We are into the 2nd last day of our Japan trip and our first stop today is Akihabara! This is a pitstop in my Tokyo Toy Plan as it is an area well-known for toys and anime related stuff besides the electronic goods. Akihabara was planned to be an earlier stop but our schedule was re-adjusted by on-site situations. Anyway, Akihabara is a stone’s throw away from Kuramae. 2 stops to Ueno-Okachimachi station on the Oeda Line and then a switch to the JR Line at the Okachimachi station. Akihabara station is just 1 stop from there.
Upon reaching Akihabara, I was able to spot Yodobashi Akiba from the subway platform. Exiting the station revealed the exact scene as I had seen from pictures in my pre-trip research. It was a surreal experience to know that I am finally here! After some quick pictures out the station, I trotted off to that building with the big yellow sign. My intel tells me that that are some toy shops in there! I just had to get on that escalator at the front of the building.
As the escalator was ascending, I was able to see the signs of toys from the many toy posters to my right. Naturally, I turned to the right when I got to the top. What met my eyes brought great joy to me. There in front of me were the life size costumes of Batman and Superman! It was so cool to see the empty Batman cowl. Out came my camera and the results were the following pictures.
It turns out that this display belongs to the adjoining shop called Craftmanship Kotobukiya. Not too sure if it is called the other way round. But this is THE Kotobukiya from those familiar Kotobukiya Star Wars statues I had! Was surprised by my discovery. I had thought that Japanese toy manufacturers were based on the suburbs. Did not expect that they would have a retail outlet here.
Anyway, there are plenty of toys here. You can find Star Wars stuff from Master Replicas, Gentle Giant statues, Sideshow 12″ figures and the usual Hasbro stuff here. Macross 1/48 valkries are also available here. But no Low Viz VF-1A could be spotted. However I am a little happy with that because that will make be stick with my toy targets! Don’t think I would want to cart home a 1/48 valk like my Hong Kong trip! Check out the following pics as I navigated through the shelves here.
There is a good amount of 12″ figures here. Hot Toys stuff can be found here. This is the second place that I have spotted the ED-209. Thankfully I had gotten it! However, most of the Hot Toys figures here are those that are recently released. 12″ kitbash accessories and nude bodies are available here although they are in moderate quantities. Finally got to see the Enterbay Bruce Lee up close as well!
Finally, I caught sight of one of my targets – Hot Toys Superman! Man, they have this figure in plenty here! There were at least 5 boxes on the shelves! And slightly more for Hot Toys Batman. Erm… looks like the Japanese don’t bat an eye to these two figures! Anyway, seeing them made my day. I hesitated to buy the Superman figure for a while as I wondered if I should get it from Blister instead.
And it is so that Mrs SWFToys and I finished the rest of the shop and wandered to the other shops in the building. As we there rather early, most of the shops still had their shutters down. Kaiyodo hobby store occupies the highest floor accessible via escalator. 2nd floor and 3rd floor had other toys shops but were mostly anime related stuff. We did come across this replica weapons store however. This armoury would delight the Counterstrike cosplay fan.
We descended to the first floor via the stairs and found other one other toy shop there. It seems that it was operated by Kotobukiya as well as I shot the pic below on 1F. Lots of Gundam and anime related stuff here. Take your time to enjoy the many display shelves here.
And so I left the building without a single purchase and headed towards Yodobashi Akiba – the next pitstop here. It is only after visiting Yodobashi Akiba that we headed back to the Kotobukiya shop to pick up my Hot Toys Superman. Safer option to buy it now. Blister may run out of it and I will be screwed! On this second trip back, most of the stores had opened. So the best time to reach there would be around 11am local time.