In January of 2004, I made a road trip to New York City for some toy shopping. We hit most of the major stores, and found a couple of hidden treasures. Overall I found a wide assortment of toys, but the prices were usually more expensive than through an on-line retailer, or through ebay. Still, seeing these toys in person can make up for the extra expense.
Sadly, Outer Limits is now closed as of 2005.
Outer limits is not techically in New York City, but is worth the visit. It is maybe 1/2 hour drive south of NYC in New Jersey. Outer limits is a comic book store as well as a toy store. In fact they have a little bit of everything, including domestic toys, Gaming supplies and Videos. They carry quite a few import toy lines, and the store is broken into areas of similar toys, including Godzilla / kaiju, Gundam, Super robot stuff, Transformers, Kubrick type toys, Models, Vintage (tin, chogokin and vinyl are all represented.). Prices were average on new merchandise, and on the high side for vintage.
91 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
Phone: (212) 673-5424 Fax: (212) 673-5450
Open 7 days a week 1pm- 9pm
Toy Tokyo is located in the Greemwich Village area of Manhattan. Just look for the Godzilla sign, or the logo projected on the sidewalk. When you walk up the narrow staircase to the 2nd floor, you are greeted with a visual toy assault. Toys are everywhere. Toy Tokyo carries a huge assortment of toys, both Japanese and domestic. They even have a dedicated room for expensive designer toys, like the Futura Unkle toys. Prices are fair, and are probably the best youre going to see in NYC. They carry all the essential Japanese toy lines: Soul of Chogokin, Transformers, Microman, Kubrick, Macross, and Gundam. There is a limited vintage selection, and some of it is hard to find, but look hard and you will be rewarded. The staff are friendly and eager to help, so ask them if you need help finding something. I didn't have any luck bargaining with them though, but you can try.
Love Saves the Day
Just below Toy Tokyo is Love Saves the Day, a general nostalgia shop. You will find toys all over the place, but there are a few Godaikins and Shogun Warriors in the glass cases in back. No great deals or selection, but if you are visiting Toy Tokyo, it is worth a look.
Elizabeth Center Mall
15 Elizabeth St.
New York, NY 10003
Located in Chinatown between Elizabeth Street and Canal. Once you find the mall, take the escalator down to the basement. The mall is a filled with little shops, selling everything from import games to Gundam kits. the Elizabeth Center mall can be a gamble. When I was there in 2001, the deals were amazing. In 2004, prices are on the high side again. No vintage toys, but Gundam and Transformers were everywhere. Make sure you wander around Chinatown - there are tons of tiny little shops that also sell toys, model kits and character goods. Lots of bootleg toys in Chinatown as well.
Mugen Import Toys/UNET
Just down the street from the Elizabeth Center mall is MugenToys. This shop is a little hole in the wall. Very crowded and hard to get through. Prices are insanely high. Sentai stuff, Microman, Macross, Transformers and Gundam are represented. The back half of the store is an internet cafe type place, set up with network gaming.
Yang Fai Sports & Trading
Another small shop, not worth going to unless you're in the area. Lots of Manga, and cheap import cd's and dvd's. Lots of Gundam kits, some Soul of Chogokin, mostly overpriced. Some designer toys as well, but beware of fakes.
103 West 30th Street, between 6th & 7th Ave.
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (212) 631-0966 fax: (212) 631-0955
Mon-Fri 11AM - 7PM, Sat 12PM - 6PM
Image Anime is a bright friendly store - the way they should be. The toys are displayed in an organized manner, making browsing easy. The staff is nice, they let us in just as they were closing and let us do some shopping. Prices were a little high. One drawback is that not everything on display is for sale, and they don't sell the display model. We were excited to get the Soul of Chogokin Liger, but they were sold out and wouldn't sell us the one in the case no matter how hard we tried.
We didn't get to go to Kid Robot, but it is mainly a designer toy / urban toy boutique.
More of an art space than a toy store, Zakka carries toys and art by todays urban designers. Kubricks, Devil Robots, Michael Lau etc..
If you have any corrections or stores to add, please contact us.
|Posted 4 February, 2004 - 11:07 by JoshB