Friday, November 23, 2007

[Reviewed] Something winged, something blue.

Well, it's been a while since I've done a review. I think sometimes I get caught up in the thrill of the hunt, so to speak, such that I forget to go back and look at why I collected what I did.

So today it's Dream Rocket. While when viewing my display cabinet, it becomes apparent that my vinyl-collecting hobby has flowed into several different lines, Dream Rocket is clearly the cornerstone of my collection. The 114-gallon tub of toys says so.

When I began collecting Japanese vinyl, I was taken by Dream Rocket's glossy vinyl that is somehow both lightweight and delightfully chunky at the same time. As someone that collected plastic dinosaurs and lizards for most of his childhood, this kind of standard-size kaiju seems like a perfect fit now that I think about it for a bit. Much less designer toy and more Museum of Natural History.

Gazura is an original kaiju from DR's Monster File series. I believe he is the second sculpt in the series, but I don't know the release timing of the older releases. DR's website has a brief back story for Gazura, involving a battle between Gazura and another monster which was observed by a TV crew. (I can't translate this part so well, so I won't butcher the story in my attempt). There is also a profile of Gazura and some information on the history of this toy:


Underground Kaiju Gazura
Length: 55 meters
Weight: 27,000 tons
Digs through the earth with claws and tusks that are 30 times as hard as diamond.
Special technique of extending its neck to swiftly stab with its tusks.

While Gazura was intended to be an 'orthodox' dinosaur kaiju, there were difficulties in its design. The first design involved three horns emerging from its neck, but it ended up resembling Gabora. After that, a shark kaiju motif was used for its head design. However, this design did not quite have the same impact. Thereafter, a rock kaiju design was used for the tusks and neck gimmick, and the end result was Gazura.

In comparing the design of Gazura to Gumos and Gilmos, the creator first thought it to be a bit weaker, but after seeing the finished product, it looked better than it expected. Although there were points that could have been changed, the creator is glad to have made something with a different appeal.


And I suppose 'different appeal' is perhaps the key term to Gazura. There are not a lot of quadrupedal kaiju in the rosters of new Japanese vinyl. While this does make it nice and easy to store Gazura in plastic bins (unlike those terrible 12-inch+ sculpts), this does cause it to be shelf un-friendly. Secondly, Gazura also draws from a somewhat uninspiring dinosaur-igin. To my inner 6-year-old, it looks most like an Ankylosaur with big elephant tusks. In the dinosaur world, the battle strategy of an Ankylosaur consisted primarily of turtling down into the ground until the attacker became tired, at which point it would turn around and thump them in the nuts with its clubbed tail. From a kaiju-design standpoint, it's kind of funny that the designer of Gazura was preoccupied with its resemblance of Gabora, where I would think the head design and armored shell is much more like Gamera. It's like looking for shapes in clouds, I guess. There are only so many 'cool' animal body parts that one can choose from in building kaiju.

It took me a while to come around, but I finally picked up my first Gazura a couple of months ago from Super7. And, of course, it was one of the store exclusive versions that had been sitting there forever and ever (since 2006, I think). The bag was certainly dusty enough for 2006. This one had been sitting in the 'to buy' list since time immemorial, and I figured the moment was ripe to buy it before it disappeared for good. I've learned THAT lesson before. And there's worse things you can do with $60- like buy puny fight figures. Haha. DINOSAUR WILL EAT YOU.

And then we didn't see Gazura for most of 2007 until Kaiju-Taro issued its first volume of its DR / KT Galaxy series. Done up in a neat, minimalistic Pink Floyd 'Dark Side of the Moon' theme, the sales page featured the cryptic caption of, "The Dark Side of Dream Rocket." Volume 1 consisted of five black Gazura, each painted in a single shade of hot pink, blue, green, purple or orange. Most people, I think, were unimpressed. On my end, I can only assume that each one was produced in fairly limited numbers, because I think most people would not be inclined to make the set. For good measure, I bought two.

The story of Gazura's design, I suppose, sort of ties into my feeling on the sculpt itself. The body of Gazura incorporates beautiful lines and intricate detail into the shell pattern and the sculpted 'fur' on the upper legs. On the other hand, the bullet-shaped head with tusks seems like a whittled down version of something else; now that I've read the story, I guess it was a design compromise. The extending neck is a neat feature, when I guess action features are few and far between on vinyl toys. I do appreciate the dinosaur aesthetic, and it's a really fun toy that looks good in a herd- like a museum diorama.

Given that I'm not completely sold on the sculpt, the paint work really needs to be a major driving factor when I buy a Gazura release. Part of my reason for initially passing on the Super7 Gazura was that the store photo was very small and somewhat overexposed, which betrayed the very subtle blend of green, yellow and blue on the GID vinyl. But having now seen it in person, the blend of green and yellow on the shell works very well with the greenish-tinted GID materials; the light blue spray on Gazura's belly provides a nice point of contrast. The overall verdict? Much better than the photoshop-doctored stock photos would have you believe.

The Galaxy Gazuras were an interesting color choice. As K-T's website will attest, the contrast of matte black (madblack!) and fluorescent colors is beautiful. Beautiful, maybe. A little underwhelming for a Dream Rocket paint scheme? I thought so. And as much as I would love to have a fluorescent rainbow of Gazura, I have a hard time paying $250 for a few spots of color difference. I did buy a couple, however- blue and pink- and as with most Dream Rocket toys, there is more than meets the (camera) eye. In this case, the black vinyl was given a light silver spray over some of the unpainted areas, and the tusks were coated to have an unfinished matte texture (or was the rest of the vinyl sprayed with a glossy coating?). Does raw vinyl have a glossy or matte finish? While, I don't think these stack up well to the last K-T exclusive Gazura (the beautiful King and Queen versions, which I do not have), the colors are simple, but well-executed. I'm excited to see how K-T gives the Galaxy treatment to their other Monster File designs- Volumes 2 through 4? I certainly hope so.

Believe it or not, I began this article when the Galaxy Gazuras were released, and it's taken me this long to finish. I always think that I over-think writing these reviews, which isn't really good for production time. Anyway, hopefully I can get more posts together a bit more expediently. Maybe another before Christmas?

DR/KT Galaxy Gazura (blue).

Super 7 exclusive Gazura.

DR/KT Galaxy Gazura (pink).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

[NotLivefromTokyo] Epilogue

So, having been able to successfully bring my kaiju purchases back through customs without being detained for unlawful monster importation, I am back at my computer in Hawaii. Believe it or not, I was worried that I'd get stopped in re-entry- not for fear that I was bringing in illicit products, but that I would have to go through that horrible, long explanation about what these toys are, to which the inevitable response is, "Oh, like Kikaida." And then I die a little inside. Yes, Kikaida.

Given the time to reflect on my trip, these are my final thoughts.

If I were to make two observations about the secondhand toy scene in Tokyo, based on this trip, it would be the following points. First, there is far less 'neo-kaiju' and 'fight figure' merchandise available than you would be led to believe. And what is out there is priced comparably to the items selling on Yahoo JP auctions- in fact, the auctions often end in better prices. Second, after basking in the lush fumes of vintage vinyl, I think I finally 'get' the allure of vintage pieces. To me, it is not so much the fact that these pieces have survived for 30 years through parental purges and environmental conditions, but that the vinyl and spray colors are incredibly vibrant, raw and alive- in contrast to my expectations on these 'dirty toys.' In comparison, the reissue or neo-kaiju pieces seem almost too clean and sleek. There is something about seeing a bright robin's-egg blue or woody forest green with a bit of a paint worn away and some flesh-colored vinyl peeking through that cannot be captured by new paint and molding techniques. Vintage pieces have a bit of the old soul that I think must first been seen and appreciated, before one can have proper perspective on the modern revival of Japanese vinyl.

So what kind of damage did I do to my bank account while in Tokyo. I think I was fairly conservative, but you be the judge on that:

1. (Nakano Broadway / And Toy) Shikaruna Koubo - Garumega (1st ver.).

Easily my favorite purchase on the trip, Shikaruna has sold me on their mega-size kaiju toys. Unfortunate for my storage space.

2. (Shibuya Mandarake) Nakayoshi x Dream Rocket x Shonen Kikaku - Astromons (unpainted).

I was on the fence about this one, but I'm glad I bought it in the end. I do love my blanks- especially the ones that are also prototypes. Not pictured, but I picked up a B-Club reissue of the Bullmark Antlar- at apx. $20, I HAD to.

3. (Nakano Broadway / Bow Wow) Butanohana 'Squishy' Pachycephalosaurus.

It's soft and squishy.

4. (Nakano Broadway / Robot Robot) Ark - Toragiras (from Iron King).

And so begins my foray into vintage pieces. I hope I can limit it to stuff from Ark and Orange. I really like their look. ....I already bought Dojira from Ark's Iron King line. Technically, I now have all three pieces that were released in that set.

[LivefromTokyo] Wednesday & Thursday Roundup: Akihabara and Nakano (again)

Akihabara / Toy's Golden Age / Liberty Hobby:

Although I've been to Akihabara a number of times in the past, my objectives on this visit were Akihabara Mandarake and Toy's Golden Age.

A note for anyone visiting Japan soon: Mandarake is no longer at its old location in Akihabara. In fact, I suspect that it is not in the area at all. The entire block in which was formerly home to Mandarake is now cordoned off by a big, white construction fence- oh and the buildings were completely demolished. The various signs along the fence gave no indication as to where the store may have relocated to, and the construction guard told us that it was on the other side of the block (he was wrong). So, where is the Akihabara Mandarake? I don't know, and apparently nobody there does either.

A long walk down Chuo Doori brought me to Toy's Golden Age- probably the toy store furthest from Akihabara station. While there was an excellent selection of vintage toys- and a healthy assortment of trading figures, mecha, tokusatsu and sentai goodies- the prices are just reasonable and there was nothing drool-inducing for me. A solid toy store, but I think Moja-Q and Liberty are much more interesting stops overall. Incidentally, I just bought a Bear Model Pinya from Toy's; it is sort of a strange experience to visit the brick-and-mortar location of a Yahoo Japan auction store. I'm sure this experience will repeat itself when I visit Super7 one day- and see my hold box.

Right next door to Toy's is Liberty's hobby location. Now, Tokyo Underground really downplays the significance of this store- labeling it a stockhouse of new and semi-new items at fair to high prices. This is really not the case, and I would go so far as to say that Liberty was one of the best overall toy stores that I have visited in Tokyo. Except when I was robbed of my Magnemo Machine-Saurer. I'll get to that soon.

On the first floor is the GOOD stuff, all in glass cases and very neatly arranged. Probably the polar opposite of Moja-Q. At first glance, I dismissed it as merely a display of the latest and greatest- but, BUT, if you look very closely, there is vintage stuff in abundance, with some very desirable pieces at solid prices. A whole row of cases is filled with Transformers, Machine Robo, Microman and Diaclone vintage items- on the tops of the cases are 5-10 year old mecha toys. I guess they were not case-worthy. Amazingly, they had carded versions of the original 3 Armored Core for just a bit above original retail- the Zio-Matrix core is pretty rare and can fetch high prices on-card. Also of interest was a row of old Virtual-On toys (the fragile ones made by Kaiyodo). I would have probably bought a few of them, if I didn't already have the entire Armored Core toy line in duplicate. Heheh.

Now, on my first pass by the Microman case, I saw a boxed Magnemo Machine-Saurer sitting at the bottom of the case for JPY 10,000. This is low for that piece, almost too low. I pondered picking it up as I circled the last row of cases. But when I came back to that case, IT WAS GONE? WTFFFF. I looked up at the counter, and there was some Japanese dude opening the box and inspecting the pieces. I tried to watch him without being obvious, so I could get an idea of how complete the toy was without going through the brain damage of counting each missile myself. But, dammit, wouldn't you know it? He bought it. The lesson of the day was, if you see it, want it and can afford it, BUY IT NOW.

The upper levels of the store have floors dedicated to sentai, Kamen Rider, general tokusatsu and some kaiju; Gundam and assorted mecha toys and trading figures; girly-stuff; American toys (again, some amazing things from back in the day- who knew?) and other varied trading figures and urban vinyl. All-in-all, this is a very satisfying store to browse, and I think I must have spent an hour or more in there. But I'm still bitter about the Machine-Saurer. Robbed, I tells ya.

On the way back to the station, I made the obligatory stop in Rajio Kaikan. Volks has a new storefront, which was completely renovated since the last time I was there in 2005. There are beautiful displays of completed models along the walls, including mecha figures of their new Total Eclipse line. I will have to pick up the two that are being released at the end of this month- the articulation, construction and paint applications on these figures are just incredible. Pretty much the closest thing you can have to a pre-built, professionally airbrushed model kit.

re:Nakano / Moja-Q / Nakano Broadway:

On my third pass by Moja-Q the gates of heaven finally opened; I walked up the stairs to the store and noticed that the door was ajar. Joy!

This is probably the narrowest store that you will ever visit (maybe not if you live in Japan). If you have a backpack, shopping bags, unsightly back growths or a greater-than-38 size waist, it is recommended that you leave those outside with non-toy-buying friends. It's not really that the store is that small, as much as it is packed to the gills with every sort of toy issued prior to 1990. TO THE RIGHT, we have cases packed with newer kaiju (and some neo-kaiju!), Microman, Diaclone, Transformers, and all other manners of super robot and die-cast insanity. I saw no less than 3 BOXED Metroplexeses Tetris-stacked into the corner of the store. The most amazing part of this store, however, is that his robot prices seem to have stopped in the mid-90s. Boxed Transformers were going for a little under $70, which is ridiculous given the prices that those things fetch on auction sites. Alas, there was nothing I was searching for (no boxed Build-Gattai, Computron or King Poseidon).

The proprietor of Moja-Q is sort of given a tiny selling-cave to the left of the door. Given that no other human being walked through those doors for the entire time that I was in there, it became a little uncomfortable to be in a 100 square foot store with a strange, silent man. (Do not look him directly in the eyes, else you will be transformed into a small, vinyl flying-pose figure.) Speaking of flying-pose figures, the case directly in front of the register is filled with a couple hundred tokusatsu and kaijin mini figures. Amazing. I even saw a couple of the ultra-rare and ultra-expensive Barom-One toys in that case. The fish kaijin figure was really beautiful, but I couldn't blow $350 on a mini-figure.

The store curves back in an L-shape, and in the armpit of the "L," a dark case houses a small army of loose die-cast and robot toys. Interesting, but nothing extremely desirable. Finally, the tip of the "L" holds the gold; vintage vinyl ecstasy. I can't remember the names of all of the toys that were in the case, but it was among the best, if not THE best assortment of vintage vinyl that I saw on this trip. I was tempted by a well-priced Thunder-gei, but decided against it. All around the vinyl, the owner had piled all sorts of toys from various years- it was as if he ran out of space on the shelves, but didn't stop buying. Old model kits covered the tops of all of the cabinets.

Of all the stores in Tokyo, Moja-Q was without a doubt the most impressive toy store that I have ever seen bar-none. It had the killer combination of great prices, crowded vintage store aesthetic, and a ridiculous selection of toys that covered up the floors, walls and ceilings like kudzu on a vacant field. Creepy glasses-dude, I salute you.


Ok, so I went back to Robot Robot. The first time I went there, there was a big, juicy Shikaruna -Koubo Marine Kong sitting in its front case. When I came back today, it was freakin' gone. Bastards! However, I did pick up two old Ark vinyl toys in its case for about $35 a pop. Score.

Robot Robot is a bit odd in the sense that it has three locations, only one of which is manned. The manned front is a store that sells primarily 90s American toys. While this theme may seem sort of ho-hum in a location packed with vintage Japanese toys, it was sort of cool to walk through a store where the shelves looked JUST LIKE the Kay-Bee Toys from when I was 10. Carded Ninja Turtles, vintage My Little Pony- I think they even had those terrible Crash Test Dummy and COPS toys that nobody bought. So that's where they all went! The other two are smaller satellite shops that have vintage stuff.

The last time I went back to Nakano Broadway, I guess a couple of stores had opened, when they were closed the first time around. Bow Wow is definitely worth a gander, as it has a small arc of cube-shelves packed with the newest show releases at only slightly-elevated prices.


So that's about it for my whirlwind trip to Japan- while it was short, it was nice to get away from the office. I think I managed to pack in my stops pretty well, too. Sorry there were not more 'weird food' or 'Engrish' photos, as people seem wont to take when they are abroad in Asian countries.

Keep watching for one more entry on Tokyo...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

[LivefromTokyo!] Nakano, Koenji and Shibuya

Nakano killed me on Tuesday, so I skipped a day (disregard the below post) in favor of a mega-double post this morning. It's about 5:45 a.m., so I have a while before anything happens. I'm up early because I have no sleeping schedule; some people might have a crazy sleeping schedule, but I just do not have one at all. I sleep when I can.

NOTE: This was actually written post-trip... about a week afterward.

Nakano / Nakano Broadway:

Nakano is an easy district to navigate, provided that you are only looking for Nakano Broadway. Once you get outside the train station, the Sun Mall entrance is visible; just follow the enclosed pathway to the mouth of the beast.

There are restaurants and various shops along the way. I ate at the Katsuya shop (various fried Japanese things). Mildly recommended.

Right before you enter Broadway, take a left and you will be in front of the narrow entrance of Moja-Q. Unfortunately, it was closed on this day, and I did not take a picture. I saw a couple of 30-somethings looking forlornly at the entrance. Maybe they were actually looking at the real estate office next door. I like to pretend that normal people like the same things I do.

Once inside Broadway, there are also a number of random shops along the first floor. One that may be of interest is called "Boogie-Man." There were a few vintage and new vinyl pieces scattered throughout its cases; on the whole, they were overpriced in my opinion.

The majority of the stores of interest are scattered throughout the second and third floors. First, if you are a morning person, be warned: nothing here opens before 11:30 a.m. Get there any earlier and you will have a long few hours of staring at shuttered shop fronts. Second, my interests are primarily vintage mecha with a smattering of newer kaiju (the M1Go, Marmit, Bear Model, etc. stuff), so I may have failed to have been properly impressed by all of the vintage schwag to be had at Broadway. Finally, yes, everything you have heard about Broadway is true. There are things here to make you mouth water and your wallet melt.

On the second floor, you will probably want to check out Mandarake New Special first. This one has primarily vintage and newer kaiju, 12-inch stuff, and the robot stuff from the 70s and 80s (Microman, Transformers, Machine Robo, assorted sentai and tokusatsu stuff). Throughout your browsing experience,the store speakers blast a medley of anime themes in continuous loop- including a particularly shrill and insane version of the L-Gaim opening song. I caught a couple of guys humming along to the G Gundam theme. I'm not sure I could deal with the same 12 anime songs for 8 hours a day if I were one of the clerks.

The vinyl selection in this store is pretty good, and there were several pieces that I probably would have picked up, had space not been a concern (read: they were humongous). The robot wares were kind of pricey in my opinion, and there was nothing particularly rare to be found. As a note, this was probably the best-organized Mandarake store that I've seen; everything is neatly placed in long rows of glass cases. (On another note: I think I am becoming jaded.)

Also notable on the second floor: an antique store. I don't remember the name, but it was the largest 'general antique and vintage' store in the mall. The shelves are very closely placed together, making navigating the store a pain, but there are some very interesting things in several of the cases. I think I saw a vintage Thunder-gei in one of the lower shelves- neat!

After finishing up in Mandarake New Special, run up to the third floor to check out Mandarake Special 3. If you are wondering, there is no "Special 2," so do not waste your time trying to figure out where it is. To me, Special 3 was much more interesting than New Special. There is nothing mind-blowing (well, that depends on your perspective), but some of the stuff in there is straight-up amazing. I think I saw the 80s travel edition of Hungry Hungry Hippos stuffed down on a lower shelf. There was also a bunch of out-of-print MSiA Gundam for sale at bargain prices. Woo woo! Oh, and there are some neo kaiju in the back case. But who collects those? Dun dun dunnnn.

In terms of newer vinyl, And Toy and One-Up also have their stores on the third floor. One-up had more of the HK and western-style items, but there was a nice display of newer Blobpus in their case. I was disappointed not to see the Halloween Docross there. Perhaps it had been sold. Andtoy does not appear to be in the "Tokyo Underground" book, but it is on the corner next to one of the staircases. Of note were the several Shikaruna Koubo items in its case; I bought a Galmega (yes, the rare 2007 Wonderfestival version). You know what's not fun? Buying Galmega and carrying it around like a rock in your backpack for the rest of the day.

Finally, Robot Robot rounded out the vintage shops on the third floor. There were some really nice things in its cases (which I may return to purchase if time permits). Mostly vintage vinyl and robots. Near Robot Robot, there was a store that had a great selection of vintage vinyl- and a couple of Amapro test shots in flesh-colored vinyl. Yours for only $450.

To reiterate my earlier opinion, Nakano Broadway is a must, must see if you are into vintage toys. I was slightly disappointed, however, that the neo-kaiju stuff was few and far between. But, a minor gripe.

Koenji / Godzilla-ya & Ichibanboshi:

Long story short, both stores have hours that apparently do not include being open on Tuesdays. This was sort of a disappointing trip, but very interesting to see the neighborhood. Koenji is a beautiful, quiet neighborhood in the midst of Tokyo, which somehow maintains a small-town atmosphere. I have heard someone say that Koenji would be their choice of location should they ever move to Japan. I would say that I am inclined to agree.

Oh, and we had to help a motorcycle postal guy that hit/snagged a fence with his bike.

Sorry, I did not make the trek to Thrash-Out.

Shibuya / Mandarake:

As chaotic as the Nakano Mandarake was, this one made it seem downright tidy.

First, we got lost trying to find the Mandarake. Not to blame the book, but I think something is a bit off about Tokyo Underground, because we were shunted up a side street, and had to make a few turns before being plopped in front of the stairway to chaos.

I heard about the stairway down to Mandarake before, but it was really much less of an exaggeration than I had thought. I think it is literally about four flights of stairs, each with flashing strobe lights (hopefully at a frequency low enough to avoid seizures) and various porno-game/anime posters at each landing. There are toys down here- really.

Most of the items of interest are at the rear cavern of the store, although there is a patchi-kaiju case in the middle of the floor, past a few bookshelves upon entering. I think there was a clear Bemon and bunch of Hukkokudo stuff. All Mandarakes have also had numerous posters pumping the Blobpus and Longneck store exclusives that will be released at the end of this month- I wonder how many people will be willing to go out to Nagoya for this.

At the rear of the store is a wall of wood-and-glass display cases filled with vintage and not-so-vintage kaiju, die-cast, Transformers, Henshin, and other usual vintage store fare. These are the cases that are pictured in the Tokyo Underground photo of Shibuya Mandarake. However, equally if perhaps not more interesting are the 'random shit' shelves that run in aisles perpendicular to the display case wall. A whole row is devoted to mecha and 12-inch merchandise- nothing older than 10-15 years- but a very good way to find some obscure items at reasonable prices. I found a Cyborg99 2-pack, priced at JPY 6800, wedged in between some other dolls in the 12-inch section.

In the end, I bought an unpainted orange test-shot (?) Astromons from one of the glass cases. This particular piece was designed by Nakayoshi and produced by Dream Rocket and Shonen Kikaku, which makes a test-shot (if this is the case) an interesting facet to my Dream Rocket collection.

Next: Akihabara and the triumphant return to Nakano!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Random Bitchy Post.

To wackyfunshop of eBay. You are welcome for the picture of Beetlar. I am glad you asked my permission first. Except wait, you didn't.

Link to auction.

My photo:

I hate to sound like such a grump about this, but if you are going to use my pictures- especially to SELL YOUR OWN ITEMS- please e-mail me first. And if you are not going to e-mail me, please do not crop out my mark when you steal my photos.

I didn't think this would end up being an issue- and frankly I'm a bit flattered. But I don't take these photos to help you market your toys. Unless I am getting an unexpected cut of the proceeds. Am I?


(P.S. You are more than welcome to use my photos, however, if you just using them for informational purposes (e.g., archiving, forum questions, etc.).)

Monday, November 5, 2007

[LivefromTokyo!] I'm here.

It's about 3:50 a.m. HT (10:50 p.m. JPT), and I'm trying desperately to stay up for another hour or so, but I'm so damn tired. I think I'm watching Japanese track racing on TV... you know, the kind with cars. I just downed a glass of Airborne-spiked tap water so I don't die. But tomorrow, I hit up Nakano, so it's all good.

This is a shot of the scenery outside my 36th story hotel room window. Large cities, Tokyo in particular, are always fascinating to me. There's sort of an alien beauty in a nighttime cityscape with various bits of light here and there, and the trickle of traffic down the various streets and highways. It's incredible to look out at the buildings and realize that in each one of the lit rooms, there is probably a person with their own life and story; that each building was built and planned over a span of 40-50 years to form the collective structure of Tokyo city. It's like the gradual erosion that created the Grand Canyon, but in reverse, and I suppose, a little faster. I guess I'm sort of a night hawk.

Snapped this crummy photo of the shopping center beneath my hotel. Sleek and modern- apparently it was built only about 10 years ago. There is also a Toys R Us. I am so going there. Gundam toys at Japanese retail. Yes, please.

I was poking around in a market after dinner and found this on an end cap. Bacon flavored bread?? Holy shit. The world must know.

Ok, one more hour then the sweet release of sleep.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Tokyo What?!!

Headed out for a short trip to Tokyo. I have my trusty copy of Tokyo Underground, and I plan to hit as many of the shops as I can squeeze in.

Keep watching this spot for daily posts. I'll try to do something substantive, but you know me. I'm lazy.