If you’re into Japanese toys, chances are you’re at least passingly familiar with the Japanese-language Toys And Models And Things… website, one of the most thorough and widely linked-to sources of new toy reviews on the web.
In what is quite probably the first effort of its kind, the host of Toys and Models And Things has actually opened his collection to the public. His new members-only “toy club,” dubbed The Toy Warehouse, features no staff, no service, merely a coffeemaker and soft drink dispenser in a corner for refreshment. Instead, it’s a veritable shack o’ toy love with private “toy appreciation cubicles,” photo booths, and a chance to get to play with the collection of one of the most enthusiastic toy bloggers in Japan.
The system’s simple: pay by the hour to fiddle all you like. The catch? It’s located in Osaka and membership is restricted to people with proof of residence in Japan, meaning tourists will miss out on the fun. (The guidelines are here, for those who can read Japanese.) Still, it’s a cool concept and it’ll be interesting to see how it develops.