What to Buy Where: The Quick and Dirty South East Asia Shopping Guide

anime figures toys shopping manila bangkok singapore hong kong

I managed to get a spot of traveling in before the previous year wrapped up (not as much as 2009 though ^^;;), and as usual there was a tonne of shopping to be done — toys to collect, souvenirs to purchase, doubles and triples to hoard.

There is is usually one item that is cheaper in a particular city than in neighboring cities — based on my (meager) experience. If you have one item in mind and intend to stockpile it for your personal collection, here’s a quick and dirty guide on where to get what.

Buy Nendroids in Singapore

Head on over to China Square Central in Singapore’s Chinatown for wall to wall toys — Japanese, Star Wars, Marvel and DC, practically everything is here! One of the best deals though is on those cute Japanese miniatures — the infamous Nendroid series. Limited edition Nendos cost about SGD 60, and regular ones go for half that, and that makes them an incredible bargain by Manila standards.

Buy Pullips in Bangkok

Hidden in the bowels of Chatuchat market is JJ Mall’s Bambino Dolls, a doll shop and doll clothing consignment store tailored especially for Pullip, Taeyang, Dal, and Byul collectors. Feast your eyes on not just regular issues but shop and event exclusive dolls — the cheapest of which costs about PHP 3000, and that is almost half the going rate in Manila.

Buy Vintage Macross Model Kits in Manila

Check out the Makati branch of Great Toys to score deals on vintage Macross models kits all the way from the 1980s (when they were still being produced by Big West). Salivate over great deals, including an original Max Jenus VF1J for just Php 1800, or about half of the USD 80 it goes for online.

Buy Novelty Toys (Kurohige, Itazura Coinbank) in Hong Kong

Although there are arguable a million more things you can buy in HK than in other cities, I always found the best deals when hunting down trendy novelty toys from Japan — such as Kurohige Kiki Ippatsu, Itazura Coinbank, or Puchi Puchi Virtual Bubble Wrap. Mongkok’s CTMA Center is the best spot for toy hunting (Monkok is generally a great place for bargains); be prepared to get lost in its maze of shops and small alleys.

Have your own tips on where to get what? Feel free to share them in the comments box. Thanks, you guys! 😀

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Xine says:

    Hi Rotch, happy new year!
    Been to China Square Central and yeah there are a lot of nice stuff there. I was able to get Revoltechs on sale which I think is just a third of the price here in Manila. There are a lot of bargain figmas too. ^^

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  2. hi xine — happy new year! you’re right — REVOLTECHs are also a steal at CHINA SQUARE CENTRAL! i once took advantage of a BUY ONE TAKE ONE for SGD 30 on REVOLTECHs — it darn new blew my head off with the osm :DDDDDDD

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  3. Richard says:

    where can you buy the kurohige ippatsu version of hard gay here in the philippines and in hong kong?

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    1. no sellers in the philippines as far as i know (although there is always EBAY), but in HK you can try CTMA CENTER in mongkok — just browse through its labyrinth of toy stores with a bit of patience as stocks have a high turnover and you can never tell which store has what item at any given time~

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