It’s been a week since my last post, and this one is going to be the longest post so far :D. This is my rant about the availability of authentic anime figurines in here, Melbourne (Australia). There aren’t many shop that sell official anime figurines, and if they do, the price is quite expensive, about double than the original price.
The only shops that I knew sell authentic figurines are Minotaur, EB Games and Hobby Japan (not related to Hobby Link Japan/HLJ). Other shops are selling mostly bootlegged figurines….
Minotaur (located in Elizabeth street, in city) only sells Australia released figurines (from Madman), which is… not many, they have the Kotobukiya 1/8 Rei and Asuka plugsuit, several Inuyashas, and several small figurines, mostly they sell western cartoon figurines (Simpsons, Futurama).
EB Games also sells only Australia released figurines (not all EB Games stores sell figurines), but most only sell 2-3 figurines (the one in Victoria Garden only has cowboy bebop, and Chadston sells Kotobukiya 1/8 Rei & Asuka), they also sell Lost (TV series) figurines.
Hobby Japan is the only shop that sells wide range of authentic anime figurines, but with quite expensive price, for example the 1/7 Asuka Langley Gothic Lolita from kotobukiya and 1/6 Asuka in summer wear by Amie-Grand are priced A$125 each, while the original price were only A$55 (4800 yen) and A$65 (5800 yen). I bought several FSN collective memories (by GSC) trading figurines from them which cost me $13.50 each (original price if 600 yen or A$7). There are 2 Hobby Japan shops, one is located in china town in city, and one is in Box Hill. The one in box hill has nice collection of Keroro merchandise 🙂
Yesterday, while I was at Box Hill, I went to Hobby Japan and saw the Alter 1/6 bikini saber in their show case; but somehow the figurine quality was not good compared to mine (which I bought from JList). I asked the price and the shop assistant picked the boxed figurine to check the price, and I got the chance to actually hold the box and did some thorough check. I CAN’T FIND THE HOLOGRAM STICKER! they were selling this figurine for A$95, abit cheaper than their original 1/6 price (which mostly around A$125). I can’t confirm if they were authentic or not, but the quality of Alter 1/6 bikini saber on their display showcase was inferior to the one that i have.
The other shop that sells wide range of anime figurine is AnimeZone (located in box hill), but be very careful, 80% of their items are bootleg (non authentic, pirated, recast) items. They sell most of the figurines under A$50, but they do sell original figurines, which have same price with Hobby Japan, for example the 1/8 Rei and Asuka Plugsuit by Kotobukiya is priced A$115 in AnimeZone, while the Australia release for this figurine (can buy them at minotaur or Chadston EB games) only priced A$75.
And there is an online shop based in Melbourne called Tamarket. Their price is cheaper compared to Hobby Japan, and has more up to date figurines for sale. They seem to sell authentic figurines, but I can’t really confirm 100% because I haven’t got the chance to buy from them, because HLJ price is cheaper :p Tamarket offers pick up, so you can save postage cost if you are located in Melbourne.
My best advice for anime figurine collector in Melbourne is: Buy your anime figurine online from reputable online shop (HLJ, HobbySearch, JList). it will save you alot and you don’t need to worry about bootlegged/fake items. The only drawback is that you have to be patient 🙂 shipping will take almost 3 weeks (faster with EMS, but more expensive..)