On Day 3 of the Animax Asia and Hong Kong Tourism Board’s Halloween Treats Weekends, the entire cosplay and blogging crew engaged in one of the territory’s most competitive sports: shopping! We hit one of Hong Kong’s hottest shopping spots Mongkok — home of the Ladies Market, Sai Yeung Choi Street and its electronics stores, and of course, Sino Centre and CTMA Centre with its warren of anime shops and toy stores.
First up is Sino Centre — a shopping arcade made up of several floors of small shops dealing in manga, anime, figures, CDs, DVDs, and video games (MAP). Yes, that sounds like a lot — a little too much actually, if you’re not used to the sheer volume of items on sale.
One tip to help you cope is to browse the stores earlier in the day while they are still closed. When they open later in the day — usually from 1400 PM to 1600 PM, just head for the essentials and make a surgical strike to scoop up the items you really want. One caveat: beware of fakes! Some fake items are mixed in with the authentic ones so be careful with your purchases.
Next up is CTMA Centre around the corner (MAP); just like Sino Centre it is made up of small shops clustered together that open from 1600 PM onwards. When you get there, check out the second floor for the Hot Toys flagship store (as well as other shops), and the two basement floors for consignment shops and toy stores.
For those who are unfamiliar with them, a consignment shop is a store that rents out display cases to resellers and original item makers to sell stuff from. The shop earns from rental fees and commissions from each sale made from the rental display cases. It’s a great way for hobbyists to sell specialized items for fellow collectors, as well as a great way for customers to browse and shop for small things they would not otherwise find elsewhere.
Across the street from CTMA along Sai Yeung Choi is Animate (MAP); housed on the second floor of Grancastle Commercial Centre, you have to enter the store from the small doorway beside the clothing store and climb up a set of stairs. It has a great selection of premium items from Japan like resin statues and figures, Gunpla model kits, and Kamen Rider figures. Expect to pay top dollar for them however, unlike items from their more affordable neighbors.
Four blocks away from the three other stores on Argyle Street is Richmond Shopping Arcade (MAP). Richmond is not as extensive as the Nathan Road shops, however I did find a few things there that I was not able to find elsewhere — such as 1/6th Asian Fashion Doll clothing and accessories. Just like the other stores, shops here open late; most of them open at 1600 PM although a few are already operating by 1400 PM on weekends.
Before I wrap this up, I’d also like to introduce people to Asahiya, a Japanese book store mentioned briefly in yesterday’s entry. Asahiya is located on the top floor of the Sogo Department Store in Causeway Bay (MAP); take Exit D2 from the subway and head for the 14th floor. Asahiya has a great selection of Japanese fashion magazines, anime illustration books, and manga both in Chinese and Japanese.
I’ve had a wonderful time in Hong Kong, and I’d like to thank everyone at Animax Asia and the Hong Kong Tourism board for asking me to take part in this event. I’d also like to thank the folks at Team Asia and the Department of Foreign Affairs Consuls Office for assisting me with my travel arrangements. I’d also like to make a quick shout out to Jason, Hiyuki, Elpheal, Jamie, Jian, Jiaki, Yuki, and Jerry being being such fun people to travel with.
Last but not least, thank you so much to the regular readers who drop by and leave comments on the blog — without your help I’d never had been selected as the Philippine representative. Thanks again to everyone and I hope to be back in Hong Kong very soon!
Thank you very much to Animax and the Hong Kong Tourism Board for asking magnetic-rose.net to participate in the Hong Kong Halloween Treats Weekend.