For this episode of Mecha Fridays, we explore one of the biggest Gundam stores in Japan that also offers one of the cheapest deals.
Heading to Japan is one of the dreams of any otakus and gamers, not just for being a haven for anything anime and video games, but also a place for great food. Then again you all are going to reason out that you came to Japan just for the otaku stuff, so let’s get to there. The entire RF Team are a bunch of mecha fans so it’s a no-brainer for us to hunt down some of the best places to find great deals for mecha figures and Gunpla. And what’s the best place to find one but at Akihabara in Tokyo, however we will be talking about our adventures in Akihabara in some other time as there is another place that we found a haven for anything Gunpla, and the interesting part is that it’s located in the district of Ikebukuro.
Yamada Denki Electronics Shop & Duty Free is one of the well-known electronic shops that has different branches all over Japan, each floor offers different products ranging from beauty products, electronics, computer parts, appliances and more. One certain branch features a dedicated Gundam store, and when we mean dedicated, it hosts an entire floor filled with anything that is Gundam. Located on the 7th floor of the Yamada Denki Ikabukuro branch, you can find all of the latest and classic Gunplas that you could ever imagine, you can use either an elevator or escalator to access the 7th floor and you know you are in the right place when greeted by a gallery of model kits and giant mobile suits on display, and not mention a series of enormous life-sized Gunpla boxes that you can take photos with.
Each shelf are sorted according to either by Gundam series/franchise or model kit line, for example in one side you can find the Gundam Wing series and then the other one is for the Gundam UC. There are also some displays of newly released figures and kits to give you an idea on how it looks before deciding to purchase as well as a large gallery of popular mobile suits and other custom creations from fans that participated in model kit competitions. Ranging from Free Grades, SDs, HGs, MGs, RGs and Perfect Grades, they all have it from the latest release up to the older variants, you might even spot some of the re-issue vintage model kits from the 80’s and 90’s.
Aside from Gunplas, you can find other Gundam figures on sale, such as the Robot Damashii figures, the new super deformed NX EdgeStyle series and the expensive die-cast Metal Build figures, or you can just grab some Gundam-themed Gashapons as souvenirs for your friends when you get back home. There are also some non-figure merchandise ranging from notebooks to wall clock that you can add to your collection or as your everyday office/school material. Plus, there are kit building materials and tools such as nippers, files and sandpapers to help you a nub-free build, you can even customize them with optional parts that are available for 1/144 and 1/100 scales, then you can color your kits with a wide array of paints with different types so whether you prefer hand painting or air brushing, the store got you covered. Or if you just want to find some reading materials and guide books on Gunplas, the Gundam store also offers them as well as a small collection of manga from serialized Gundam series and spin-offs.
And the best thing in the Gundam Store in Yamada Denki is that the prices are cheaper than its usual retail price from other major stores in Japan. Yes, that’s right, if you think the SRP in Japan is already cheap, you’ll eventually discover that you are getting a great bargain here in this particular Gundam store. And all of the products being sold here are tax-free, meaning there is no additional 8% tax on the items that you purchase, just be sure to present your passport upon purchase. The Ikebukuro branch of Yamada Denki is accessible via train and it is just beside the BIC Camera store, it is not hard to miss with a Gundam sign placed outside the building.
Looking for more Gundam and mecha adventures in Japan? Don’t worry as we got more features to share in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for more on our weekly Mecha Fridays feature.