Gunpla in China

As I mentioned, I’m taking some time to travel around and just step back from things since work finished for me a couple of weeks ago.  Last week I headed to China for four days, mainly in the Shanghai area this time around.  I had the chance to do some looking around, and managed to come across legitimate Gunpla goods in Shanghai.  While China is well known for their… for the lack of a better word, fake goods, I’ve not seen any of the Gunpla kind during my travels in Beijing and Shanghai.  Now, watches, designer goods, movies, and electronics?  Yep, tons of those.  If anything, this time it seems that officials are cracking down on the fake good peddlers, at least around Shanghai, due to the upcoming World Expo.  There wasn’t that many compared to Beijing.  But we’ll leave that be.

I’ve heard that there are some various Asia “gentei” goods out there, and managed to get a couple of snaps while I was there.  For the most part, it looks like they just import the Japanese versions, since they had the clear part runner campaign versions of quite a few kits.

Gunpla in China

Imported from Japan?

MG Wing Gundam Endless Waltz Version (Pearl Coating)

MG Gundam 2.0 Smoked Clear Version (China only?)

HGUC 0 Gundam and Exia clear versions, in one kit

Other than that, there seemed to be a few of the Astray/Seed kits like the depowered Strike Gundam, and such that I believe were convention or expo only releases in Japan. The big suprise to me was the fact that they have a HGUC 0 Gundam and Exia Gundam kit all in one there. If it wasn’t for the fact that they are clear versions, I’d almost pick it up, simply for the fact that it’s admittedly got bad ass box art. The Mechanical Smoked Clear Version of the Gundam 2.0 also is China only, since you can see it has the map of China in the background on the box art. In the long run, I ended up picking up nothing though. Similar to Buster over at Plamo Addiction, I just didn’t want to increase my luggage. The thought that I could have just pawned those versions off on Yahoo Auctions for some quick spending money didn’t hit me till I was on my way to the airport of course…

Overall though, regarding the fake this time around I got to go to Suzhou and old Shanghai, and it’s quite true what they say about the widening gap between the poor and the rich in China.  Prices for Gunpla seemed to be slightly more expensive to 1.5~2 times the price in Japan.  It didn’t seem like they were selling at all as well, as most boxes were quite dusty.  With that said, I get the feeling that it must be more popular in Hong Kong than elsewhere in mainland China.  Still, this is just idle speculation.

But, enough of that, here are some of my favorite shots from the trip for you guys to enjoy.

An American Bum in Tokyo

Well, as those familiar with Japan know, April is the start of the “new year” in Japan, with school, work, and fiscal things all starting anew from April 1st.  Guess it has something to do with Spring right, the cherry blossoms, things coming back to life, etc.  Sometimes it feels really strange to me, despite living here for now over 7(!) years total.  But, when in Rome, do as the Romans do, right?

This year in particular has somewhat of a special significance as well to me, as from April, technically I will be starting on a “new journey” so to say.  I do apologize for the roundabout way of saying it, but technically I’m an American Bum in Tokyo right now.  After working over 3&½ years with my company, economic situations and future prospects have led me (and others in my company) to part ways and go on our own separate paths.  Ahem, short story, I’m unemployed now.  How am I taking it?  Quite well compared to some of my co-workers, but I feel leaving any type of job, no matter the circumstances, whether good or bad (and mine was fairly good) is tough.  The positive side is that I was starting to come to a wall where I was, and this is a good chance to focus on moving forward in my career, and maybe getting a less stressful job.   Due to the nature of things, I’ll leave my unemployment woes at that, but for the time being, I’ve got a lot of free time on my hands while I search for something new.  But before that, small vacation!  I’ll be doing some traveling in Asia and maybe around Japan for the next couple of weeks.

The first thing I’m thinking about is to change things around here.  Obviously this will be a work in progress, but I’m thinking about going with a  brighter theme this time around, while moving some of the more popular categories up top to specific page tabs that I’ll flush out going forward.  Currently just working out things in my head, but will see what happens after I get back from vacation.  On the Gunpla side, I’m going to try and knock out some of the kits that I’ve started and just put aside, as I won’t really be in a position to pick up much Gunpla going forward until I’ve secured new employment, or start doing small things on the side for Gunpla money.  I certainly have plenty of backlog to go, but unless there are some awesome releases going forward, I think my  last purchase will be the Shin-Musha Mk. II for the time being.

Oh, you know how women eat a tub of ice cream when bad things happen?  For Gunplar’s, we just buy  more Gunpla!