An American in Akiba – July 2010 Edition

While July is not over yet, I probably won’t be heading back to Akiba for a while so here is the photos for this month. First off, lets start with our Gundam updates.  As you recall last month, we got a chance to see the O in it’s test form, but this month we get to see the new Deathscythe in it’s completed form.

Deathscythe on display

Deathscythe

Looking at it, I have to say I’m actually a little underwhelmed by it.  Maybe it’s the head, or the colors, but something just doesn’t hit me like it should be.

Next up, Asobit City, which births a lot of awesome kits you see in Dengeki hobby magazine.  While GaiGun and myself were there, they just happened to be doing the RG Gundam.  By the looks of it, the colors seem to be a mix of Okawara colors and FA Gundam Colors.  They also had some really nice looking metallic/extra finish style kits on display that looked amazing.

Building the RG

Musha Gundam Extra Finish Version

Extra Finish Zeta, Quebeley, and Rick Dias

Closeup on the Quebeley

Next up, scouring the back streets to look for cheap gunpla, and in my case, to gawk at my favorite things, the gentei kits.  And this time we found pretty much the everything.

Gunpla going for cheap

Stacks of old kits

Limited kits

Even rarer limited kits

Yet more

That Full Color Plated Version PG Gundam is going for 43,800 yen!

More stuff, including PG Astray’s bonus runners.

PG Gundam Animation Color + Weapons – 19,800 yen

PG Gundam Okawara Colors – 18,800 yen

PG Gundam Casval’s (Char) Use – 25,800 yen

PG G-3 Gundam(!) – 25,800 yen

PG Zeta Gundam Multi-Coating Version – 48,800 yen

MG Zaku II – Tri-star Gaea Use – 34,800 yen(!)

Yeah… that’s a lot of expensive model kits there.  Nearly 500 dollars for some kits.  And I was surprised to find a G-3 PG Gundam.  Needless to say, that one was gone when I went back a couple days after I saw it the first time.   While I did look mainly at Gundam kits this last month, I did swing by Kotobukiya as I wanted to see the Rockman kit.  Unfortunately they had already taken it down and put up the new mini Hoi-hoi-san in it’s place.

Mini Hoi-hoi

Regular Hoi-hoi pimping Kotobukiya

Other than that, I treated myself to a new lens, and am having fun taking pictures of the same places all over again.

Akiba in the day

Akiba at night

A gathering of Ita-sha

Gundam Cafe

And a really tiny car

That’s all for this months addition.  Next up on the plate is a new kit review for HLJ, followed by the revival of the monthly State of the Gunpla Union, which will catch you up on my situation.

An American in Akiba – June 2010 Edition

Welcome to the first post in what I hope to be a monthly posting all about Akiba!  I realize now that I have good reason to go to Akiba once a month, and everytime I go there is always something new to see.  And what’s the point of taking pictures if I’m not going to share?  This new series will of course have some Gundam shots in it, but mainly be about things I find interesting in Akiba.  Still, lets start this post off with some Gundam shots, specifically, The O!

This last weekend GG from Gaijin Gunpla and I got together for our monthly meeting at the Hub, with intents to watch some good soccer and drink lots of alcohol.  Unfortunately, we didn’t quite get to see good soccer, but at least we drank a lot.  Heading over to Yodobashi Akiba afterwords, we found ourselves face to face with this big boy.

Master Grade The O

Yeah… he’s a lot bigger than I thought he’d be.  Weighing in at nearly 700 grams, it looks to be a bulky and hefty kit.  Will be very interested to see how the engineering worked out for it.  In other Gundam news, we also saw the Full Armor Gundam and the HGUC ZZ Gundam on display as well.

MG FA Gundam

HGUC ZZ Gundam

Other than looking at Gundam stuff, one store I always tend to visit is Kotobukiya in the Radio Hall Building.   Kotobukiya tends to have a wide range of otaku goods, including their own line of kits, but one of my favorite things is looking at their movie related items.  In general you’ll see a lot of Star Wars, comic book heroes, and sci-fi goods on display.  These are usually some awesome figures, but I find them better to look at than to think about collecting!

Iron Man Mark 1? Figure

Aliens

Yoda kicking some ass

I also like checking out the back streets of Akiba’s Electric Town.  While not really related to Gundam goods, it’s great for picking up PC parts, memory, and other things.  Plus, maids, kebabs, and general otaku-ness.  So, a few pictures from here and there.

Gamers, next to the station, which is under renovations

Asobit City, which has gradually shrunk into a fraction of what it used to be.  But they sell American games!

Waving from above, a maid tries to attract customers

Heading down the backstreets…

While a short first edition, next month I’m going to try and pick up on some more of my favorite stores, including those that sell used Gunpla kits, including those rare limited ones, as well as pick up on places to get your import (American) game fix.  If there are any requests or theme pick ups for the future, by all means drop a comment and let me know.

Weekend in Akiba

Ran down to Akiba yesterday to hang with a friend who’s heading back home to the states, and took the camera this time around. Spent the down walking around and checking some of the back shops. This will be another picture This time around I found quite a few shops that carry quite a bit of the limited Gunpla from conventions. Of course they also run quite a price.

First off, here’s some of the limited Perfect Grade versions:

PG Gundam “Kunio Okawara Illustration Image Color Version”Akiba

PG Gundam Mark II “Multicoating Version”Akiba

PG Char’s Zaku II “Full Color Coating Version”Akiba

The prices ran about $160 dollars for the Gundam Mk II, up to 300 for the Gundam… yeah, even with %20 off, that’s costly.

Next up, you find a lot of places that have boxes you can rent out, and put stuff you want to sell in them. In a way, it’s quite hard to find what you want though because of just the mass volume of people’s stuff to go through.

Rows and rows of boxesAkiba

Ooh, more limited model kits!Akiba

Display case with all the Gundam Stand ArtAkiba

I also stopped by Yellow Submarine to check out parts. I was tempted to pick up the Pro Hobby Clear Gundam Version 2.0, but unfortunately they were all gone this time around. So here’s some pictures of parts instead.

Akiba

Akiba

Akiba

Here’s some shots from out on the street.

DS Flash cards are still quite available in the back streetsAkiba

The backstreetsAkiba

Super Potato retro shopAkiba

GamersAkiba

Shoppers out in forceAkiba

Also, I realized that I meant to post about shopping in Akiba. These were taken a while back, but just to give you an idea of Gunpla shopping heaven in Yodobashi Camera Akiba, well, just check out the pictures

Akiba

Akiba

Akiba

Akiba

Akiba

Akiba

Akiba

Akiba

Akiba

Akiba

Anyways, I didn’t pick up much, but I will post about that next time.

The State of the Gunpla Union – 073009

This week’s notes, along with a photo dump of various pictures over the last few months.

 First off, the Exia snap-build is done.  This is a kit that would benefit from panel lining, so that’s something to do between Sinanju sessions over the next few weeks. 

exia03

 Quick impressions :

  • Smaller than I thought, but that’s to be expected of anything other than Sinanju.
  • Hologram strip parts are neat, but really don’t stand out from a distance. 
  • The led GN drive is cool. 
  • Don’t really like the feet, while having toe, sole, heel for articulation, they kind of suck. 
  • The bling bling swords really come off nice. 
  • The only problem though is again, Bandai puts the sprue cutting points on the blade, so you get a nice chunk of the finish cut off no matter what you do.  
  •  Also the regular swords (hell if I can remember if it’s GN 1, 2, or whatever) tend to fall off the hands pretty easy.  
  • Lastly, it’s not easy, or even recommended to switch between regular Exia and Repair version, so for those who want both, you’ll have to pick up one standard kit and one ignition kit.  For those who then want both kits to light up, you’ll need two ignition kits.

 Now, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and pose with it just yet though, just finished, so these are just initial impressions.  Still, at the cost for the gimmicks, and weapons alone is well worth it.   Overall, was worth waiting past all the HGUC kits and 1/100 kits for this.   Makes you wonder what’s nexts in the Gundam 00 MG line up, hopefully they do the other Gundam’s before jumping to 00, although I would be interested in an O Gundam.

 Next up, the HGUC Kshatriya has been announced for an October release, but I finally stopped to check out the price.  At around a whopping 4200 yen, this is ringing in as a high baller.  Unfortunately, while the price of the MG line is gradually going up, a majority of the kits have managed to stay in the 3000 to 5000 yen range.  HG kits, as we see here, tend to run the gambit though, which some being available for as low as 300 yen, to 4000 yen plus.  I for one would like to see a little more stability in their lower end model line.  I’d buy the Kshatriya at that price if it was an MG kit, but HG is going to make me pause.

Moving on, the buyer for the remaining HGUC Green Tokyo Project Gundam 30th kit has fallen through from lack of response.  If interested, it’s asking price is $40 US dollars (or 4,000 yen) shipped anywhere in the world.  Please post or mail if interested.

Now for the Sinanju summer project, for the time being, I’m stuck waiting for good weather.  Unfortunately the color I picked is fairly sensitive to humidity, going so far as to have a warning to not spray on humid days.  So the project is going to go fairly slow for a while. 

Lastly, I’d like to do a little photo dump of random pictures taken over the last couple of weeks.  I had thought about making it a separate little trend, but figured I’d tack them on the my State of the Gundam Union posts whenever the pictures have piled up.

Here’s the Gunpla parts shop that Danny Choo mentioned before.  It’s the Yellow Submarine shop in the Radio Kaikan, 4th floor.  Quite a load of parts, so could be good if you wanted to stock up on a variety of weapons, etc.  The prices varied from 200~300 yen to 3000 yen(!).   Planning on hitting it up again this weekend so will try and take more pictures.

 pd01

Yellow Submarine also carries pro shop releases.  They had quite a few of the Mechanical Clear Gundam 2.0 available.  I’m debating picking up one the next time I go.  The only problem is that Pro Shop releases can’t be discounted, even by places like Bic Camera, so it’s the full 4,410 yen…

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While checking out the 4th floor of the Radio Kaikan, I saw quite an awesome life sized helmet and figure for Gabranth from FFXI.  Unfortunately, the helmet is over $1,00 dollars, and the figure, while bad-ass, is also around $450 dollars.

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Akihabara Station’s Electric City Exit is under construction.  Wonder how they “new” Station will look

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Debating on making a jump to my first DSLR.  While apparently the Olympus Pen is not technically a “true” DSLR, it’s got style, and takes damn good pictures by the samples I’ve seen.  Now just to use my upcoming 30th birthday as an excuse to get around the price…

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Last, saw my first rainbow in a very long time, while out in Kohoku New Town for dinner. 

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