With darkness looming over Harajuku on our 3rd day in Tokyo, Mrs SWFToys and I excused ourselves from the group to make the trip to Nakano. Reason for going there was to visit Mandarake at the Nakano Broadway mall. My other friends do not really have inclination towards toys so it was no real loss to them for not following us. Armed with my pre-trip research on Nakano Broadway, we took the JR Line from Harajuku to Shinjuku before changing to the Sobu Line. Nakano is the 3rd stop from Shinjuku. So the trip was pretty fast.
A word of caution: The subway station names are all in Kanji at some stations(e.g. JR Line stations)! For those with no knowledge of Mandarin, you can still figure it out by locating major stations like Shinjuku, locate the Sobu Line and then counting the stations from there. Another good clue is the name of the station before Nakano(if you are coming from Shinjuku) is called Higashi-Nakano. ‘Higashi’ means ‘east’. Notice the ‘Nakano’ in it? Well, the Kanji is similar to the words used for Nakano station. So you should find 2 consecutive stations with similar Kanji words. Too complicated? Alternatively, ask someone!
When I alighted from the train, I was delighted to see the covered shopping street mentioned in my pre-trip post. Looks like the pics on the Internet provided by other toy collectors paid off as I instantly recognised it. I remembered that I had to get out of the station from the North Exit. Thankfully, there are only 2 exits(North & South) and their locations are clearly labelled on the platform.
So off we went towards the covered shopping street. It was here that Mrs SWFToys commented that I seemed to be ‘walking with a bounce’ which was unlike the way I moved about while waiting for the ladies shop for clothes at Harajuku. Good observation! Anyway, as expected, Nakano Broadway is right at the end of the street. I am at ground zero of Tokyo’s toy mecca!
We took the escalator that was along the way into the mall. It actually took us to the 3rd floor(3F) directly. The above is what we saw. This particular shop is known as ‘Main Store 2’ and specialises in Manga. It was after visiting the 3 stores on 3F that I realised that Mandarake Nakano was not a single store with many floors. It was many stores on 3 floors! Talk about dominating the scene!
I spotted a Max Factory GGGG going for a bargain at one of the Mandarake stores on 3F called ‘Special 3’. Too bad it was not high on my target list or it would had been a good replacement for my CM Corp GGGG. Did I mention I had sold it?
With my toy radar not detecting any potential targets, we tooks the stairs to the 2nd floor. Now, the Mandarake stores here are more applicable to me! I spot some 12″ figures! In the pic above, Tetsujin No.28 in front of the store known as ‘Special 1’. Here you can find Medicom Ultraman and Kamen Riders figures. Of course it has loads of other toys. I took my time enjoying the exhibits… with Mrs SWFToys shortly behind me.
The pair of Kamen Riders ‘The First’ figures look oh so delicious that I contemplated adjusting my target list to get them! But I got a hold of myself after a reminder that it was imperative to find Hot Toys Superman on this trip. Anyway, I took a snap of this duo!
Mandarake operates many stores here with each dedicated to a certain genre. There are stores for audio software, anime DVDs, Doujinshi for men and women, trading cards, art books, anime cels, American toys and many more. Yes, there’s a classification for American Toys!
And it was at this American toy store a.k.a ‘Amazing’ that I found Marmit 12″ Star Wars figures! Imagine my excitement! I spot a Hot Toys ED-209 here as well. The shop is dominated by Star Wars toys from vintage era till present. Sideshow 12″ figures are available in limited quantity as well. Next to the Marmits were Medicom 12″ figures.
There was actually a Medicom EPIII Vader going for half the price back home. I was sure I was getting it until I got it off the shelve only to hear much clunking noises when I tilted the box. No wonder the price. I guess it was back to Marmits.
I picked out Marmit Boba Fett only although I was tempted to get the Sergeant Sandtrooper as well. The Sandtrooper was at a good price too. But I thought about the logistics aspect of transporting it on the way back and decided to be contented with just 1 figure from Mandarake.
There are lots of stuff in these Mandarake shops and bargains are waiting to be spotted. It would be ideal for the toy hunter to linger there as long as possible to go through everything. But alas, that was not to be so for me. I had to meet with the group soon after. And that concluded the pitstop at Nakano Broadway. However, I was not too disappointed. It was a great experience and it felt great to realise what I had planned during pre-trip!
And here is my hunt for today! My second Marmit Boba Fett! And it’s the yellow shoulder version!
Now, the pic below is a real good find while I was exploring 2F. It’s actually a floor plan for all Mandarake shops in Nakano Broadway! I’ve scanned it as the actual size so those heading over there can print a copy as a guide. Enjoy!