By far the most frequent question emailed to me is “Where do you get these toys?” While it may have been the most common question asked of me it’s also been one of the hardest ones to answer. There are many options out there in the import toy world but it can be very hard to find a vendor that covers all the bases. Some vendors communicate well but have unreasonably high prices. Other vendors have seemingly great prices but inflated shipping prices that ruin the advantage. Some vendors seem great but then abruptly go out of business leaving you more than a little irritated (I’m looking at you Amenbo!) or don’t accept your preferred means of payment.
I don’t have one site I go to and most the sites I do use can be found by Googling the exact name of the toy you’re hoping to purchase near the release date. If someone wants to sponsor me, I’m all ears!
Looking for vintage toys? If you’re in the states the best way to find them is to join Macross, Robotech, or other toy communities and scour their “For Sale” sections for great second-hand deals. Networking among these circles can be a great way to also find stores and collectors near you willing to part with some of their classics. The next best thing to do is scour eBay but the general rule is Buyer Beware so be sure to familiarize yourself with what you’ll be buying on this site. I try to include helpful hints to second-hand buyers in my Durability & Build section. Finally, the most expensive, but often most fruitful for vintage items, option is Yahoo! Japan auctions. These auctions can only ship within Japan though so you’ll have to hire a Japanese company to act as a proxy for you and they will charge you a hefty fee (usually a percentage of your max bid price).
One final note, Toynami is an American company so shop around your local toy stores to pick up their goods. It wouldn’t make very much sense to have those items imported.
So, where should you go to buy toys like the ones featured here?