06 May 2014

Recap of 30 April - Japan Trip Day 02 - Kokura

Day 02 was dedicated to Kokura, sort of.

A good friend, Bill, has paved the way for this part of Japan previously and told me that in addition to the Mandarake in Fukuoka, there is one in Kokura too, which is 25 mins away from Fukuoka by Bullet  Train.

This is the building that Mandarake is in and can be easily seen from the Kokura train station and can be reached via sky-walkways and a bridge.

This is the directory. The whole building is populated by stores selling collectibles and pop culture stuff. Notably, there is Mandarake, Jungle, Robot Robot, Animate and others.

I went straight to Mandarake first.

Again, I went to the Macross shelf first. Why do I keep doing this? Must be Maz, I don't know! Not bad, there are 2 BanDai Strike Valkyrie giftsets (boxes look really nice) and a Takatoku Super Valkyrie giftset. I think the Strikes are a pretty decent price (in fact cheap!) and the Super is marginal.

There 2 did pique my interest - the Gakken Legioss aka the Alpha Fighter from the Invid Invasion arc of Robotech. I've always preferred Invid Invasion to the Macross portion of Robotech and when young, Alpha fighters were a thing of legend in my mind - I have never seen them before and they were ultra rare to find even when I became a collector. I stared at these 2 for a long time, but decided to pass.

Random Transformers related stuff.

Classics / Henkei shelf. Nothing really interesting to me. The Henkeis were not exceptionally rare either. All are stuff that I already have.

This is the proper G1 Transformers shelf. Again, really nothing of interest. Generally, the boxes are all shot to shit and the prices are appallingly expensive. Nothing of note, to me.

Another shot of the same glass cabinet but further down.

Still a little further down. E teased that I don't actually have that Minelba doll despite having everything else on the shelves... she is right, but I don't need that Minelba doll, haha.

Sky Garry seems a pretty good price. But I've sold my unused and immaculate Sky Garry to Flywheels and have no intention of buying another.

After Mandarake, I went around to the other shops. First stop was Jungle, which has quite a legendary branch in Den Den Town, Osaka.

This one however, is a lot less impressive. Hardly anything of note in the store. Here is a shot of the display case which has a fair few rare pieces, but most are for display only and not for sale

Close up of the rare stuff, for example the lucky draw Green Unicron. Why anyone would want a green coloured Unicron is quite beyond me (I know there is some cartoon relevance, but I'm just not moved to pay upwards of US$5,000 for a Unicron that is green of all colours).

A shot of both the main displays at Jungle.

A shot of Robot Robot. 

I've not take shots of any of the other shops because they sold mostly Manga type stuff or anime type stuff, which while interesting, just was not worth me snapping pics. Time was short, I had other places to be.

Next stop was Kokura Castle. A very nice place.

Dinner was a this restaurant called "和". E and I walked around undecided for close to 45 mins before just randomly walking into this place. The food was very good!

E's food.

My food.

This was the only thing I bought today. It was for a friend in HK, not even for myself. It's getting worrying that by Day 02, I still have no bought a single Transformer.

E was worried and started to toy with the idea of taking a train to Osaka to raid the stores there....


  1. "E was worried and started to toy with the idea of taking a train to Osaka to raid the stores there...." first world problems haha

    1. for sure luxury goods are a first world problem, haha

  2. seems pretty barren in those places, wow.

    1. yup, that's right. been raided.... no more, no more

  3. Such good value on those Strike Valkyries. I think, had I been in good financial state and with you, I'd have bought an unyellowed Strike to replace mine, the Elintseeker from the previous shop and even that Powered Convoy.

    All the best

    1. you know, I would have so loved to have helped you get these if you did pull the trigger. It's not like I bought super a lot of stuff from this trip. If I helped you get the stuff, at least there'd be more toys to bring home!

      I think the Elintseeker is really the gem... unused and unyellowed in a box that is close to flawless...

  4. Kokura Castle looks like an amazing place to visit! Amazing report :)

    1. Thanks buddy. All the castles in Japan are very nice.

  5. Neil Dela Cruz8 May 2014 at 23:05

    I didn't know there was a "Nemesis LioConvoy " released. Must be limited to Japan, I only saw the clear golden and the normal versions. What exactly are you after anyhow Brandon? I guess there's not much more missing in your collection which is why you end up with nothing yet to buy ;)

    1. No idea about the Nemesis Lioconvoy too. Other than G1, I pretty much have not much idea.

      There is one thing I'm really after..... a white LOAFER, genuine one of course... that would make me happy.

      I think you are right that one real issue is that I have a lot of what I want already, so there will be less and less to buy each time, even if there were lots of product on the shelves.

  6. For a while, I thought it was Himeji castle. Awesome photos and it's a waste to the general public you are not doing a travel blog! No complaints from the transformers community though. =)

    1. hey buddy, thanks for dropping by. I think most castles in Japan has this consistent look - even back then, they were very organised! To be honest, this castle does not look all that different from Osaka castle too.


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