No updates on the MG Sniper 2 because I’ve been in Asia for the past week and a half. I had a trip to Hong Kong planned since last November. But once the news about the last days for the 1:1 Gundam in Odaiba Japan came out, the last day was actually a few days after I arrive in Hong Kong. So the wheels started spinning in my head and the wife had always wanted to go to Japan, so we booked a flight and used some points I had from Hilton to book a few nights at the Hilton spitting distance from the giant Gundam. Out trips to Hong Kong are always mule trips. Not that we hide balloons of happy powder in our nether regions; but bring over a ton of hard to get items for our respective parents that both live in Hong Kong. So when we arrived in HK, the first order of business was to drop off the packages, hang out for a little bit, then back to the airport to fly to Japan.
I had been to Japan when I was very young, so I don’t remember shit. Ok, I remember very little. It was the early 80’s; man if I had gotten some cool toys and kept them in mint boxes. Well, learning the railway was a bit of a rough crash course. But enough of that, I’ll have a more detailed blog post later. Lets talk about where money went.
Mitch sent me a message to get some of the Zaku Head capsule toys, said they were at the Gundam Cafe behind the giant Gundam. My first day there was a mad house of people and I was only able to grab stuff from the cafe and the gundam front store. Last day of viewing for the giant Gundam had a HUGE turnout for the final farewell. The wife and I were there in the morning and was able to grab a few things before it really got crowded, well, who am I kidding, it was already damn crowded. Here’s what I managed to grab the first day.
After the second day, the Gundam is fenced off and machines are in place to start the take down process. I didn’t see the Zaku head capsule machine the previous day and told Mitch as much. But when I took another look, there were two of these machines. Apparently in HK, they were selling for double the cost. These were 500 yen pulls. So I ended up grabbing a total of 10. 5 Went to Mitch, and I will keep 3 and put the other two into the SCGMC Raffle. I also dropped by the Gundam Front shop and had a very nice shopping experience in comparison to the previous day. The shop was pretty much empty. So I had plenty of room to look and not feel like a sardine in a can.
I hit up the Yellow Submarine shop in Akihabara and grabbed a ton of option parts that will become masters for an endless supply of resin copies. I also went to the Finisher’s shop in Taito. I chatted with the owner that I had previously communicated with when I ordered paints directly from him. I ended up grabbing 25 bottle of Finisher’s paints. I should be decently stocked for a while. While in Akihabara, we also hit up the Volks shop and I ended up grabbing a scribing pen as well as refilling my supply of Aizu masking tape.
Tokyo was a very short trip, and we could have easily spent another several days in Akihabara alone. So until next time. We fly back to Hong Kong. The wife has a day and a half in HK and is then off with her parents to South Korea. So when she’s gone, I get to wander the shop; which officially begins the third day after getting back to HK. There’s a fascination with Legos. Shops have elaborate displays with lights. Some even sell instructions/sets that they create themselves. Pretty cool stuff just to wander the small shops and see so much Lego. Our “Hard to Find” Lego sets are worth double here in HK. So for those that would like some extra spending money, go out and grab some HTF Lego sets and bring it to Mong Kok Ins Point and see if you can make some extra spending money selling your unopened Lego sets.
My first night of shopping was short. I hit up two of my favorite shops in Mong Kok. RX88 off Fife/Sai Yee and the shop right at the exit of the 4th floor escalator. Here are the displays for those shops.
From RX88, I grab some new hobby saws, they come with plastic handles. As much as I love my hasegawa saw set; having handles is going to be a nice thing. I cannot wait to try them out. I also grab decal sets, mixing jars, mini vices, and some acrylic block displays for use when I take progress pictures.
Around the corner and up 4 flights up the stairs; I pick up more tools, two scribing sets made in Taiwan, some resin kits, masking tape template plates, and some masking templates.
The next day, I met up with Mitch, a fellow TGG that just happens to be in Hong Kong for his sis’s wedding. He got here 2 days before I did, and will be leaving 2 days before I do. So we got to hang out and he took me to some new places that I had never been to before. Here’s a map using the MTR transit lines to show our starting point and the areas we hit in one day.
First stop, Toy Zone on the HK island side in the Tai Koo area. Its hidden in a factory on the 4th floor. They buy and sell used toys and kits. The place is HUGE. And if you have the time, you can find some real treasures hidden here, there, and everywhere.
Mitch drops me off in the resin kit area, and we snap a few quick pictures.
There are shelves to go through. There are a bunch of recasts. There are some old recasts. There are some newer recasts. And most importantly, there are some old originals. I highly recommend just hanging out here and checking stuff out. Along with some good finds, there are also some damn good prices.
Again, some pretty old original kits are here as well as a good number of SD resin gunpla kits. And even a very large and heavy G-sys kit. I thought pretty hard about this one too as I liked the original artwork a long time ago when it was first released – the drawing, not the resin kit version.
I found what looks like an old Jafcon 9 kit from 2000. A bit rich for my blood; but it was tempting for a few seconds.
I found a chibi Gamera that was also on the expensive side. AND it was vinyl. Damn, how old is this kit. Had to pass on it as much as I would have loved to bring that one home. Well, I still have a few days here, I may sneak away and see if it’s still there.
Here are some pictures I took from around the warehouse. As it’s not really a store, but a huge storage space barely big enough for one person to walk through.
There are some P-bandai kits as well as some pretty hard to find stuff. Prices were pretty competitive. Found an old large scale Obi-wan from Kenner. Price is pretty high for the figure too. I bet it could fetch an even higher price here in the States. Hmm.. maybe I should grab this and bring it back. There are some nutty ass star wars fans out there that would probably want this. The Hazel is going to Angel, I snapped a picture of it because Mitch hadn’t seen it before and pointed it out to me. We did a price check on line and didn’t really find many available. It was selling there for about $60 USD which was cheaper than posted prices online. *Snag*
Mitch also came across the Barbatos in the black box. I had seen this before, and Mitch was overly excited. But I’m not too far into IBO, so I just shrugged. He said that the kit is selling there for about $70 USD. Which is over half the original marked price. The shop had a box of them. So both he and I got one. This will go into the SCGMC raffle bin. I also grabbed the 1/100 Gouf Flight Type conversion. This will probably go into my collection of conversion kits. I also believe I found my “RX-78” kit for this year’s SCGMC special theme…
Hags in hand, we head across the harbor to Shum Shui Po(SSP) which is a piracy zone. There is a street that is pretty much lined with toy shops. Some vendors are outside in stalls. And they have TONS of pirated Lego kits selling for 1/4 to 1/8 the price of the legit Lego kit. Crazy. Mitch said that Johnny Law did a sweep and a bunch of shops have hidden their fake Lego wars; but some of the more ballsy shops didn’t care and still had them prominently displayed. These picture were taken last week.
I also found a shop selling Harmony Gold licensed chibi “Robotech” toys. They looked damn cool, and the prices were not bad, but I decided to pass because why support HG. You will find the oddest toys here; ie alcoholic Doraemon.
Along with the KO Lego, there are also creative KO Legos. Case and point, these Chinese Vampire Lego figures. Yeah, I had to get a few. The lady there that sold them to me told me that in a little while, they’ll have the priest to go with the Vamps. Damn, this will have to wait until my next trip then. Here’s what those Vamps look like assembled.
I found some rather large Staypuff marshmellow men figures that were 4 and 2 feet tall. Where are my Ghostbuster super fans for these. I also found some nicely detailed miniature sets of old Hong Kong.
After picking up some kits from SSP, Mitch and I then headed further north to the Yuen Long area. Here are some legit model shops. Hell, one of the shopkeepers looked at the giant NO unicorn kit I was toting and asked about the price and then said that they were not allowed to sell such things. See, HK, isn’t all about KOs, it’s only limited to certain areas and you need to find them. 10-20 years ago, yeah, this was more true with KO being everywhere; but those once easily found KO locations have gone completely legit, and scoff at the mention of KO stuff. *cough*Mong Kok*cough*
We found a resin shop that had a giant Tiefsturmer kit. Mitch and I were too busy snapping pictures and the owner closed up show and ran off before we could ask a question or check out his shop more. It was 6PM, and according to folks that know him, he was most likely on his way to the MK area to do deliveries. I returned another day and the shop wasn’t open. Oh well, next time.
One of the gunpla shops in this area had a stock of the Chinese Bear Guy, and according to Mitch, the prices here were amazing as they were selling outside of this place for at least 3 times. More raffle prizes, I grabbed three of them.
So here is the actual haul from a single day of shopping all over HK with Mitch. Most of this will find its way into the SCGMC 2017 raffle bin. The rest will go to the build or not build private collections.
Earlier today, I returned to the SSP area and couldn’t resist the temptation any more and bought two of the HG “Robotech” Super Deformed toys. I may sell off the Skull leader or just put it into the SCGMC raffle, but Max’s is going into my collection!
I leave Hong Kong this Friday, so while I’m itching to get back to work on the damn Sniper, I’m getting some good tools and kits out here and having a blast not having to work for two weeks!