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.

Photodump – 090809 -edit-

On a completely non-gundam note, I now go off on a tangent, and catch up on the promised photo dump.  For the time being, this a dump and hopefully I’ll get around to labeling things appropiately.  These are all pictures from August, Consisting of pictures from Nagoya, Osaka, Tokyo, and Disney Sea.  All taken with the Pen.  Amazed by the quality, if I knew first hand DSLR’s rocked I would have put down for a Nikon years ago.  Anyways, as always questions and comments are welcome.

— 9/10 Edit —

A brief description of the pictures, unfortunately the gallery plugin for wordpress doesn’t let you put captions, hopefully something they’ll fix in the future. 

In order of

1  2
3  4
5  6  and so on

1 – Nagoya – Outside the station, just a picture of a tall building, I like how the blue and clouds came out for the sky.
2 – Nagoya – Inside the station, outside the ticket gates.  I like how the main corridor has signs set up every 20 meters or so, like you’re going to forget.
3 – Nagoya – Lunch, misonikomi udon, or Udon in Miso stew
4 – Nagoya – Overlooking the tracks from the 12 floor or so of the station building
5 – Osaka – At the English Hub in Namba, good shrimp and fries, not sure on the spice, but very tasty
6 – Osaka – Takoyaki (Octopus balls) stand in Namba
7 – Osaka – Walking down the Sennichimae arcade in Namba
8 – Osaka – At the crossing between Takashimaya and Marui Namba
9 – Fujiidera – A rice field in the middle of the neighborhood.  You see little plots of land like this even in the middle of cities
10 – Osaka –  Just a snapshot of the sky, I think this was at Shin-Osaka station
11 – Tokyo – On the Yurikamome going to the Big Expo, came out really nice despite the fact we’re whizzing along in a curve
12 – Tokyo – Same as the above, liked how the clouds came out
13 – Tokyo Disney Sea – The resort has it’s own train line to connect the two parks and hotels, I love how the handstrap things have Mickey Ears
14 – TDS – Mediterranean Harbor – Love the Venice feel, makes you feel like you’re in Italy, and doesn’t smell as bad! 😉
15 – TDS – Mediterranean Harbor
16 – TDS – Chip and Dale show in the Harbor, they do it 4 times a day during the summer spraying people
17 – TDS – Black Peper Popcorn is hands down the best, screw butter, give me pepper any day
18 – TDS – American Waterfroont with the Tower of Terror in the distance
19 – TDS – I find the cube style for Mickey and Pooh oddly attractive in an artsy way.  I’d put it on my wall but they only sold ladies shirts 😦
20 – TDS – Afternoon show, the Legend of Mythica, pretty damn cool
21 – TDS – Port Discovery in the evening
22 – TDS – A 50 second exposure of the harbor and volcano and all that jazz
23 – TDS – The station, as the picture says 

The State of the Gunpla Union – 062309

Well, after my short vacation to China, it was right back to work, so I’ve not had time to really get back into the kits.   I have indeed finished up the HGUC Hi-nu kit, but I need to finish trimming off some sprue leftovers from the fin funnels, as well as panel line it.  I’m a little delayed on doing this for a variety of reasons.  The ultimate reason, as always is that work is demanding long hours, and so I’m pretty much coming home and sleeping.  The next reason is that I ended up having one of my wisdom teeth pulled this weekend, so I pretty much slept through the weekend and the pain.  Lastly, and for those in Japan, (Buster and GG for sure) we’re in the rainy season, which makes it pretty much a crappy time to even think about top coating or using anything with sprays.

Anyways, I’m fairly back up to speed, but again no top coating anything for a few more weeks at least.  I’ll finish panel lining this week and get the fairly short WIP and pictures up by the weekend.  I had also been building the Zeta Plus kit off and on, and it’s near done, but this is a kit that screams for panel marking, as the pretty much all off-white design aside from the orange is really bland looking. 

For upcoming projects, I’ve got a few ideas of things I want to do, but need to get past the rainy season before I can start experimenting with spray painting again.  So, until then, most likely going to do snap builds of some kits (do a few more of my army of Zaku’s I guess). 

In non-Gundam news, I managed to go see the new Transformers movie (twice!) over the weekend despite the headache induced from ripping teeth from my jaw, and enjoyed it.  As someone said to me, it’s not the most intellectual movie, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying it immensely.  I almost want to look for an Optimus Prime or Jetfire kit, or figure, it’s just that most of the toys out there look like utter crap…  Ah well…

Back to the travel front, having knocked Beijing off my list, I’ve still got to head over to Shanghai, and specifically Hong Kong, but have start looking into trips to Vietnam, Korea  and/or Bangkok.  Figure while I’m here, might as well travel.  The plus side of the crappy economy is that the travel prices have bottomed, so why the hell not.  Any recommendations on places to visit in Asia?

Lastly, some choice shots from my trip to Beijing.  I went to the following places, and had a great time.
Saturday:  Ming’s Tomb, the Great Wall of China, the Palace of Heaven, Sanlitun Bar Street
Sunday: The Summer Palace, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, and the night market at Wangfujiang.

Back from China

Just a quick post to say I’m back from Beijing.  Bit of a whirlwind trip, but definitely worth it.  Not Gundam related but will post again with some pictures of the trip.  I’m back to work already, so I’ll be jumping on the HGUC Hi-Nu tomorrow I think.  Anyways, here’s a little preview for you.  (Of China that is)