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Friday, July 11, 2008

Toy Run - A Guide To Hong Kong

As we all know, Hong Kong is the place where many of the major toy brands and manufacturers are based. In fact, for many of the renown brands, whether they are from Hong Kong or other countries, you can still find their items here in Hong Kong. And the best part is, you can get to buy your favourite toy and collectible here at highly competitive prices!

In this page, I will list some major spots and buildings where toy shops congregate. Also included (where possible) are the directions to get to these places using public transport. So, if you are planning a toy run to Hong Kong, check out this list!

Toy Mart

A couple of years back, Toy Mart (as the name suggests) used to be jam packed with many small closet-size shops selling all kinds of toys and collectibles ranging from Anime figurines to Medicom action figures. Starting from 2008, the number of these small shops has been gradually reducing in numbers. I believed the reasons could be a combination of increasing rents, slower sales and lower margins.

While Toy Mart is no longer as “exciting” a location to Toy Collectors now as it was a few years back, it still has enough to offer the overseas visitor a good reason to drop by for a visit.

Toy Hunters; the retail arm of Hot Toys, is still located here. And if you are lucky, you can occasionally pick up some older Hot Toys items at very attractive prices. Recently though, the shop has been levering a surcharge for payments made using Credit Cards. So it is a good idea to bring along cash with you when you are planning a shopping trip here. And make sure your cash is in the local Hong Kong dollar.

Besides Toy Hunters, there is another “bigger” shop that sells mainly Medicom RAH products. Named Superman Toys, this shop is just a few steps away from Toy Hunters. Even if you are not intending to add any Medicom RAH figures to your collection, you should still drop by this shop to marvel at its wide range of Medicom RAH figures on display.

And then, there are the numerous smaller retailers here that sell just about anything in the toy and figures collectibles world. Shop around and immerse yourself into the crowd. It’s tiring and time-consuming but fun.

Getting There: Located in the perpetually crowded Mong Kok area, Toy Mart is a small 6-storey (if my memory serves me correctly) shopping centre situated along Sai Yeong Choi Street. First time visitors to Hong Kong may not be able to find this small building in the crowded area. One easy way to get there is to take the MTR and alight at Mong Kok Station. Head towards Sai Yeong Choi Street and continue walking until you see California Fitness. Toy Mart is situated just next door.

Kwang Wa Street

If you are into kit-bashing your own 1/6 scale figures, this street is a must-visit stop in your toy run of Hong Kong. Shops here sell mainly “loose” 1/6 scale parts and accessories. Although they do sell complete-boxed figures as well, it is their unique business practice of “parting out” boxsets that makes any visit to this area a fruitful and interesting one for visitors.

We all know that at times, we are not really keen in purchasing a whole 1/6 figure but we only wanted that particular part or accessories from the figure. Here, your chances of finding that loose part or accessory are very high. The retailers here part out boxsets from manufacturers such as Hot Toys, Playhouse, Toy Soldier, Soldier Story, Very Hot and even Medicom and sell the parts loose.

Shop around here and you probably can find enough parts to kit-bash your very own 1/6 scale military or movie action figure!

Remember to bring along cash in Hong Kong dollars because many of the small retail shops here do not accept payments via Credit Cards.

Getting There: Also located in Mong Kok (Hong Kong is a small city), take the MTR to Mong Kok Station and alight there. Find the nearest exit to Kwang Wa Street at the many location maps at the MTR station and just follow the directions. Trust me, Kwang Wa Street is easy to find.

1 comment:

Shaun said...

am looking forward to this. Always fun to shop in HK, esp for 1/6 stuff.