I’ve been back from Japan for a week now- I should have posted this sooner but I didn’t…
As I mentioned in my last post, I had a couple of days to explore Tokyo last week, and I knew in advance that one of the things I was going to do was try and find a place that sold Pullips. Partly just to look, and partly because I’ve been wanting a Pullip for a while now and actually had the money to buy one so I thought I’d look for the one I’d fallen most in love with.
I looked up a couple of places online before exploration so I’d have an idea of where to go. The most promising places looked like Radio Kaikan in Akihabara, and Kiddyland in Harajuku. I was planning on going to both Akihabara and Harajuku anyway, so I was quite happy to check them both out.
I went to Akihabara first because it was closest to where I was staying, and actually had quite a bit of trouble finding Radio Kaikan, not because it’s particularly difficult to get to (you can totally see it from the train station assuming you exit in the right direction) but because I have no sense of direction at all and had no real way to check where I was going since my cellular data wasn’t working (I exited the station in the wrong direction). That was okay, though, because as I said, I wanted to explore Akihabara anyway and really enjoyed the things I got to see. I got to see lots of other anime figures and things as well, and discovered a shop that was selling lots of different Nendoroids and things. (Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures inside stores anywhere, because they all had signs posted forbidding photography and I’m a goody two-shoes who isn’t going to break the rules, but believe me- all of Akihabara was a doll and figure collector’s wonderland!)
Eventually I decided to try going out the other side of the station, and lo and behold, I found Radio Kaikan in less than a minute! I enjoyed exploring my way up through the different shops on each floor, but began to get discouraged that I had been led astray in my Pullip hunt. I kept going, though, and found it- a shop apparently dedicated to doll collectors! They had everything- a few Blythes, Azone Little Fairies, Obitsu bodies, doll clothes, and the very thing I was searching for- Pullips! I’d never actually seen a Pullip in person before this, so just getting to witness them was really neat. I was honestly quite convinced they weren’t going to have my girl, but to my surprise and delight, they did- Pullip Akemi! She came with me immediately! They had a pretty wide variety of Pullips and Taeyangs from the past few years, and even had several Pullip, Dal and Taeyang MIO kits and supplies (eye chips, wigs, etc).
I did end up going to Kiddyland in Harajuku as well, because who can resist! They had far less Pullips overall, mostly just the Sailor Moon ones, but they were fun to look at, as were the other toys and things! (Lots of Licca-chans!)
The next day was my last full day in Japan and I still had a decent amount of money set aside for souvenirs for myself, so I decided to explore some more and see what I could see. I ended up at Nakano Broadway, which I had been told was becoming the new center for Anime merchandise. Honestly I wasn’t too impressed, but it was still fun to look around! That was the only place I saw Monster High dolls my entire trip, and some shops had some neat vintage toys (I saw a Kim Possible doll in one shop).
I ended up back in Akihabara because I had really liked it. I had been eyeballing the Vocaloid Nendoroids, especially Rin Kagamine since she’s my favorite. I know I would feel bad getting Rin without Len, though, since I couldn’t bear to separate them, so I really wanted to find both of them together. I ended up finding several different versions of them, but held out until I found the originals, which I honestly think were the cutest. I also love that one of their face plates is blank for creating your own expressions, since I love customizing toys anyway! I haven’t done anything with these yet but I will eventually for sure!
I also ended up swinging back around to Radio Kaikan. I don’t plan to allow myself to go too crazy with Pullips (partially because I really don’t have the space or money to do so) but there’s two custom Pullips I’d love to do and I know that the MIO kits can be hard to find sometimes, so I picked up the pale skin version for one of the two customs I’d like to do, as well as picking up some boots for her. I think Pullip is an especially suitable doll for the character I’ll be turning her into as this character has two different eye colors depending on circumstances and Pullip’s eye chips allow me to not have to pick one over the other (as I had to do for the EAH doll I did of the same character) so I’m really excited about that! I’ve actually already ordered the eye chips for her as well so those should be coming in within a couple weeks.
I was honestly super nervous about travelling with my Pullip Akemi (who has been named Marty). I asked for advice over at dollymarket as far as packing her for travel and waited to debox her until I got their go-ahead, but everyone seemed to recommend deboxing her and carrying her in my carry-on luggage, so that’s what I did. The Nendoroids also got deboxed and tucked into a ziploc with Lily’s extra doll clothes, and I left the MIO kit in its box since that seemed sturdy and thin. Everything came home just fine. Marty actually spent the long flight from Japan on my lap because I was just so nervous about damaging her, but then she was fine in my backpack on my shorter connecting flight so I think I may have worried a little too much.
So all in all, I came home from Japan with a Licca-chan, a full-stock Pullip and a Pullip MIO, and 2 Nendoroids. I’m super excited for the new companions!