My first Nendoroid was Princess of the Crystal from Penguindrum. I ordered her through a trusted hobby shop.
I was still living in the Philippines that time meaning postage from Japan was relatively cheap, but the hobby sure wasn’t.
Thankfully I’m not so big into anime stuff as I grew older so the
need want for Nendoroids and small merch wasn’t that much. If I really wanted one, it’s a character from something I truly cared about unless the design is really good.
I couldn’t casually afford paying full price on new releases so I had to learn looking for cheaper sources. I didn’t want to settle with bad bootlegs ever since I got a hold of legit figures.
My sources of affordable figures or character goods back then were:
- Rakuten Terraformer (international storefront closed down)
- Suruga-ya JP store (You need a proxy to buy here, not everything is available on their English site)
- Hubbyte Toy Store (local hobby shop in the Philippines)
- Amiami Pre-owned section (Japan-based store with an English/International storefront)
- Hobby Link Japan (just like Amiami)
Now living in New Zealand, I find sourcing cheap and legit figures and goods trickier for two main reasons: Shipping and 15% GST (tax).
From experience, these are the stores that I trust buying figures and other goods that ships to New Zealand (in no particular order):
- Okini Land (Japan-based store) Now my favourite place to get Nendoroids, amazing customer service and cheap prices.
- Suruga-ya** (A chain of 2nd hand goods all over Japan, you need a proxy service to buy here)
- Amiami (pre-owned section) (Japan-based store with an English/International storefront)
- Nin Nin Game (Ships from France or Japan)
Madman AU/NZ*** clearance sales
- The rare time there are sales in Armageddon by
AnimeLab/Madmanlicensed distributor booths.
**since early 2022 Suruga-ya has blocked/cut ties with most proxy services and has partnered up with Neokyo instead (I haven’t tried their service yet)
***They have stopped selling anime stuff after Crunchyroll bought Funimation. You’ll have to go to their store for this but f crunchyroll, don’t give them money.
Some places that are legit but I haven’t personally tried them yet:
- Jungle (Japan-based English storefront)
- Popculture Tengoku (NZ-based operation)
- Mandarake (Chain of used hobby goods in Japan)
- Otaku Stash (NZ-based operation)
- Graphic Novel Cafe – their site sucks so please go to their physical store in Auckland CBD or visit their Facebook.
Places you could probably try your luck and pray you’re not getting a bootleg.
Some people dispose their used collection every now and then at “must go” prices here:
- Trade Me NZ
- NZ fandom trading club
- My Figure Collection ads (you’ll have to find one that can ship to NZ though)
Places you can get LEGIT figures and goods but not necessarily cheaper:
- Goodsmile Shop (2000 JPY flat shipping)
- Sugo Toys* (Australian-based shop)
- Official Amazon storefronts (not ideal if you want to get it cheaper but availability is almost guaranteed)
- Mighty Ape AU/NZ
Madman AU/NZno longer applicable
- NZgameshop (NZ prices but ships from the UK)
*- I added Sugo Toys here because they were selling an out-of-print figure at retail price plus their shipping to NZ is cheap and reasonable.
If you are interested joining Group Orders (GO) or splits for smaller items and merch (official/fanmerch):
If you are looking for fan merch, you can try this site that hosts NZ-based artists:
If you are looking for a Japanese proxy, you might consider the following:
- Buyee – Good for small orders or if buying from just one store, fees add up fast however. They issue some good (usually first time buyer) coupons every now and then
- FromJapan – 300 yen per item but includes insurance and consolidation fee. Probably good if you’re buying one item of your obscure fave or multiple copies of one thing
- Japan Shopping Service – Cheaper fees but just need to have some patience using their antiquated website. Explicitly says they can’t order Surugaya items.
Absolutely avoid these places if you don’t want bootlegs:
- Kissanime NZ – They sell legit figures but they mix it with bootleg/stolen art smaller merchandise.
- Animehouse – They sell bootlegs to the point they even bootlegged an already established convention.
- “Mystery Grab Bag” stores in Armageddon or NZ conventions.
If you’re a hobby shop selling only authentic stuff located in NZ or offer reasonable shipping to NZ and want to be listed here, please leave a comment. If you’re listed as a bootleg shop and you want to clear your name, contact me and show proof you’re not selling bootleg/stolen artwork merch anymore. I do not accept sponsored “reviews”, if I want or need something from your store I’ll come to you.