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Old Mar 2, 12, 2:21 pm   #1
 
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Shinkansen toy trains

Hello - have been lurking but it's about time to pop up with a question.

I will be heading to Japan again this year, this time with my sister. (and perhaps earlier than that if there are Smap concerts)

My nephew (her son) has become really fixated with Shinkansen trains - anyone know a good place in Japan to get a toy Shinkansen train? Not the collector kind, but the 'ready to be played with by a 6 year old' kind, or Shinkansen related stuff?

Does anyone know if JR has a sideline in this kind of thing?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Mar 2, 12, 2:48 pm   #2
 
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Our "go-to" toy store in Tokyo is called Kiddyland, located in Harajuku. The last time we visited, it was in temporary space while awaiting its new premises to be completed nearby. They could be moved into their new location by now for all I know.

Both toy stores that I have visited in Japan have left me a bit underwhelmed (the other is Hakuhinkan in Ginza). And they are nothing like, say, a Toys R Us in the U.S., with their unlimited selection. That said, their inventory does consist of uniquely Japanese products that are by and large unavailable in the West.

However, if your nephew is anything like my son, he probably has everything he wants already (!) so I would visit him first, check out his existing inventory, then go out shopping and make a purchase.
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Old Mar 2, 12, 4:29 pm   #3
 
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Thanks mbloes - he has no inventory of shinkansen stuff so we are OK there

I will check out Kiddyland - if I can find it now that it has moved
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Old Mar 2, 12, 4:38 pm   #4
 
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Is it specifically Shinkansen, or would any kind of Japanese train appeal to him?
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Old Mar 2, 12, 4:52 pm   #5
 
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I've seen a few shinkansen toys in the toy store at KIX. I would imagine that would be popular at NRT shops as well.
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Old Mar 2, 12, 10:57 pm   #6
 
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plarail This is a Japanese institution!
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Old Mar 2, 12, 11:12 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valve bouncer View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plarail This is a Japanese institution!
I got those for my kids when they were younger! They hold up well to 6 year olds.
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Old Mar 2, 12, 11:33 pm   #8
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The Yodobashi Camera Shinjuku Nishi-guchi has a floor devoted to train stuff in their toy department (separate building) -- both model and playthings. I haven't been there since last March, but I think they'll have what you're looking for. They have the alarm clocks too.
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Old Mar 2, 12, 11:44 pm   #9
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Toys 'r' Us has th entire Plarail/Tomica line. Everythng shinkansen under the sun. Odaiba branch of the store is great.
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Old Mar 3, 12, 12:05 am   #10
 
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I've been to a shop solely dedicated to shinkansen mockups. All I can remember is that its in Akihabara. And on the 3rd floor of a building, give or take 400sq ft !. Sorry this is of no help whatsoever, unfortunately.
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Old Mar 3, 12, 1:10 am   #11
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Originally Posted by MilesAndMore View Post
I've been to a shop solely dedicated to shinkansen mockups. All I can remember is that its in Akihabara. And on the 3rd floor of a building, give or take 400sq ft !. Sorry this is of no help whatsoever, unfortunately.
This one perhaps:

http://akiba.kakaku.com/en/shopinfo/en_popon.php
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Old Mar 3, 12, 4:22 am   #12
 
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The toys should be ubiquitous in many stores like yodobashi or Don Quixote. Tomy plarail is the jaggernaut but other toy companies also have offerings.

The hard core rail modeling crowd's de facto standard is N gauge. It's well stocked at the popo store or f models http://www.fmodels.jp/ . The latter i have been to and quite overwhelming.
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Old Mar 3, 12, 6:56 am   #13
 
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Kiddyland is not a good store for this.

I bought one that came with some track in a convenience store at a train station in Osaka 7-8 years ago, which would be perfect for a 6 year old.

Toys r Us has a major presence in Japan. But stores are in more suburban locations. I think the best bet for a tourist is Odaiba, as mentioned above.

http://www2.toysrus.co.jp/store/en/kanto2.html#tokyo

I shopped for toys at Donki last week and can't say that I saw anything like this. I probably would have purchased one.
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Old Mar 4, 12, 1:42 am   #14
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How about the gift shop at the JR rail museum? You have to go to Omiya to get to it and you have to buy a museum admission to get to the gift shop, but in return you do get to visit the museum. If a child or adult is into trains, it can be a lot of fun,

I like the train driving simulators, going on a non-holiday weekday, you hardly have to wait to try them.
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Old Mar 4, 12, 4:48 am   #15
 
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Thank you so much everyone for all this wonderful advice! You'll make a 6 year old VERY happy!

I think the plarail may be our best bet. Will try Yodobashii and Toys r us Odaiba. Anyone know if the Akihabara Yodobashii also has a selection of toys? Or is Nishi-Shinjuku a better choice.

This trip will just be my sister and I - we won't have my nephew with us. But I will make a note of Omiya's JR museum for when we do eventually get him there!
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