Tokyo Toy-Otaku: Yellow Submarine, Liberty & TamTam

Back in Akihabara, every toy-otaku’s dream locale and a place where i’ve never fully yet explored even after visiting Tokyo a few times already. There are just so many things to see and if you have a partner tagging along who is not at all impressed with anything in this district, chances are time is not on your side.

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Usually i would make a short trip to Yodobashi, but with much less time to explore the area, i had to give it a miss. This time, i had marked out two places on my map with which to visit. Liberty and Tam Tam. But first, since it has relocated to such an easily accessed location (inside the Radio Kaikan building), a short look at Yellow Submarine was in order.

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Yellow Submarine does the usual Akiba stuff, big booby anime figures, robots and various other otaku knick knacks, but of personal interest is their nice selection of scale model kit automobiles. Like Yodobashi, prices here are fair and although the options available might not be as vast as the giant megastore, there are still plenty of ways to lighten your wallet here.

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Of late, i’ve been seeing less Itasha cars on the shelves, which is a pity since those are the ones i usually like to pick up. I hope they are not being phased out. I didn’t buy anything at Yellow Submarine this time around as i had bigger things planned in my mind. It’s time to hit Liberty and Tam Tam.

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I’ve read quite a fair bit about Liberty (there are actually two along the same stretch, the one further away from Akihabara station has the cars), i had scanned their webpages and saw a number of cars that i was so hoping to pick up. Alas, it was not to be. Liberty, unfortunately, turned out to be a disappointment. There was absolutely NOTHING for me here.

For those who don’t know, Liberty sells used stuff, for the auto-otaku’s case, used diecast cars. If you go online to check out their list of cars, you’d find some really awesome bargains. See those flyers outside the shop advertising their list of cars? Most of those on the list are not available. So unless you reside in Japan and reach the shop on the day the good stuff goes on sale, chances are you’ll not have anything worth picking out as prices for the cars that are in their inventory are not exactly enticing. Their very curt staff didn’t really add to the experience either.

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I did see a 1/18 Ignition model S30 Fairlady in full carbon black, but it had a busted front headlight (looked like it might have been dropped), with a price tag of ¥18,000 (excluding tax), new IG Fairladys go for about ¥20,000-¥24,000 so a busted one at ¥18,000 didn’t seem like much of a bargain in my opinion.

I’m sure that good deals can be found if one was to spend more time combing through the shop, but when time is not on your side, it’s better to move on to Tam Tam, which is just slightly further down the street, diagonally across the next cross junction.

Unlike Liberty, Tam Tam is an absolute paradise for the Auto-Toy-Otaku. It’s almost like a diecast museum where everything can be bought (for those with the right amount of Yens)! Rows after rows and shelves after shelves of very very desirable scaled down automobiles. All calling out for your precious Yens.

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I can seriously spend many many hours here if i had the chance. Tam Tam is serious wallet busting territory.

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Apologies for the horrible quality pictures, i tried to be discreet and used my phone instead.

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I think this might be a reissue but back in the early days of Autoart 1/18s, that Subaru 22b was one expensive unicorn.

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1/18 Liberty Walk GTRs? About $500 a piece.

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Or how about a massive Phantom for the discerning collector? Only ¥420,000. Chump change for those who can afford the real thing though.

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Not everything here seem to be priced into the stratosphere though as there are some discounted cars on sale. Check out that price tag on the GTR32 police car. On hindsight, i should have just picked it up.

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There were also more ChoroQ Zeros and Limited Vintage Tomicas than even the Tomica shop! Crazy!

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These were what i came here for, to pick up an Ignition Model. Interestingly the black Fairlady was going for slightly cheaper than the red, but since i already have a red Hakosuka sitting pretty at home, red Fairlady it is. Note the extra cardboard carrying box. With my limited time in Akihabara now up, i dutifully paid up and sprinted back to my significant other who was for the past hour, nursing a drink in the nearest Starbucks. Take note, that the diecast car section is probably only a third of what Tam Tam has in store, on the same floor, there is also a section for scale train hobbyist and one level down, there is a whole floor dedicated to anime booby figures, plastic kits and R/C vehicles which i sadly did not have the time to take a look at.

So there you have it, Yodobashi and Yellow Submarine, casual staples for every visit to Akiba with Tam Tam, a total haven for the Auto-Toy-Otakus. Liberty can be given a miss.

3 thoughts on “Tokyo Toy-Otaku: Yellow Submarine, Liberty & TamTam

  1. great article! I am going to tokyo in Feb. Would love to read more about places to visit! I am a Jap car fan too! GTR’s!

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