Category: Real Life

Holiday over. Back on the saddle!

I’ve been away from the workbench due to a short holiday to the United Kingdom. Not much on the hobby front there but I did pop by a Warhammer shop. More soon after I write up a small article on it.

I’ll get back to finishing my Gustav as soon as I finish unpacking and laundry.

The need for speed!

Yep! I feel it! Although it’s too bad the Super Hornet is just not as sexy as the Tomcat.

#Day1

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My boy’s kit : Games Workshop Ultramarines Intercessor

This is actually my son’s third finished kit (the second one has broken to pieces before any photos have been taken) but is his first figure.

Bernard, the owner of M Workshop kindly gave my son this small set when we dropped by his shop earlier this year. The figure is painted primarily with Vallejo Game Color.

He has already started on his next kit, a 1/48 scale Bf109. Hopefully he’ll see this one through.

Forever a Toys R Us kid

Ah well, the other shoe has fallen. Toys R Us will be closing all its US stores with the intention to sell all the ones overseas. They previously shuttered 180 stores in the US and all its British stores but alas, too little too late.

Even though I didn’t live in the US until my adulthood, I’m actually a Toys R Us kid! In the 1980s, there was a huge 2 floor Toys R Us store next to Parkway Parade in Marine Parade in Singapore. In those days, TRU didn’t allow kids under 13 to go in unaccompanied so my mom would bring me in, leave me in the store and walk out to do her shopping. I’d then spend about 1-2 hours just browsing the aisles till she came back to pick me up. Good times!

In the 1990s, I moved to Los Angeles to further my studies. Near my apartment was a TRU (Sepulveda) where I’d go with my like-minded friends to peruse the aisles for Lego. I still remember lining up in 1999 for the midnight launch of Star Wars The Phantom Menace toys with my friends at the La Cienega branch. We lined up for 3 hours and I hoarded a few Star Wars Lego sets then.

Now that I’m a parent, TRU is still a must stop in whatever country that has them. I’m glad my kids got the chance to go to a big box store where all you see are toys and stuff for kids. It’s too bad that it won’t be for much longer.

TRU through the years in Singapore and Hong Kong

In 2015 I brought my family back to Los Angeles and wouldn’t you know it, the Toys R Us at Sepulveda was still around! We went twice and memories of my trips there during my college days flooded back. The aisles were different but the experience remained the same. The difference being I was spending on my kids now instead of myself.

Alas… it looks like 2015 would be the last time we’d visit Toys R Us in the US

KB Toys and FAO Schwartz were the other big box toy stores that came and went during my lifetime. But Toys R Us is the one that has stayed in my memories the most, simply because it was around since my formative years.

Good bye Toys R Us. I will forever be a Toys R Us kid.

A visit to Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku

A scale modeler’s trip to Tokyo is never complete without visiting at least one of the Yodobashi Camera stores. On my trip in December, I stayed in Shinjuku and happily, Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku was only a 5 minutes walk away. Very dangerous indeed for this modeler.

It turns out that this particular Yodobashi Camera is the first ever opened and it’s huge: it takes up space in 12 separate buildings (!!) and multiple floors in each building. Quite amazing. I went to the hobby and games building and I was greeted with 5 complete floors of products to ogle at. The hobby section alone took up 2 floors.

So I definitely felt like I was a kid in a candy shop. Alas, the missus was on this trip with me and the fact is that my stash is unrealistically big (this is the subject for another post) so I just bought what I felt won’t be easily bought back in Jakarta including a new 0.2mm airbrush for when my cheap China-made 0.2mm eventually breaks down.

I also managed to visit BIC Camera in Shinjuku and Yurakucho but the selections are a lot smaller. Given a choice and a time limitation, Yodobashi Camera is the way to go although I managed to score a Fists of War kit in BIC Camera that Yodobashi didn’t carry.

In any case, any Yodobashi Camera in Japan is a must visit if only to marvel at the amount of products (be it model kits or other stuff) on display. Did I mention the building for watches in the Shinjuku branch takes up 3 floors?

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