MangoBot: How to buy figurines in Tokyo

P1011656This week on MangoBot, I wrote a guide to figurine shopping in Tokyo with a bunch of photos I took last week on my trip to Akiba. I also did a quick phone interview with blogger Danny Choo to get the deets. Here’s an excerpt, and a link to the full article:

In Akiba, fans don’t just buy figurines in boxes. A subset of talented
geeks pick up kits and then fine tune the products into perfectly
painted, customized collectors items that they then resell in little
glass windows rented by the hour for about $500/week. Why buy figurines
that have been modded by other fans? With kits, you often don’t know
what you’re going to get inside, but this way you can pick and choose
what character you’re getting. The more skilled fans also add extra
super-intricate coloring and detail to the standard finish, enhancing
the aesthetic. It’s kind of like getting any product customized—cookie
cutter factory-made goods transform into one-of-a-kind collectors’
items. Radio Kaikan, a famous seven-story department store built in the
60s, used to exclusively sell music components, but as the demand for
music players dropped and the demand for figurines soared, the display
of stereos have been replaced by rows and rows of figurine-encasing
glass windows.

Read How to buy figurines in Tokyo: An Illustrated Guide

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