When kaiju fans go over to Japan to see the locations and landmarks shown in their favorite movies, they also make it a point to gather up all the monster toys they can get their hands on (as long as they are affordable).
The biggest mecca for buying new and vintage monster toys is the Nakano Broadway mall. Here, they will find stores in the upper floors that cater to their collecting desires. The biggest are stores of Mandarake.
|Above, "Nipper," the RCA Victor mascot figure bought at Mandarake. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Mandarake has several stores, each specializing in different aspects of Japanese pop-culture. They have 25 stores in Nakano Broadway alone.
Metropolis magazine has a spotlight article on Nakano's Mandarake. They begin it with:
Mandarake (pronounced “man-dah-rah-keh”) is a chain of stores that specializes in buying and reselling Japanese pop culture merchandise. Starting from its humble beginnings as a used comic store in Nakano Broadway, Mandarake has grown to 11 branches around the country, an international online store and a mind-bending 25 individual stores in Nakano Broadway itself.
Each store targets a specific niche and is staffed by people who are active members of that niche, sharing their customers’s passions and providing more personalized service. There are also international staff who speak English, Chinese and other languages.
|Above, the entrance to Nakano Broadway. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
Most of what Godzilla (and other kaiju) fans are looking for can be found in Mandarake's "Special" stores.
The Metropolis article states:
Mandarake’s most popular stores with both Japanese and international customers are its Special stores. Each store caters to specific types of figurines and models. On the second floor, Special 4 delivers doe-eyed damsels to collectors of bishōjo (beautiful girl) figurines. Special 5 stocks a selection of Japanese and Western superhero and movie-themed action figures and statues. The original Special has an assortment of classic toys, including Transformers and that quintessential Japanese pop culture icon, Godzilla. On the third floor, Special 2 serves up Japanese Tokusatsu series, including Kamen Rider products. Special 3 sells Japanese manga representative of modern pop culture, such as Dragon Ball and Saint Seiya.So, if you are a serious or casual collector of monster toys, a stop at Nakano Broadway is a "must-do."
To read more, go here.
To read Metropolis magazine's Nakano Special Guide, go here.