Chiba Days 35 - Back to Akiba

Hello everyone and welcome back to Tiro Finale for another chapter of Chiba Days. Last week, I decided to take a leave from my usual weekly trip down to Akihabara and visited the hobby stores in Ikebukuro instead. This week, it is back to business as usual as I spend an entire afternoon hunting down rare finds and good deals around Akiba. Throughout my search in Akiba, I will be highlighting several interesting finds along the way which caught my eye.

Starting with this Charlotte mug from one of the earlier Madoka Magica Ichiban Kuji. Merchandise from this particular Kuji (lottery) have become increasingly scarce as the years go by and this is the first time I have ever seen this Charlotte mug in stores. At 800 Yen, it is certainly cheaper than most first-hand anime mugs but, is slightly more expensive for a lottery prize mug. While I was tempted to get it, I eventually decided against it citing no actual need for another mug. 

Of course, none of my usual hunting posts would be complete without a collection of Dia merchandise and one of the latest to be released are the UFO Catcher acrylic straps that feature the various characters being "caught" by the UFO Catcher's claw. It is indeed a rather novel take on the "pinch" strap design and adds plenty of charm to what is otherwise an ordinary acrylic strap.

Another very popular Love Live Sunshine merchandise that can be found in arcades right now are tumblers. In fact, several iterations of character tumblers featuring different outfits have already been released. These prizes are indeed quite popular in arcades as they are not only functional but, rather easy to be won as well. Due to their rather commonplace nature, these tumblers can be found at a rather low price in most re-sellers. Of course, prices do vary according to the character's popularity. 

What is this you may ask? It took me awhile to figure out what it was too as there was no marking or description explaining what it was. Initially mistaken for a large clear file, this semi-translucent sheet of plastic turns out to just be a plastic mat. What you decided to do with it is entirely up to you. You may place it on a flat surface like a table to create a semi-textured surface or stick it up on the wall like a small poster. At 300 Yen, the choice is entirely yours.

Moving away from the realm of the affordable, we now come across the rarer, more expensive goods that Akihabara has to offer. One such example are these new acrylic character stands for Love Live Sunshine which are included as part of a pre-order bonus for the Blu-Ray of the anime's second season. Only Ruby and Chika were spotted but, both were being sold for 1,500 Yen. At that price you could get a Ruby/Chika prize figure or even both!

Consignment stores are a great place to good simply to look at opened figures, it is akin to entering a figure gallery with many of the rarest and most popular figures up for display. That being said, I would never ever recommend getting figures from here as they are often marked up sky high and, as aforementioned, are already opened (signifying a massive drop in value for collectors). Still, they are a great place to browse and take a better look at figures that you are uncertain of purchasing. Case in point, this 1/6 Galko-chan by GSC. Not only was it huge, it also was very detailed and colored. I still regret not getting her when I had the chance to.

For those new to Akiba, one piece of advice that often is not told until it is too late is to never go all in on prizes that you want in arcades. That is because, you can very easily find them in re-seller stores all around Akiba and prices much cheaper than what you would expect to spend in an arcade trying to win the prize. If you are worried about condition, you should not be as these days most of the prizes either come straight out of the box (brand new) or go from arcade winnings straight to the stores (second-hand). Either way, your item is as good as new.

Throughout my stay in Japan, one of the more peculiar and interesting request from one of our fellow writers, takuya, was to find a Dia pass case. What is a pass case? A pass case is a case for access cards such as IC cards (Suica, Pasmo, etc.) and are very popular in Japan. These handy cases often come with straps and hooks for easy access especially with many using public transport for their daily commutes and having to tap in and out at their stop. While I searched high and low for a Dia pass case, it was to no avail. For some odd reason or another, it did not take me long to find a Madoka Magica pass case despite not even looking out for it. The newer Magia Record pass cases even feature an LED feature which light up each time the card is activated!

Immediately below Madoka and Iroha was another Mami pass case. One of the lovely points of pass cases is that they often try to emulate the design of existing IC cards making it appear as if the card itself was a unique issue despite actually just being a case. At 1,382 Yen, pass cases are not exactly cheap but, they are rather durable and very practical. I would have purchased this pass case if I did not already have an existing Mami pass case produced by Cospa. 

With an upcoming anime series, Persona 5 was starting to see a gradual increase in merchandise too. There have also been several figures released for the series but, nothing at the scale of other more popular anime series. 

Have you had enough of Dia? Well, I hope not as we have even more Dia for you. This time in the form of another acrylic strap, yours for 600 Yen. Quick tip for those of you interested in collecting acrylic straps, strongly consider investing in acrylic strap protectors which are clear plastic covers for these acrylic straps. As nice as they may look, acrylic straps are prone to scratches which absolutely destroy the strap. These protective covers do a very good job of protecting the strap against the elements are pivotal if you are planning on using the strap on a daily basis. 

Nearing the end of my weekly trip to Akiba, I stumbled upon this unique KonoSuba clock behind the glass shelves of AmiAmi. The quartz standing clock featured the main characters of the series including Yunyun printed on an acrylic body. Production cost wise, this would cost well below the 3,400 Yen asking price but, for fans of the series, that might actually be a small price to pay for a rather unique design and practical piece for any tabletop. 

Last but not least, we have the new releases section and the figure there which caught my eye the most was Purple Heart in her 4 Goddesses Online (4GO) form. If you are unfamiliar with Purple Heart and 4GO), that is because it is a spinoff from the Neptunia series. If you love anime and Japanese games, the Neptunia series is always well worth a play and their elaborate figures never fail to impress. Just their boxes alone are already abundantly impressive. Not to mention, the resale prices of these figures often rise astronomically following release.

Try as I may, I can never visit Akiba and leave empty handed and this trip was no exception. Only this time, it was something rather big from AmiAmi. Stay tuned to find out what it is in our next haul post. In the meantime, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them in the comments section below. Until the next time, thank you so much for reading and have yourself a wonderful day ahead!


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