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View Full Version : Where you get your kits?



Wiltonican
March 1, 2012, 1:51 PM
Where do you buy your kits from? Online? Locally?

I'm pretty fortunate to live in a city with a huge Asian population that would even warrant few Gundam stores. But, it's pretty sad to see them go down as fast as they go up. I really want to support the locals, but their prices are just too high. And I can't wait to visit them so often and chance at their sale days.

If you get yours online, where?

Kenico
March 1, 2012, 2:16 PM
Gundam Store and More...Fiat!

TwilightKing
March 1, 2012, 4:20 PM
Gundamstoreandmore.com

ItsVince725
March 1, 2012, 4:42 PM
Gundam Store and More or Hobby Link Japan.

thwalker13
March 1, 2012, 4:52 PM
Gundam Store and More. No where around where I live carries Gunpla.

Zappit
March 1, 2012, 4:56 PM
Amazon - most of them came from Robots4Less, though.

Zeta
March 1, 2012, 10:33 PM
It varies for me. I know of a local hobby shop that has plenty of Master Grades and High Grades ranging from MG Destiny Gundam Extreme Blast Mode to 1990s 1/100 Wing High Grades. I also tend to shop online at either Gundam Store and More (for their prices), Hobby Link Japan, or Amazon.

Wiltonican
March 2, 2012, 1:41 AM
Interesting. There seems to be a lot of supporters of GSaM here. Are there any sponsors here? If not, maybe someone should contact them and suggest special forum discounts? Maybe offer occasional group buy discounts? It's all good for business for everyone! Everyone loves here loves to buy Gundams and every sponsor loves to make money! Someone needs to get on this.

thwalker13
March 2, 2012, 2:13 AM
I don't care to give it a shot. I have a Platinum membership to GS&M so maybe I might get something going. I'll email them and see what they say.

Edit: Just emailed them. I will let you all know when and or if I receive a reply.

Wiltonican
March 2, 2012, 3:48 AM
Thanks Thomas! It'll give a little boost to this community if they offer!

CKai Cydek
March 2, 2012, 7:35 AM
I consider myself really lucky - about a little more than half the kits I buy I get locally at hobby shops. There are two that are at a nearby mall that I frequent, my favorite one has cheaper prices than the other & tend to get kits as early as a week or less after the official Japanese release. What's more, they often stock exclusives that you'd only be able to find on Bandai & Kotobukiya's online shops.

The prices are pretty good as they cost significantly less than what I would get from say, HLJ + shipping & customs + taxes. And I recently got a gold card from them so now I get a permanent 10% discount on everything they have, so compounded with their low prices, I can get most any kit for slightly more than its box price. Not a bad deal.

If I have to resort to mail order, it's gonna be for kits that are really hard to find that I know my local shop won't likely stock. For those, I turn to Hobbylink Japan or Amiami. For spare parts orders & some hard-to-find stuff, I go to GG Infinite. For various 3rd party items like those made by Model Comprehend, add-on parts (like the RG Freedom effect parts & recently got), and hobby supplies I can't find anywhere else, I got either HobbyMate or this local dealer via Sulit.com.ph(local version of eBay).

While I almost never ever buy kits from places like Toys 'R' Us(they're horribly overpriced - a typical Master Grade can cost as much as $25 more there as compared to the local shop I mentioned), they have a great selection of waterslide decals.

Asterisk
March 2, 2012, 7:57 AM
Actually, this forum is owned by Gundam Store & More, and mick3y, the other mods and I are technically employed by them.

That said, I primarily get my kits from them, unless it's something I can't wait for. Otherwise, I order occasionally from GG Infinite, Hobbywave, Amiami and Tatsu Hobby.
Different places for different things, y'know?
Plus, there are 2 local places I buy from sometimes. One in the local mall called Thingamajigs. Their prices vary from decent to obscene, and their stock is usually unimpressive, but every now and again you find something nice.
Another place, a hobby shop called Plastic Worx that actually dabbles in quite a few things. They have a very random assortment of kits, mostly master grades ranging again from decent to obscene. I DID get a 1/48 RX 78-2 for about $105 from them, so that wasn't too bad.

Lastly, a not so local place that my best friend works at. I've only been there once, since he lives/works roughly 80 miles away, but I've been told I'm welcome to use his 30% employee discount whenever I'm around.

thwalker13
March 2, 2012, 8:07 AM
Thanks for the references CKai. HobbyMate actually has the "Wings of Light" add on parts for the Strike Freedom that I've been looking for. And how good are the rates for replacement parts from GG Infinite?

Wiltonican
March 2, 2012, 12:54 PM
Actually, this forum is owned by Gundam Store & More, and mick3y, the other mods and I are technically employed by them.


Really!??! Wow, with no GSaM banners anywhere (at least not where I can see them), I would have never known this. So, can you hook us up? :D



I DID get a 1/48 RX 78-2 for about $105 from them, so that wasn't too bad.


That's a great deal! I had been looking for that kit as well. This guy did an awe-inspiring job on one that got me excited to try it myself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej1VdR-zV5o&feature=related
He converted it to all resin then assembled every little piece by magnets! With a great paintjob to boot.

Asterisk
March 2, 2012, 1:48 PM
Really!??! Wow, with no GSaM banners anywhere (at least not where I can see them), I would have never known this.
Yeah, the whole idea was more a place for Gundam lovers to hang out and talk than a GSAM forum. They're really great, considerate folk.


So, can you hook us up? :D
Man, I wish. Being a moderator has some neat little perks, but nothing THAT grand, haha.

Wiltonican
March 2, 2012, 3:21 PM
Awww..

Well, as an employee, you can pitch them ideas. Makes you look good to bring in business for them.

Like organizing group buys. Would have been good timing for the UC Group Build! If the price was good, I'm sure people would be swayed into it too.

Joe
March 2, 2012, 5:09 PM
Well, I don't think we should ask more of or Moderators than what they already provide for us, which is a great Gunpla Community. GSaM already has some of the BEST prices in the market for Gunpla.

As for where I shop, it depends on what I'm buying. When I first started out 12 years ago when the USD was up and the JPY was lower, I bought exclusively from HLJ because they're prices after conversion with EMS shipping was just so cheap! Recently, I've been buying more and more from American based stores.

GSaM - Lowest Prices in the American Market! They're shipping rates are fair and their service is top notch. I am a Platinum Member of their Gundam Club which was an initial investment of $100 but I got free shipping on all of my orders over $99 (There have been enough that the $100 membership fee has paid for itself) and I got a ton of free stuff that I can't complain about at all! I've called them on a few occasions and they are always friendly and willing to help my with anything I need. My one complaint is how slowly they restock and how slow they are to get new stuff. Their online store could use a bit of an update or a general re-organization of their catalog, too.

HobbyWave.com - Their prices are really close to GSaM and their flat rate shipping is awesome! $12 to anywhere in the lower 48 States and on $18 to Canada (if you're from the Great White North) are amazing rates and you don't have to be a special member! Their online store is very easy to navigate and everything is very nicely organized and labeled. Only issue I've had with these guys is when I only want one or two items, $12 seems like a lot. They are also slow to respond to my E-mails.

Robot4Less - These guys are quickly becoming my Go-To store. They often have various sales, give-aways, and they send out coupon codes from time to time. they have free shipping on all orders over $100 (on in-stock items only, so when pre-orders/backorders come in separate from a main order, you pay for shipping the straggler items). Their prices are higher than the above stores buy a bit. I consider their prices to be akin to actual retail pricing, whereas GSaM is like the Wal-Mart of Gunpla. They have a coupon code that is always active for orders over $100 enter the code BUY100 and get $20 off. I find that this code helps bring their prices down to GSaM level. They're shipping from California to Illinois(where I live) is as fast as GSaM's shipping from Michigan to Illinois most of the time! My biggest issue with these guys, their webpage is difficult to get used to. Nothing is organized as well as it could be. Their search function works well enough, but I wish there was a way to sort by series or something!

Those are my BIG THREE that I shop at.

I've ordered from a few other places and I'll go ahead and make a block of text on those, too:
GG Infinite - I only ordered from them once and will most likely never use them again. They forgot an item and my 1/100 Dynames box was torn up and had a lot of water damage as did the instruction manual. After an E-mail exchange, they sent my other item and a set of decals (which I may never end up using) as an apology. High prices and poor initial service kinda made me look away from them. I have not used their parts ordering service, but might try that soon as I've got a few parts I'm missing from a HG Gundam Mk II.

Hobby Link Japan - I love they're GunplaTV video podcast! I don't order from them very often anymore simply because of shipping. They're actual prices for product are great even with the current exchange rate as bad as it is; however because of transportation costs going up and yadda yadda, it's not economical to buy from them. They recently, in the past year or two, lowered all or most of their Gunpla prices by 20% off the MSRP which most Japanese retail stores do anyway. From time to time they will have a decent discount on shipping or a huge sale on Gunpla but I only order kits from them when they have both at the same time. I do order hobby magazines from them when they include bonus items. Even with FedEx shipping, a single magazine from them is cheaper than it would be from GG Infinite after shipping.

Advantage Hobby.com - They are a local shop, but they "Warehouse" most of their actual merchandise. Prices are kind of high, but when I REALLY need a kit for whatever reason, I can order before 10:30am and pick it up after 5pm the same day.

Slot and Wing - Another local shop, they usually only get Gunpla in as scratch and dents from the HobbyCo, Horizon Hobby, and Great Planes distribution centers and not very often, but I've gotten a few Sangokuden kits for $2-$3, MG Destiny Gundam EBM for $15 (Torso partially assembled missing one piece that I had to buy from GSaM), and a Master Grade Hi-Nu Gundam for less than $50

Lots of options out there guys! I'll stop typing now.

CKai Cydek
March 2, 2012, 6:27 PM
Thanks for the references CKai. HobbyMate actually has the "Wings of Light" add on parts for the Strike Freedom that I've been looking for. And how good are the rates for replacement parts from GG Infinite?

I've ordered from them once and they handled my order pretty well, but that was when their parts order service was just starting out. Nowadays they get so many orders that they sometimes have trouble replying due to delays. And another thing is that my particular order took a month to get the parts from Japan, then another month to ship them to me. I did get what I wanted eventually, and you can too, if you have the patience. Email them every day about your order to make sure you're kept abreast of everything.

Though it's my understanding that Gundam Store & More also offers replacement parts, but they cannibalize off of kits they happen to have for such a purpose, while GG Infinite has a supplier that gets stuff from Bandai, I think.

By the way, better get those Wings of Light while you can! HobbyMate's backorders of that particular product tend to disappear quick!

CT SVT
March 2, 2012, 6:41 PM
get all my gunpla from gundamplanet.com they are in NJ so normal shiping i get the package in one day if its a preorder and normal order its 2 days. its great . and they are not over price. they sell kits $2-$4 more them other US online shops so its not a big deal. customer service is great i recommened them

RX-0
March 2, 2012, 8:27 PM
i get all my kits from www.gundamstoreandmore.com (http://www.gundamstoreandmore.com) and hobbytown usa (the former in good the latter is pricy)