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:
Info for Tin Tin:
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:
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
In 2010, the shop was completely renovated. Here are some pics of the new look:
Info for AES:
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.
Address: No 43, Lane 233, Sec 1, Dunhua S. Rd, Da-an District, Taipei 106, Taiwan
Here are some shots of the store. (A lot of the stuff in the cases is for display only.)