For plastic model enthusiasts around the world, Japanese plastic models, which combine both accuracy in replication and the playful spirit of toys, are very popular.
We visited Tamiya Plamodel Factory, a large scale plastic model retailer in Tokyo. They carry plastic models of from a wide variety of genres in a 3-story building. The main store carries a number of plastic models and plenty of custom parts, therefore many customers visit here from all over the world.
Let’s make a mini 4WD
At the Modelers Square on the 2nd floor of the store, you can make your own mini 4WD and drive it on the special circuit course. If you purchase items totaling more than 1,000 yen at this store, you can have a free access to the Modelers Square for the day. (If you purchase items totaling more than 3,000 yen, you can have a free access for a year.)
We tried making a mini 4WD in the workshop located on the same floor of the circuit. All the parts were separated at the beginning, but when we assembled the parts according to the illustration on the instruction (Japanese/English), we were able to complete a beautiful mini 4WD in about an hour. When we let it run on the big circuit here, we already felt like a racer.
Tamiya Plamodel Factory Shimbashi
Address: 4-7-2 Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
* The circuit is not available on some days.
Plastic models accurately replicating animation
“Gunpula” sold by Bandai is a plastic model that accurately replicates the robots from the anime series “MOBILE SUIT GUNDAM”. It is a best selling product, selling 445 million pieces after it was first released in 1980, and it still wins the hearts and minds of many fans. It requires some patience in assembling it, since it has many moving parts as a robot, but you will feel accomplished once you finish building it.
Bandai also has produced plastic models of other animations such as “Dragon Ball”, “Pokémon” and “One Piece”. When the characters and objects from your favorite anime pop out of the screen in 3D form, it’s a fans’ dream come true.
Japanese plastic models are easily available at the plastic model shops and toy shops, so you should stop by.