Umm, Where’s my Passport? Part 3: Bandai Museum, Fun-Tak Security at it’s Best.
And now we come upon the third day of the adventure. After spending 2 days straight just toy shopping I could tell my friend was a bit tired of it so we took a break. The plan was to hang out with some of her peps later on that day, so what to do in the meantime? Hmmmm… Well, she did say she lived like 15 mins from the new location for the Bandai Museum….. Okay, plans set, lets head out! We arrived there early afternoon. It’s a HUUGE building, very pretty from the outside all glass walls. Out front there was an awesome statue with Kamen Rider, Go Ranger Red and another modern Red Ranger. This required the obligatory V pose of course.
Upon entering you’re met with the Gundam torso in the middle of the lobby. We paid our 1000 yen and went in. No idea if this is on permament display here or not but right there in the lobby they had a wooden prototype of what I assume was the planned, but never made, Unifive Combattler V.
It wasn’t labeled as such, but looking at the condition of it I’d assume it couldn’t be 20+ years old. In the cabinet with it was a popy Combattler V along with a picture of the old Bandai JM production facility.
Incase you haven’t picked up on it, this is going to be a massively photo heavy post. Not like that’s a bad thing…. So, wandering around you can’t help but notice that there seems to be ALOT of wasted space here. There’s an entire second floor here that doesn’t seem to have anything on display or being used. Oh well, the place is fairly new so I’m sure as time goes on they’ll have more setup there soon. Right now for whatever reason, they have an exhibit about Thomas Edison… umm.. ok then. Off to the side there was a small room dedicated to Gundam. They had a pretty nice display cabinet with Gunpla starting from the first kits all the way to the latest MG and PG kits that came out. Off to the side of that there’s a small cabinet showing the clover DX as well as the GA-100.
A clover toy, in the Bandai Museum you say? That seemed to be a common theme there, as you’ll see when we come to the main toy display room. The gundam room here was mostly dedicated to this huge replica of the white base, pretty impressive and very well detailed.
Cool stuff for sure, but that’s not what we came here for is it? Nope, I came here to hump on the cabinet housing the Garada K-7 Jumbo. At this point, the lack of signs or maps to show the layout of the place was causing me to fear that the rumors that the museum had been scaled back to the point that all the old popy peices were no longer on display was true. Luckily that’s not the case at all. I looked across the play area filled with kids playing Famicom and Super Famicom games into yet another room and broke out into a run after I saw the shoulder of a Ghuren ghost C3 JM villain that was ontop of a cabinet…. wait… they have a C3 just sitting out in the open? hmmm… that’s not a good sign now is it? As with the gundam display they main toy room here had non-popy pieces on display. some early american tin toys were found in the first display area as it were.
Mixed in with the tins you find a Godzilla Sofubi mold for whatever reason.
I will say they had an impressive selection of early tins here, I;m sure Fraser would be loosing it right about now after seeing this case.
Ok so there’s some tins, some American toys, I guess the point here was to show off the development of the industry as it were.
I guess they decided it was time to actually show some Bandai toys in the “Bandai Museum”.
Once again more pieces for Fraser to drool over.
I Will say for all the gripes, they did do a good job of dividing up the Kamen rider and Ultraman displays.
I walked onward, looking up, looking down, wide eyed, anticipating the fated, fabled meeting with the Mythical idol. Deep in the back of my mind I can hear the Indiana Jones theme song running. I round another corner and find myself in the primary Bot display. Looking upward I’m met with the first JM’s here. a couple kinda sad looking V3’s, though I will note the belts are in sweet condition.
And then…. I turn…. I gaze upwards once again…. my breath hitches…. the theme for Dawson’s Creek start’s playing from a faraway place…..
There it is….. siting there, gazing down from high above those eyes penetrating my very soul, gazing deep within myself…. I now know what it felt like to be a junior high school girl at an Elvis concert for the first time… I tear my eyes away and look to the right, to be met with more amazing rarities.
The initial shock was subsiding, I stabbed myself with a pen a couple times to convince myself this wasn’t a dream. I started to notice something…. The guys who setup this Museum were complete idiots. Here we have some of the most amazing, rare, valuble toys known to the hobby sitting out, in the open. No security cameras I could see, no glass, standing right over hot lights on the cabinet. Meh, that can wait for later, for now, it’s time to be star struck.
Considering how poorly the Garada was “protected”, I started having odd, impure, slightly criminal thoughts….
I mean it was just standing there… nothing to hold it down to the top of the cabinet save for some Fun-Tak on the bottom of one foot… seriously, I have pics to prove it.
*sigh* No, I couldn’t do it… Not only would I be creating an international incident, but I’d be depriving the rest of you guys the opportunity to see the Garada. Soo yeah, you’re WELCOME. I went ahead and asked the guys working there if it would be ok to take a picture holding the garada, I mean not like it was in a cabinet that needed to be opened or tied down, all I had to do was reach up, grab it, smile and put it back. No dice, they said I couldn’t touch anything, meanwhile I looked to see other people there grabbing at other items on display. I am going to kick myself for a long time for that one… These guys weren’t around, and I’m sure they wouldn’t care, no signs anywhere saying don’t touch…The worst they could have done if they caught me holding it was go to ask me to put it back…. Oh well, I’ll just have to tide myself over with a tentative touch.
Ok enough with the Garada. I tore myself away from him yet again to check out the rest of the displays. They did have a really impressive selection of chogokins on display, though it was kind of funny to see how they have a TON of non-popy/bandai pieces on display here.
It’s an awesome place, putting aside the issues with the way in which the items were displayed and wtf they were thinking when they picked what was to go into glass and what was to just stand out in the open on top of the cabinets. In some deep recess of my mind I can understand the JM’s not all being under glass, they do have a limited amount of space here to display stuff. but still… why is the only known prototype for the Goggle V just sitting out?
The only bright side to this is that the lack of glass does allow for better non-glare pics to be taken of this amazing one of a kind piece.
Looking at it this thing is pretty rough, but you can see where they were going with it… it would have made for an awesome JM.
From the rear you can clearly see how this was made using the torso from a Godmarz, not just the upper arms and fists.
While all this was going on my buddy went off to another area to look at the Sailor Moon toys they had on display… I went to find her to take some pics for me and I was horrified to see how ALL the Sailor Moon stuff was under glass….mean while a $20k JM villian was sitting out… *ahem* sorry, can’t seem to understand why that keeps popping up in my mind.
After this pic was taken my friend looked at the Daiku Maryu and thought for a moment. Finally she pointed right at the DM and said “Hey, I remember we had one of these in the store room at the second hand shop I used to work at.”……….!!!!!!!!………. I’ll touch upon this later but I think y’all can imagine where we eventually ended up going later on this day. Forgive me for the somewhat random, more than usual rambling nature of this post guys, but this was a very very very jumbled time, my mind was on total over drive, everywhere I looked I was seeing pieces that until then I’d only seen in pics, and even stuff I never thought I’d ever see in person EVER.
When I met up with Matt Alt a couple days after this I was showing him the pics I took on my camera over diner. he was going through the Bandai museum pics when he came to this one here.
“I told those guys at Bandai that they had an SG-01 or 2 sitting around somewhere, why the hell did they have to pay $2000 to ship mine over from the states?” LOL.
I feel sorry for that poor Voltes V, but again it’s in about the same condition as mine, heh.
Niiiiiice popy KR 1 henshin belt. You don’t really see these boxed pop up like ever, and when they do, they’re almost always going for some $erious coin.
I couldn’t help but be struck by this pic here…. Poor Robocon, he looks soo sad and lonely standing there by his lonesome with only D-17 to keep him company. At this point I’d been wandering for over an hour, taking shot after shot of the displays and individual pieces they had out. A truly impressive collection. But all things must come to an end as they say. On my way out I decided to take some pics of the bottoms of the Villain’s feet. See if you can pick out the interesting bit in the pics here.
The sad little headless Q-9
And then we have the C3… notice anything odd here? Yeah that’s right… the only JM villain there that was tied down in any way shape or form was the C3… what’s odd is that this one was about 2 feet higher up than the Garada, you’d need a ladder to get at it. and not to knock the C3, it is still a rare as hell piece, probably the 3rd hardest to find villain… but still, if you’re gonna take the time to tie this one down, why not do it to them all? I just shook my head and walked off… well… not before I took more pics of the garada heh.
That’s the exact angle I’d see if I ever had a garada standing on the shelf in the toy room… *sigh* someday….someday…..
On the way out I took a pic standing next to the gundam torso. I looked for signs but I guess they don’t offer the chance to get the picture sitting in the cockpit anymore like they did at the old museum… Oh well. I took the opportunity to take a couple more shots of the Combattler V prototype before I said my farewells to this place.
Well it was a great time and I was kinda sad to leave, but I got to see everything there I wanted to see. Once again my friend was a great sport putting up with the geek-ness. After we were done hanging with her buddies that day we went over to her old work place to ask about the Daiku Maryu. Part of me was hoping it was there, if not to buy then to at least see it, another part of me was hoping it was gone already, as I didn’t want to spend the rest of the trip eating instant ramen and McD’s. We got there and talked with the guy who was in charge of the toy section of the second hand shop. Not to shoot myself in the foot here, but I will say there was an awesome selection of stuff here, a definite untapped resource for toys that I’m sure you guys will all be checking out when you go over there next. Anyway, turns out the Daiku Maryu had been sold off a few weeks before I had gotten there for about $800 and as I was told, it was in pretty bad, incomplete condition… Oh well. They did pull out some other JM’s that wre in the back store room, a Combattler V, a Mattel Daimos with odd custom stickers and a Boxed Gaiking.
The gaiking had me scratching my head a bit. But in the end I walked away as the jumbo itself wasn’t in the greatest condition (smelled like an ashtry bleh) and the box was pretty beat/faded. though I did see an original price tag on the box which made me laugh my ass off.
As with the first 2 days that had already gone past this was also an awesome day. The weather had been very nice, making the drive to and from the Museum very pleasent, it’s located in the middle of nowhere which is nice when it comes to having good scenery to check out. In addition I got to see, as well as touch the garada among other amazing pieces. I hope you guys enjoyed the wild insane ramblings here. I can say that these are a small choice selection of the pictures I took at the museum, drop me a line if there’s anything else you guys might want to see, if I have it I’ll send a copy. Ok then, that ends part 3 of the adventures in Nippon. Coming up next time kids, Umm, Where’s my Passport. Part 4: Fun times at Godzilla Ya, Nakano and Spam Tempura with a side of Alt!