Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Toyzone Hong Kong
This store is located in Causeway Bay near the Toy R Us store there. A lot of collectible toys can be seen at this shop. Most items here, according to the staff who works there, are consignments from collectors. Most of the items here are rare and out of production. Some 1/43 diecast cars can also be found here, but tomicas abound this toy store.
Prices vary as an item can be really cheap and at the same time, some items are also very expensive. They have a lot of toys that they needed to open another shop across the hall to accomodate all the toys that they're selling.
The shop is literally cramped with toys and collectibles that I wouldn't really recommend this shop to a person who is claustrophobic (Actually its like entering a library hall but instead of books, the store is cramped with toys) Still, this store has something for everyone. This store is more for the toy collector than a diecast car lover.
Nikko is located in Singapore and has a lot of 1/43 and 1/18 diecasts. They carry mostly Minichamps, Auto Art, BBR, Tameo, Ebbro and Kyosho. No 1/64 cars here, only 1/43 and 1/18 scale cars. They have the monopoly on 1/43 and 1/18 diecast cars in Singapore. Their prices are a bit on the high side. Still, if you are a member, you get a cool 20% discount. If you spend more than US$200, and you are not a resident of Singapore, you can ask for a tax reimbursement form, which you can claim at the airport before you leave. Nikko has a good selection of diecast cars, but nothing out of the ordinary. Their layout is very nice and besides diecast cars, they also sell radio controlled cars.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Hobbie Stock Virra Mall Greenhills
What a pleasant surprise finding a pure diecast store in Virra Mall near Toy Kingdom. I learned about this place thru a friend who told me about it. This shop is barely two months old. They sell diecasts at very reasonable prices. They have a huge selection of 1/18 models and they have a lot of Minichamps road cars. As happy I may seem finding this fantastic store, I am quite disappointed because their racing car selection is quite limited. This store is definitely for the road car afficionado. Not the place for racing car collectors.
RAMS Festival Mall / Shoppesville Blue Lane
For Diecast Toy Collectors who have shit loads of money, this is the place for you. Most of the items that are found here are priced extremely high. Overall, this store is only for browsing, unless of course, you really want to spend an obscene amount of money for diecasts that you can get around 60% cheaper in ebay (with shipping included).
The only thing that can be bought here for a very reasonable amount is their Hotwheels toy cars (which are perenially on sale) which sells for roughly 50 to 75 philippine pesos (which is cheaper than the standard retail price here in the Philippines).
The store owner, Ram, is very friendly. He will go out of his way to talk to you. Avoid his wife however, who is the opposite.
Uncle Johnny's Hobby Shop in SM Megamall is a place where collectors meet, trade, sell and swap stories about diecast cars. Most collectors who meet here are 1/64 car collectors, mostly Hotwheels collectors and toy collectors.
Every Saturday afternoon, the place is swamped with collectors from all walks of life. It's like having a mini swap meet every week.
Besides being the place where you can meet new collectors, Johnny also has a lot of cars available for car collectors in any scale. He has Auto Art models, Minichamps models, Tomicas that are rarely seen in malls and some rare out of production diecast cars. Johnny was the one who helped me locate the stores in Hong Kong. He told me where to go and what item a particular store is selling.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
I was referred to this store by my friend here in the Philippines. He says that this store has the best selection of 1/18 and 1/43 cars in Hong Kong. I started my journey by looking for this store on my first day in the city. I have searched everywhere and could not find it. The address that was on the calling card was obscure.
I asked for my friend John to help me find it. John is a resident in Hong kong and has been there for quite sometime. We looked for it and had a hard time finding it. Finally, he called up the store. The store is located in a building, on the 9th floor.
I couldnt believe my eyes when I saw all those nice 1/43 diecast cars. Most of them are made by Minichamps. There were probably a few hundred 1/43 cars on display and they were all on sale.
The store is really nice. Its made well and the cabinets look really nice. its more of a showroom than a store if you ask me. I like the service there. The store clerks were nice to me. After telling them about my friend in the Philippines, they automatically gave me a 20% discount. Anyway, this is one store that I would love to go to again. Some of the diecast cars on display here are not readily available in other stores in Hong Kong. Nice service, Nice selection, Nice ambience, cold water, what more can a diecast shopper ask for? :)
To go to Collectors Club in Hong Kong, ride the MTR to Mongkok station. exit B3.
On the corner of Sai Yeung Choi Street South and Fife Street, you will find a building numbered 168. Thats the building of Collectors Club. The shop is located on the 9th floor
Model Car Expo
During my past trips to Hong Kong, I would always visit this small shop in the Mongkok area called Model Car Expo. I really love this shop as they have a lot of diecast cars here. Most of it is in 1/43 and 1/18 scale.
I have bought a lot of models here before. The selection is good. Though most of their stuff are new items. The prices are typical market prices, but if you have the membership, you automatically get a 10% discount.
The owner of the shop displays some of his collection on the left cabinet of the shop. On the right cabinet are the items that are for sale. They have a lot of Minichamps, Ebbro, Spark, Bizarre, Rai's, Auto Art and Kyosho. There are also expensive brands like BBR and Make Up which are totally hand made diecasts.
The turnover rate of diecast cars on this store is fast. They have a lot of new stocks daily. A must see store for all diecast cars, racing cars and automobile enthusiasts.
To get to Model Car expo, Ride the MTR to Yau Ma Tei Station. Exit on Pitt Street. Walk a little and you will pass by Hamilton Street afterwards you will hit Dundas Street. Make a right on Dundas Street. Keep walking and you will pass by the ladies market. Keep walking till you hit Yim Po fong Street. Make a left. Model Car Expo is in one of the stores on that stretch. You can't miss it :)
Sunday, April 16, 2006
I have been a racing fan ever since I was small. My heroes were Mario Andretti (when he drove for Lotus) and Niki Lauda. Its ironic because up to now, I dont have any of their cars in 1/43. I love watching Formula One. Call it boring, but for me, I think that is the pinnacle of motorsport.
Nothing compares to F1 racing.
I admit, yes, the car sometimes seem identical to each other except for some minor changes, but thats how formula one nowadays are. Gone are the days where the cars look entirely different from each other. During the 70's, A Tyrrell P34 could never look like a Wolf Wr1. Why? Because the P34 has six wheels :)
This is why I look forward to getting classic F1 cars rather than newer ones.
I love collecting cars of my heroes, like Michael Schumacher's Benetton B192 (which he won his first grand prix), Fernando Alonso's Renault R25, which was the championship winning car of 2005, Ayrton Senna's 1988 Mclaren MP4/4 (which he bagged his first drivers championship) The list goes on and on.
I still have a lot of cars that I need to complete my collection.
Formula one is what got me to start collecting diecast cars. I started collecting because I want to have an exact replica of the car and the driver who drove it. Minichamps can replicate the drivers helmet and the car very well in such a small scale! :)
Aside from Formula One diecasts, I also collect formula one magazines. From 2001 till the present day. I also have a few formula one books and a F1 encyclopedia which has pictures of every car that raced from the 50's till 2002.
One might not be able to understand why I love the series so much, unless they had a chance to watch a race or understand it even :)
I might grow tired of other things, but one things for sure, I will never grow tired of watching Formula one. :)
Manila Motorshow April 2005
The 1st Manila International Motor Show
28-30 April 2005, World Trade Center, Metro Manila
I have been asked by Jerome, who is a long time buddy of mine, to display some of my Formula one cars at the Manila Motorshow. I was hesitant at first because I did not know if my cars would be safe or if there will be people who will look after my cars :)
Anyway, I did decide to display some of my cars. I did not know anyone from dcph then, except for a few members. No one has ever heard of me either.
To tell you honestly, I do not have a big F1 collection. I only have a few cars. A few cars that I personally like. I displayed some of my 1/43 cars. Too bad I only have one pic of my exhibit. I was so busy taking pictures of other cars then :)
Sunday, April 09, 2006
Manila Motorshow Display
A few years ago, there are a few F1 collectors here in the Philippines. I am happy to see that a lot of people nowadays follow the sport. A lot of my friends from DCPH displayed at the motorshow. These are the displays that caught my eye:
Axn2003888 is the alias of my friend Jerome. I met Jerome even before I joined DCPH. I met him at an F1 message board in Canada. Jerome has a lot of Schumacher cars. He is also a big Michael Schumacher fan like most of the F1 fans here in the Philippines. Little did I know that he is also an Ayrton Senna fan. He displayed Senna's Mclaren championship cars during the 4 day exhibit:
Melvin is also one of those F1 collectors here. He just recently joined DCPH. I would say that he has a very impressive F1 collection. During the Motorshow, he displayed some of his Exoto cars:
Monpe, a good friend of mine, is a big Ferrari fan. He just started collecting 1/43 diecast cars and I would say that for a start, it's very impressive. He already got the Ferrari Transporters from Old cars and some old F1 cars. I hope in the future, he displays his impressive 1/18 Michael Schumacher cars.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
The 1/18 Cabinet (along with his Bikes)
I always love going to other people's apartment or houses just to view their collection. Me and my friends were fortunate enough to be invited by Laurent and his wonderful wife Gina who are diecast car collectors. Laurent is French and has been collecting for (I think) 3 years now. The first cabinet we saw was the cabinet for 1/18 cars. He had a lot! It was really nice.
After dinner, he showed us a room full of diecasts. There were a lot of 1/43 diecasts there. Norev, Minichamps, IXO's and some Cararamas and High Speed, all of which are 1/43's. He also has some Maisto, Bburago and Minichamps 1/18 cars which were displayed at the center table. I would say that Laurent displayed around 700 pieces of 1/43 cars that night.
Laurent and Gina unscrewed the cars one by one and it took them the whole day to do it!
the “clown car” is a Matford, built by the joint venture between Ford S.A.F. (the French branch of the company) and Mathis. The former didn’t have a factory forth the name, while Mathis had a large and ultra-modern factory in Strasbourg, but was nearly bankrupt.
Even though Laurent is relatively new in collecting, his passion for automobiles is fascinating! You can talk to him about almost any European car and he will tell you a short description or story about it.
Thank you Laurent for sharing your wonderful collection with us.