are some pics of the new look:

Finally we have AES, a relative newcomer on the scene. (I believe they opened in 2009.) This is a very cool store with a classy vibe. They frequently team up with Japanese toy and clothing makers for exclusive releases and hold well-attended signing events. In chats with the friendly staff, I was told that the shop's owner basically sells stuff he likes. So recently the shop has been selling some amazing 12" figures from Hot Toys.

Info for AES:
Address: No 43, Lane 233, Sec 1, Dunhua S. Rd, Da-an District, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Phone: +886-2-8771-7972

Here are some shots of the store. (A lot of the stuff in the cases is for display only.)

Besides toys, Taiwan is well-worth visiting, for its food, museums, tea, food, night markets, desserts, drinks, and food. Soon I'll post shots of some of my favorite things about Taiwan. (Mostly to do with food! :O)


Patrick said...

Do you know if these shops u mentioned sell choro-q? I will b visiting Taipei end Feb 2012 n I hope they r opened.

andy b said...

It's possible. Hot Dog and Paradise, which have a lot of Japanese toys, might have some. You might even try a Toys R Us.

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