Hobby Collecting in New Zealand

Updated: 29/09/2023

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/Madman licensed 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:

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/NZ no longer applicable
  • PBtech
  • 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:

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.

2 years ago

7 Comments

  1. Found this post through random google search, thanks for the tips on Okini Land and Popculture Tengoku, they seem a far better alternative now that AmiAmi’s service has gotten really poor and their shipping prices nuts.

    1. I haven’t ordered anything from AmiAmi lately since my current interest is hunting down older figures. Didn’t know about the shipping price hike from them as well. Currently prefer Okini Land since they offer a lot of old/used figures. Okini Land’s advantage is you can store your orders indefinitely until you’re ready to ship. I would usually wait until I have three Nendoroid boxes so I can have them shipped for less than 30NZD.

      Just recently got my third order from Okini Land actually and I absolutely love shopping there. Been planning to write about Okini Land but I just don’t have the time unfortunately.

      Also thank you for visiting my blog!

  2. Pop Culture Tengoku are a legit business – they generously sponsored prizes for a weeb event my friend was organising, and I received one of them. They’re official figures! Just FYI.
    Hobby Search (1999.co.jp) has been my go to, but since they now started charging GST as well, I’m looking for a diff option. I’m so sad, I really like Hobby Search. 🙁

  3. Hey, I have a huge collection of premium figures purchased mainly from Hobby Search over the years. Any suggestions as to where I might be able to sell them within New Zealand other than Trade Me?

    1. Hi, thanks for visiting my blog.

      As for your question, I can suggest the following:
      MyFigureCollection: Make an account and post ads there, just make sure to say if you’re willing to ship overseas or just strictly local.
      NZ Fandom Trading Club: Facebook group where people buy/sell/trade merch.
      Australia & NZ Anime, Manga, Cosplay, & Gaming Buy and Sell: Same purpose as the group above but you’ll have to specify you’re selling from NZ.
      Anime/Manga Fans in NZ: I’m not a member of this group but I’ve seen sales post before from someone else. Seems like you have to ask admins first before advertising.

  4. Hiya!

    I really like the detailed write up that you have provided on sourcing anime figures from here within NZ as well as some of the challenges that we as collectors currently run into! E.g Imports fees, taxes and currently, a never-ending hike in shipping prices! (Seriously! >.>)

    Thanks to everyone here for the positive shout outs to us, my name is Anthony and I am the founder of Popculture Tengoku here in NZ! At heart, we’re collectors just sharing our passion of collecting with others, along the way we have sponsored some smaller scale events, much like the one Rolly has mentioned. It’s always been great to give something back to the overall community here and support others!

    If I could leave any one tip to new comer collectors when it comes to the authenticity and credibility of the products a store sells, ask for photos of the figures box (if the item is in stock), this way you can compare it to that which is out there or pick up on a few of the tell-tale signs of a non-genuine collectible. Both MFC/YT are great sources to gather info on spotting bootlegs too.

    On a side note, I also enjoyed the Nendoroid reviews too ^-^

    Anthony
    ~Team Popculture Tengoku

  5. Bought all my nendoroids from MightyApe for better assurance that they are 100% legit. I once stumbled on KissAnimeNZ since it is near my place, I was looking for the Gojo nendoroid and they have 1 in-stock. I was totally skeptical to order online so I went in-store to check it and omg the nendoroid is disappointing, one of Gojo’s arm have faded paint and kinda dodgy it looks like a bootleg one. I did not buy it. I went back to MA. Since then KA is not my ‘go-to’ shop for legit figures.

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