Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Retro Game Shopping in Nagoya Part 2: Osu Mandarake

 Part two of my posts on retro game shopping in Nagoya brings us to the Nagoya branch of Mandarake.  Nagoya`s Mandarake is also in the Osu neighborhood and is actually just a couple of minutes walk away from the game shops I visited in my previous post.   

It is a bit tricky to find though since it is on a side street, basically when you are walking down one of the arcade streets and you get to about here (the Ameyokocho building, which is also definitely worth checking out):

You turn onto a side street and blammo, you are right there:

I give the shop a score of minus 1000 in terms of its external appeal.  Whereas pretty much everywhere in Osu is vibrant and colorful, Mandarake is located in the only bit of grey dreariness in the neighborhood, surrounded by ugly parking lots.  And the building itself is an ugly grey blob.  But once you get inside its a different story.

In terms of stuff they have about the same type of selection as the Fukuoka Mandarake that I have featured on here numerous times.  The first floor is video games and comics, while the upper floors are toys and cosplay stuff.

Their Famicom selection isn`t as good as that in the Fukuoka Mandarake (which is surprising given that Nagoya is more than double the size of Fukuoka).  They keep all the loose carts in this basket here.  The prices are probably the best you will find in Osu, though that isn`t necessarily saying much.  They are fair and you might find the odd bargain in there.
 The glass case has some impressive stuff in it, although the selection there also isn`t quite as good as the Fukuoka Mandarake.  They have 3 copies of Gimmick! (12000 yen each, with a note saying they are a bit dirty) and 3 copies of Hitler no Fukkatsu (3800 yen each).  In the back of this photo you can see they have some really rare stuff, but this photo is pretty much everything they have in terms of higher price loose rarities.  Impressive, but not quite as varied as the Fukuoka Mandarake.
 Their valuable CIB stuff is kind of the same.  Again they have 3 copies of Gimmick (42000 yen each) which right there makes up half their selection of CIB stuff.  Actually  going to this store really makes me question just how hard Gimmick is to find if one shop can have six copies of it.
 They did have a decent selection of lower priced CIB Famicom games on a shelf which I wasn`t able to photograph.  The one area they did beat Fukuoka Mandarake on was selection of games for older consoles like the Epoch Cassette Vision and Sega Mark III, which they had a good variety of.  The prices here for most stuff are reasonable so if you are in Nagoya I would say this is probably the best place to visit if you are determined to spend a bit of money!


  1. My god. 42000 yen is about $420 at the moment, isn't it? If so, that's completely ridiculous. I guess prices in Japan aren't always so out of whack when compared to US eBay prices after all. Anyway, thanks for the double-barreled look at this shopping area. It was great!

    1. What is happening with prices in japan has to do with ebay seller I'm afraid and they are not Japanese stores most of the times.
      When I was stuffing my collection (I live in Tokyo by the way) initially, it seemed it was only me around (foreigner I mean) and the prices were fair. Then suddenly I started to bump always onto the same group of gaijins, always with a stuffed backpack (I noticed it was stuffed as they opened it to put in their purchases). An the prices started raising.
      What happened? The "game Leader" at mandarake explained to me that prices fluctuate depending on demand: say they sell a game like Battle Garegga for 9.500 yen (that's how much I paid for it) the next one will go for sale at 10.000. If nobody's buy it for that price, after a certain amount of time they put it back at the old price. If it immediately sell though the next one will go for 11.000.
      Last time i checked (a month ago) the cheapest in Akihabara was selling fo r 16.500 yen at Traders (which generally has excellent prices).
      And the usual guys again lurking around...
      The problem is that I believe these guys are stocking up on rarities up untill it is feasable to make a profit on ebay. Even if they don't sell the games immediately thay take'em out of the market to secure their stock.
      My guess is that at a certain point the prices become so high that is no longer feasible to make a profit on ebay and they stop buying (that is why there was no around earlier, they probably stopped for a while and prices went down as a result).
      On a side note there are more tourists then ever recently, which also adds to the buying craze and of course, bargains are dwindling.
      You can still find them mind you, but you got to live here and leave a lot of stuff on the shelves until the good priced item pop out (if you are in a hurry, it's not the best moment to be in Japan I'm afraid).

  2. Yeah, over the past year or so prices in Japan have jumped a bit. Gimmick especially, the Mandarake in Fukuoka a couple of years ago sold loose copies for about $40, now they are about 4 times that much.

    The Ebay-effect is slowly making itself felt!

  3. I didn't know Hitler no Fukkatsu was going for that much... I saw a copy for about 1800 yen in Akihabara last summer and I thought it was overpriced. Hmm.

  4. 1800 is actually a pretty good deal for Hitler no Fukkatsu. On Yahoo Auctions these days it goes in the 2500-3000 yen for a decent loose copy.

  5. Wow, that's a pretty great price for Gimmick considering loose it can go for 250-400 euro anytime I've seen it. It's only about 86 euro, if I saw it for that price I'd snap it up. Hmm.... how much are flights to japan again?

  6. Japanese game stores are always the best!

  7. retrogamer - wow, I had no idea it was so expensive in europe!

    Logan - they are indeed!

  8. Great post!
    I mainly collect Sega Saturn, PC Engine and Neo Geo CD, have you seen games for these systems in Nagoya?

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