For the toy buffs

(Contributed by guest blogger)

Hong Kong is a great place to pick up stuff if you’re really into designer vinyl toys, star wars, transformers, gundam, model kits, japanese robots, etc.  There’s a wide variety at pretty good prices and there are toy shops squirreled away all over Kowloon and Hong Kong island.  The only catch?  You need to know where to find them.  Walking aimlessly around Hong Kong or simply accompanying your wife/gf while she shops is not going to get you anywhere and chances are that while you might come across one or two stores, you’re unlikely to uncover the hidden gems.  Many of these treasure troves are easy to miss as they are located in bland, commercial buildings with no ads, signboards or banners indicating that you’re at the right place.  But for those in the know (and there are quite a number of us geeks!), venturing into narrow stairwells and lifts will lead you to toy boxes spilling over into colourful corridors buzzing with small toy shops.

If you only have time for 1 spot, our recommendation is that you head down to Toyzone located at Causeway Bay.  We only have one word for this place – overwhelming.  Filled to the brim with vintage toys from the 80s to the latest collectibles,  Toyzone is truly a complete toy shopping experience.  The genre of toys available is amazing – it’s like a toy street/ mall packed into a shop.  If you are willing to spend a couple of hours digging through every carton and scrutinizing every single shelf, you may just find the toy "you’ve wanted all your life!"

For those going toy hunting in Hong Kong, here’s what you’ll need:

  1. The addresses and directions of where these stores are (do your homework!)
  2. Pick up a tourist map at the airport when you arrive – you’re going to need this when you get lost and every street looks about the same
  3. Cash – not all stores accept credit cards
  4. Time – set aside a couple of hours in the afternoon just for toy-hunting.  Many of these places are open only in the afternoons so a good time to go is between 4pm – 8pm on the weekends.
     

This is what we scored during this trip:




How to get there:
Toyzone is located in the Causeway Bay Commercial Building. Take the MTR to Causeway Bay station, exit D3 which is the Sogo exit and find your way to Sugar Street.  It’s about a 5-minute walk.



How to get there:
Take the MTR to Mongkok station, Exit E2 and start at BC Mall.  You can then slowly make your way down Sai Yeung Choi Street South to CTMA Centre and Animate.


How to get there:
Take the MTR to Mongkok station, and take the exit to Argyle Street.  Walk down Argyle Street  towards Sai Yee Street.  It’s the last building just before you hit Sai Yee Street.


How to get there:
Log on to
http://www.universal-models.com/ for the addresses of the various store locations.


How to get there:
Take the MTR to Sham Shui Po Station, Exit D2 and walk about 1 block down (use map located at MTR station or your tourist map as reference).



How to get there:
There’s one at the airport so you can still shop just before you board the plane 🙂 
Log on to
http://hkdesigngallery.hktdc.com/home.asp for other store locations.




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