Toy collecting is one of the biggest hobbies among local collectors, and the amounts that change hands during trades and sales are no laughing matter.
For beginners, the average budget for a single purchase is PHP 500 (or USD 10), but for longtime enthusiasts and avid collectors, this balloons to over PhP 5000 (or USD 100). Due to the expense this hobby entails, it is important to find deals when and where you can, and one of the best places to score these deals is online.
Hobby Link Japan is one of the best places to purchase toys from online. This giant pla-model and toy distributor is based in Japan, allowing it to offer toys at Japanese street prices, as well as lower shipping fees compared to US-based online stores. HLJ accepts both credit card and PAYPAL payments, and ships with both the fast and secure EMS system, and the cheap and cheerful SAL system.
PLAY-ASIA not only stocks toys, but also video games, portable and home consoles, and gaming merchandise. Offering a complete shopping experience for folks with multiple hobbies, the store also offers a rewards programme where you can earn store credit for getting your friends to purchase from them. This HK-based retailer ships not just via regular post services, but courier services such as FedEx as well .
If what you have in mind is something that the regular stores don’t stock, such as event-only items or prize machine goodies, then EBAY is the place for you. This is where Japan, US, HK, SG and other internationally-based collectors and specialized toy store owners unload their stuff. On EBAY you can find not just the LE items, but also the regular release toys at much lower prices.
EBAY sellers also offer every kind of payment and shipment service under the sun. Just remember to keep an eye at the seller’s reputation, and what their most recent buyers have said about the state of their purchased items and the quality of the store’s service, to avoid being cheated.
Several local stores also offer one form of online shopping, wherein you browse their stock and make your selections via their website, and then arrange for pick-up of your items at their brick-and-mortar store.
GREAT TOYS offers a wide array of sexy resin figures, capsule toys, pla-models, and action figures. They also run a webforum where stock updates and store news are updated at least once a week. From there, shoppers leave messages to Malvs and the other GT staff to reserve items and schedule pick-ups. All items are on a cash on delivery basis.
WASABI TOYS runs a similar set-up to GT, with the addition of a strong convention presence. Pats and his team are usually seen at major anime and gaming conventions on the local scene, selling everything from plush toys to Revoltech figures. WASABI TOYS also tends to stock rare items like mail order- only limited editions as well as crane machine prizes.