21 May 2011

Osaka Day 1 - Hero Gangu, Jungle, G-One Capsule and Mandarake Shinsaibashi

Flew to Osaka from HK this morning on the tip off that there were dino-casettes for sale at Hero Gangu in Den Den Town Osaka. It was a good flight and an easy trip into the city.

Went to Hero Gangu which was just next to my hotel... to discover that all the dino-casettes that they had have been sold. Man, how heartbreaking.

I went to this other shop called Jungle and another one called G-One Capsule, at the recommendation of Kurdt the Goat. Then, took a long walk to Mandarake at Shinsaibashi and saw the Glico man on the way.

All of these places had G1 pieces but a lot less than I expected. They each only had one glass display cabinet full - thats even less impressive than Mandarake Akihabara. The prices were seriously insane (especially at Hero Gangu). I think TFs must have appreciate more than 500% in the last 5 years. The Transformers market is really going buck-fuck-crazy in terms of price. Good for people wanting to sell, but hell for people wanting to complete their collections.

I did manage to score a few good deals today, chief among them the Japanese box MIB Autobot Clones, stickers applied but otherwise 110% complete and damn minty - 8000yen! Not sure about others, but I consider that a steal.

Score another 3 items, but wont let the cat out of the bag for now.

Tomorrow, I am aiming to go to Osaka castle in the morning and then hit Mandarake Umeda, the last place that dino-casettes were sighted. Fingers crossed and crossed more.

PS - saw lots of Henkeis and United figures too. Wont bother with these unless I have excess space left after getting all the G1 stuff. =)

*Update 5 June 2011*

I have come back to this post to update it with relevant photos!

Sashimi on my business class flight to Osaka (arranged for me by the lovely E)... yum!

If staying in the Den Den Town area (ie: Namba), this is the train line to take - the Nankai line (as opposed to the JR line which is just next to it). Platform 2 will take you straight to Nankai Namba station which is about 40 minutes away. Nankai Namba station is about a 10 minutes walk to my hotel - Hotel Hillarys.

This is the hotel I stayed at - Hotel Hillarys. I highly recommend staying at this hotel if you are in Osaka for toy shopping and will explain why with the photos below. I stayed in a single room and it cost HKD$740 per night.

Hotel Hillarys is at the very start of the stretch of road that is Den Den Town. That means that if you walk in the one direction, you'd cover Den Den Town; but if you walk in the opposite direction, you'd be heading into Shinsaibashi, which has the famous Glico Man, lots of good food, lots of premium shopping (Daimaru, Takashimaya) and a Mandarake!

Here are some shots out of my hotel room window.

Here, you see "G-One Super Position Capsule", which is one of the shops that stock vintage Transformers.

This is looking the other way from my hotel window - you see Gunpla a 4-5 story Kotobukiya and Gundam model kit haven. Can't really see it from my window because of the angle but a little more to the left and you would see "Hero Gangu", which stocks a vast array of Transformers from G1 up till the latest lines.

Looking out of the Hotel Hillarys lobby and I'm looking directly at "Hero Gangu".

The above plus the fact that Entertainment Jungle, another place with a very sizable G1 stock-pile is just downstairs (yes, downstairs!) from Hotel Hillarys makes it the perfect base to toy hunt from in Osaka. It's like in the middle of the bermuda triangle of the 3 most G1-centric shops in Den Den Town.

Shots of the Shisaibashi area. Told you there is good food to be had.

Serene Shinsaibashi

The very famous "Glico Man" at Shisaibashi, just next to the bridge and river.

The outside of Mandarake Shinsaibashi. It's a little tough to find, but I will explain more in my post that will be dedicated to the toy shops.

This is me cycling at night after the toy shops are all closed. Bicycles can be loaned from Hotel Hillarys, free-of-charge. Another reason for staying in this great hotel!

Supper was this puff (something like Beard Papa) with creamy black sesame filling inside... yum!

My loot for the first day. Sadly, no dino-cassettes! Heartbroken!

  1. Transformers Generations 2011 (vol 1)
  2. C-112: Autobot Clones MIB, complete paperworks, C9.5 overall
  3. Brave DX: Dug Base MIB, complete, complete paperworks, C9.5 all round
  4. Vintage Headmasters Board Game featuring lots of great box art and bio-card like playing cards inside
  5. Lots of Glico snacks (the Glico Man at Shinsabashi obviously worked)

A close up shot of Brave DX Dug Base MIB, C9.5 condition, bought for my buddy Fatbot from OTCA.

Vintage Transformers Headmasters boardgame with kick ass box art and very nice trading cards inside.


  1. I'm really sorry to hear about the Cassettes dude, that really sucks but fingers crossed eh? ;)

  2. Hey HD, does the Headmaster game come with any decoys or other unique takara items? I have the first board game (beat trypticon) and have got a reasonable idea how to play it but I can't be certain if im right. Taking blog review requests? I request this! Cheers

    Heh I just noticed the pocky sticks - I tried a few of these when I was in japan but there was never enough in a packet!

  3. @ Skullcruncher: Yes, the Headmaster game comes with unique items. I can remember exactly what, but I think there were trading cards with box art on them, some sort of turning wheel for the game and playing pieces. I will try to photograph them... =)

  4. Bro, overall the price for TF G1s are expensive compared with Hong Kong, Singapore and even Malaysia!?

  5. You mean TFs in Japan? Yes, they are getting more and more expensive due to increased demand. Sometimes deals are possible, but most of the time now I go to Japan to find stuff I wouldnt be able to find anywhere else, despite the price.


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