Yes they are TRUE Rulers of Time, as we may NOT even know it . I believe Japanese-specific (and Yes some have branched-out to neighboring Korea, Taiwan and China) Otaku culture is unique than collectors in Europe (somehow cultures with older history has amassed more of this human genre) and America, in that they were borne from parents who had gone through horific war – but the most technological such as fire and atom bombs . it is quite different than other populace who has clear distinct awareness between the real and fantasy, norm and hype .

ofcourse they deal on several genre of collectors items including anmie manga comic books to video and DVD, but their true prize (and the most expensive) comes in ball-joint dolls . girly and military action figures can be had more at the chain of Hobby buildings across from Mandarake store on the Northern block of Akihabra Station in the Capital of Tokyo .

furthermore their true merit is they buy and sell used goods, where there are a couple of good points in that the price can be lower than Official brand-new retail labels, but also that you can buy hot products gone out-of-sale . ofcourse massive collectors’ items exit on Yahoo Japan plus Rakuten and community groups, but Japan’s counterparts are notorious on credibility and dependability where sellers have the had, compared to purchasers’ World of eBay and PayPal . and each product on Mandarake’s On-Line Store as well as brick-and-motar branches have concise still detailed explaination cards on the physical condition attached on its box .

 

[ BRANCHES ]

as of Spring 2018 Mandarake has 12 stores around Japan and one in Southern California – where most Japanese reside in Los Angeles area . noteably SAHRA ware-house – on the out-skirts of Tokyo further North-East of Narita international Airport – has the most items in stock by-far is a huge storage facility only for buying-in and On-Line SALES, so won’t be the trouble of venturing out-there on your own . then they have a welcome FOUR stores around Tokyo and TWO in Japan’s second city of Osaka . some, you will find : is more dedicated to girly and gay comic books especially those operating on underground levels of a building . but those with their own building – even small – has full array of figures and dolls also . so here I should note : I am the figure and ball-joint doll collector, while more with the former than latter, concerning price and availability .

[ ON-LINE SHOP ]

as collective manias are all-around the World, although not as much frantic as in home-land Japan : their website comes in a choice of Korean, Chinese and English too . and they ship directly abroad, except for expensive and/or delicate figures and larger ball-joint dolls .

  • their web-store lists all products in the order of date with latest coming up-front first .
  • if you find something you like : copy its main words and search for it further
  • where under each listing : you will find the exact products sold in other branches also .
  • but without a doubt : the most items will be found on their On-Line Store which is SAHRA Branch .

[ TIPS ON FINDING AND PURCHASING POPULAR VOLKS BALL-JOINT DOLLS ]

if you live in Japan : all this could be easy as simply waiting for the best condition of your favourite model to come-up on Mandarake’s On-Line Store and order from their SAHRA Branch which would have by-far the most probability . other than that : it would be best to actually travel-to the specific branch, verify the physical condition yourself, pack-it safely as you can and bring it back yourself on a flight .

( OK, this will be like searching for the latest iPhone model on release Week, where you should be ready to fly-out to a city with most availability probability – No, I’m not kidding .. when it comes to the latest iPhone and I do this regularly umph )

 

  1. couple of tools to prepare before you leave home : doll face protection cap (or you can buy in Japan after arriving but only at a doll-collectible store), small roll of straw rope or thick threadings, thin roll of plastic adhesive tape and enough bubble wraps to cover each doll boxes in double layer .
  2. sign-up at Mandarake website and search for your items in Japanese, so that you can search for more information On-Line if not for Japanese text but at least for going-rate and what accessories are included – which normally would be shown on the catalog page contained in the product box .
  3. under each Sales Listing you pick : there should be several Mandarake Branches where they have the same product with different physical condition thus rightful price .
  4. Branches in Tokyo is the most preferable since they have four, then even Ossaka where they have two Branches not afar . in Tokyo : it would be best to take residence on West-side of the city such as Shinjuku – geographically middle in a triangle of three Branches besides Complex Branch in Akihabara .
  5. if you’re an Otaku : you’ll have to go to Japan thus Tokyo’s collectible heaven : Akihabara anyways, so while there drop-by Yodobashi Akiba the utmost electronics product shopping building and on the second floor awaits a huge area of hard-case travel luggage trunks . so purchase one or two 28 inch check-in bag as each will hold two Volks Dollfie Dream dolls . caution ! NOT soft bags made of textile but hard-plastic is better absorb shock, than metal trunks //
  6. purchase face-protection transparent plastic covers at either Mandarake or Volks Branch right next to Akihabara Train Station (Yodobashi and Voks is on either side – North-South – of this Station).
  7. if you have to travel to another city : fly, than take Japan’s bullet train Shinkansen, as they are usually more expensive than domestic bargain airline discount, not to mention travel time and getting tired from movement .
  8. when you find a model, and as expensive it would be : ask for tax-exemption discount (larger department stores, mall and specialty store like Mandarake have this set-up) where they will hand you a slip to give at the airport just before immigration check-point .
  9. put your doll boxes in your new trunk, and take a taxi if you can afford it, even if you are in Akihabara .
  10. once back at your hotel : put face-protection plastic on and keep the whole body in the plastic wrap it came-with originally . turn the head side-ways, and spread toes out-ward . take mid-size towel from the bathroom which should fit perfectly along the full-length of the doll body from head-to-feet . cover it on top of plastic wrap : single-layer and tie the ankles, waist and neck around with your rope or thread . put the covered body inside the box as it was, and now cover the box single or double-layer with bubble wrap and tape it at safe intervals . then put the body or bodies in the 28″ luggage bag .
  11. if you can : fly Business Class on the way back as the airline would be lenient on baggage weight and attach door-side tag on your bag/s to retrieve faster on arrival .

 

– Korea Tech BLog in search of the most perfectly-kept Volks Dollfie Dream Fate-Hollow Ataraxia Saber DOLL –