where to go for the Holidays ? although Christmas does NOT have a notion of being together with the family in Korea, it IS a major time to get together for teens AND young couples . also where-as the Lunar New Years observed in the Orient IS the 2nd most followed traditional holiday where families get together, the eve AND New Years is an important rite for schools AND businesses in looking back a year AND praying for better times . what I am getting at is that short of open spaces where people would pack, cafes, restaurants AND clubs especially those in major hotels would charge more in the time of festivity . so here I will introduce one place related to the holiday spirit where you can go from Christmas onto the New Year in Seoul, South Korea .

geek, nerd, Otaku and PaeIn all are similar synonyms for the out-of-the-ordinary types obsessed with some part of artificial ‘things’ although expressed differently in each nation or culture and I will dedicate a special page to ponder on this subject . while toy dolls including the infamous Barbie variety are for the children apt in time for Christmas as playful presents AND imported at a good price WITH local talented handicraft artists joining in to make independent clothes AND accessories, a whole category of dolls AND figures including Action Figures point to a whole new arena of hobby some-what very expensive in that, followed in the Orient .

in large the doll and figure movement – and oh it moves – is divided distinctively into two main bases (OK, aside from traditional dolls for each country AND culture has its own, genuine AND proud) :

  1. Japan with a very, very large following of ‘figures’ directly attached to the stigma of those into electronics whose whole group is labeled ‘Otaku’, with more distinct cult born during the end of the decade in ‘ball-joint dolls’ which closely resemble live humans at 1/6 or even 1/3 life-size ratio ! you have to attend one of its ‘anime fairs’ where (costume playing) cosplayers gather by the herd .
  2. and Hong Kong a specialized producer of ‘action figures’ export onto the whole wide World fine characters resembling those of movies and military force . not to mention a definitive market exists for their clothing, weapons AND accessories .


so caught in the middle in geographical proximity is South Korea where the whole scene is more toy than hobby, thus this fair is small by any convention standards but a good place to see all of the above mentioned varieties in a limited space .

connected underground via Seoul Subway Line 2 SamSung Station Exit 6
10 am ~ 7 pm daily with last entrance at 6 pm,
last day until 5 pm with last entrance at 4 pm.


since this is one of the earlier major shopping complex in all of Korea , make time to enjoy :

  • MegaBox movie theatre, (center of underground level)
  • COEX Aquarium full of sharks, (underground level, North)
  • a varied food court, AND (center of underground level)
  • Bandi & Luni’s book store with the second largest selection of English AND Japanese books AND magazines in the Korean Penninsula ! (center of underground level)

*right end is facing towards NORTH on this map :
this is the whole underground level with main exhibition halls above the central green area .
even if you have a car take the subway for the underground parking is a myriad of labyrinth -_-


Official Site in Korean

COEX Exhibition Site in English

COEX Mall in English

would you hate me if I told you this is my desk at the height of inspiration ?



– Korea Tech BLog, December 2009 –