My wife’s family loves to travel. Every year they have their favorite destinations that they like to visit, and for the past few years, Japan has been their regular November getaway. After a couple of missed opportunities, my wife and I were finally able to join them last year. It was my first real visit to Japan (not counting a short stopover many many many years ago) and was amazing! So amazing that I knew that we would have to come back one day.
Fast forward a year later and we were fortunate enough to be able to join their 2017 Japanese adventure. There was so much to look forward to, aside from the wonderfully cold weather, the fantastic food and of course travelling with my own little family, I was ready to see what new toys I could find and add to the toy shelf.
Last year, I had no idea what to expect, to say I was overwhelmed with what I found would be an understatement. All I had to go by was this well written blog post guide to toy stores in Tokyo shared to me by my friend before I left. I made sure to check out as many stores as I could mentioned on the post and I pretty much found at least one thing or two in each of them.
If you go through my posts of last year’s haul you can see that I ended up bringing home a rather mixed bag of toy loot. I had a good idea of what I wanted, but I ended up getting a whole lotta other stuff I had no plans of originally getting. This time around, after a year of getting so much stuff (yeah, despite my resolution to cut down on purchases, I still ended up getting quite a lot), my Japan wishlist was pretty short. I knew exactly what I wanted, I had my desired targets and a plan on where to look for them.
I had 4 main items that I was on the hunt for.
On top of my list were a couple of Bandai Tamashii Nations Star Wars Movie Realization figures. More specifically the Yumi Ashigaru (archer) Stormtrooper and the Teppo Ashigaru Samurai Sandtrooper.
Second was a few Figma figures. Last time I got myself a Figma Skyward Sword Link and was blown away by the quality and detail. I was looking forward to slightly expanding my video game character lineup (like I really need another line to collect!) by getting the Twilight Princess versions of Link as well as Zelda. Samus, the main character from Nintendo’s Metroid series was also on my wishlist. There were two versions that I knew of, the Zero suit version and the fully armored one and I wanted them both. I knew the armored version was a longshot since it was an older release but I was hopeful.
And finally I was on the lookout for a Takara version of Titans Return Blurr. I actually saw this on my last trip but passed on him. This year I ended up getting the vastly superior Takara versions of Hot Rod & Kup and now felt the need to upgrade my Hasbro version of Blurr to match the other two (I know, OC collector problems).
Now most of these were actually available in Manila, but I held off on getting any of them with the hope that I could find them at a cheaper price in Japan.
So there you go. I made the resolve that I would practice major self control this time around and stay on target, no more getting caught up in the moment and overspending. That was the plan...but who am I kidding? How often would I really be in Japan?
Well I guess you know how the rest of this story goes….