[Taiwan] Toy Shopping in Taipei

by him on September 1, 2012

in Anime, Hot Toys, Taipei, Toy Shop, Ximending

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  • Updated in Nov 2018 on new Gacha Store in Tonghua Night Market
  • Updated in Nov 2015 on new IT mall: Syntrend (三創生活), new Animate outlet in Ximen and closure of SanSun! Added tons of new photos!

ximending night view

Hanzhong street (漢中街), an energetic and colourful street at night in Ximending (西門町)

Ximending, an area in Taipei City, Taiwan, is a very trendy and vibrant place that is full of energetic youths. With their huge appetite for Japanese manga and anime goods, it’s no wonder there are several spots great for licensed anime merchandise and translated manga in Taipei. If you love anime & manga and collect Figma, Nendoroid and PVC statues, you will be in for a treat.

animate poster
New items promotion outside Animate shop in Sept 2011.

Animate (安利美特) is a Japanese chain specialising in anime-related goods with a flagship store in Taipei. Here, you will find no lack of mandarin-translated manga, by Taiwanese publisher Tong-Li (東立), and an assortment of pencil boards, folders, posters, scrolls, T-shirts, keychains, mugs and figurines as well. If you accumulate NT$3000 in receipts within a year, you can join their free membership for discounted prices on most items. You will need to sign up before the first receipt is issued to qualify. The outlet at Ximen occupies a large basement under the Tai Sugar Hotel. Don’t forget to check out the bargain bin and you may find a gem or two at clearance prices!

evangelion extra book
I found this Evangelion Extra Box with full-colour mini magazine and picture cards in the bargain bin for only NT$100!

anime pencil boards and keychains
Licensed pencil boards, folders and keychains from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun, Angel Beats!, Steins;Gate and Shinryaku! Ika Musume

As these are licensed for sale in Taiwan only, they are authentic goods at lower prices than the equivalent you will find in Japan. The wonderful thing about locally-licensed goods in Taiwan is that the prices are already printed on the product so you do not have to worry about being overcharged. You can find original game prizes from Japan too.

anime goods taiwan price tag
An example of a price tag. The number in the box is the price, in the case, NT199.

Animate Ximen
This is the entrance facing Tai Sugar Hotel.

Animate Ximen
Beautiful posters greet you as you proceed down the stairs

Animate Ximen
Posters lined the walls all the way to the basement entrance

Animate Tai Sugar

Animate Ximen Store (As of Nov 2015)
Address: 100, Taiwan, Taipei City, Zhongzheng District, Section 1, Zhonghua Rd, 39號B1 (Entrance to the basement store is right outside Tai Sugar Hotel)
Opening hours: 10am to 10pm daily

Nearest MRT: Ximen Station Exit 6
Walking directions on Google Maps

 

sansun main ximen
SanSun Ximen Outlet in Sept 2011 Closed as of Dec 2014

Update Nov 2015: The SanSun chain has closed down in Taiwan at the end of 2014. :(

SanSun (33学堂) is a chain of stationery stores but also carries a large assortment of anime-related goods such as keychains, pencil boards, folders and T-shirts. The outlet in Ximending has 4 floors of shopping goodness. When we visited Sansun in 2011 (Sep) and 2012 (Jul), they were having a 10% discount for anime goods.

sansun entrance ximen
SanSun Ximen main entrance in Sept 2011 Closed as of Dec 2014

Store info:  Closed Permanently
Name: SanSun 33学堂
Featured Outlet: Ximen 西門 For other outlets, refer to their website.
Address: 83 Wuchang Street Section 2 台北市武昌街二段83號
Website: http://www.sansunshop.com/index.html
Nearest MRT: Ximen Station Exit 6 (Don’t worry about the seemingly long walk, there are lotsa trendy stores lining the streets. As you walk and browse the stores along the way, you will arrive at your destination in no time)
Click here for walking directions on Google Maps

fukubukuro
Both Animate and SanSun stock anime “fukubukuro” or “lucky bags”. It’s basically a paper bag full of random items from a particular anime and sold at a price much lesser than the total cost of all the individual items.  It’s marked outside which anime the items belong to but you can’t see what the individual items are. It’s really fun and worth the price especially if you do not have any items from that anime to begin with. We bought one bag each from Animate and Sansun.

vampire knight
Here’s a look at the contents of the Vampire Knight fukubukuro lucky bag. There are mouse pads, picture cards, cloth pouches, emblems, armband and buttons. If you were to buy all these individually, the total cost based on the printed tag price is NT1265. Since a lucky bag only cost NT298 each, that’s more than 70% off!

mag freak ximen
Mag Freak Ximending entrance in July 2012

Mag Freak (雜誌瘋) is another popular anime chain store and this particular outlet occupies 3 floors. You can find many Japan imported magazines as well as locally translated character books. They also carry mangas, posters and anime goods. I found some older Figmas at discounted prices here. Figmas tend to appreciate in value after a while so I was glad to get hold of two that were close to their just-released prices.

Store info:
Name: Mag Freak 雜誌瘋
Featured Outlet: Ximen. For other outlets, refer to their website.
Address: 7 Wuchang Street Section 2, Wanhua district 台北市萬華區武昌街2段7號
Opening hours: Mon – Thu: 11am to 10pm, Fri – Sun: 11am to 10.30pm
Website: http://www.magfreak.com.tw/
Nearest MRT Station: Ximen Exit 6
Click here for walking directions on Google Maps

beast kingdom
Life-size Thor, central display in Beast Kingdom

If you are into Hot Toys, a Hong Kong produced of a line of realistic Hollywood movie figures, you will be glad to know that there is an official distributor in Taiwan: Beast Kingdom 野獸國 and their showroom is in Eslite Ximen.

beast kingdom window
The window display used to be on the first floor (2011) facing the street but they have since moved to a larger basement store with an equally impressive gallery (2012). You are welcome to snap photos of all the exhibits. Definitely worth a visit even if just to admire the gallery.

beast kingdom gallery
Large numbers of displays line the left side of the showroom

beast kingdom sales
Items display on the right are for sale.

hot toys ironman gantry
Hot Toys Ironman series

hot toys babydoll
Hot Toys Babydoll from Sucker Punch

beast kingdom captain america
Life-size Captain America at the entrance

Name: Beast Kingdom 野獸國
Address: Eslite, 77 Wuchang Street Section 2, Basement floor 77號, 武昌街二段
Opening hours: 10am to 6pm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BKTOYS000
Website: http://www.beast-kingdom.com.tw/
Nearest MRT Station: Ximen Exit 6
Click here for walking directions on Google Maps


Wan Nian Commercial Building (萬年商業大樓)

The 4 floor of this building in Ximending has lots of hobby kits, Japanese toys such as Figma & Nendoroid and licensed plushies such as Shin-chan! Prices are all tagged so you don’t have to worry about different prices for tourists.

Wan Nian
The front of the building is quite prominent. It’s at an intersection just off Ximending central.

Wan Nian
Lots of displays at each of the shops. There’s also Hot Toys, Play Arts Kai, SH Figuarts & Gunpla.

wan nian plushie
Found several new stocks of Crayon Shin Chan at this store, so far at the lowest prices in Taipei! 4th floor, shop number 33 near the escalator. Opens 2.30pm to 9.30pm daily.

wan nian plushie
This corner shop on the 3rd floor also has good prices but do price check before you buy.

Wan Nian Commercial Building (萬年商業大樓)
Address: No. 70 Xiníng South Road, Wànhuá District, Taipei
地址: 台北市萬華區西寧南路70號
Walking directions on Google Maps

 

Taipei Main Station

Y-Mall
Y-Mall Sign
No visit to Taipei is complete without visiting Y-Mall at Taipei Main Station. It is an underground mall stretching for around 2km with numerous shops selling apparel, handphone accessories and toys.

Y-Mall Entrance
Look out for the Y Zone, it’s one level below the station exit towards the direction of Q Square. It’s the same level as the basement food court in Q Square.

Y Mall Sailor Moon
Pretty anime advertisements fill the walls of the passageway as you make your way to the many stores.

Y Mall Steins Gate
Steins;Gate game banner

Y Mall Checkfun
One of the stores I like to patronize is Check Fun. There are many outlets throughout the city. Although it resembles our Toy Outpost, there is much more variety and I do not think that the cabinets belong to different sellers.

Y Mall
One of the many examples of shops carrying anime-related goods.

Y Mall
There is even a shop selling realistic replica toy guns.

Y Mall SH Sailor Moon
Located at one of the stores is the official Prototype Corner, featuring SH Figuarts Sailormoon and Hatsune Miku x Rody.

Y Mall Figma Kancolle
Figma Kancolle

Y Mall SH Super Mario
SH Figuarts Super Mario and Luigi

Y-Mall Shops
There are more than 20 gaming shops and toy shops, so allocate about an hour or two to browse while you are here. Lots of Figma, Nendoroid and even SDCC NECA figures are available. A note of caution, do compare prices between the shops and verify the authenticity of the toys you are purchasing. I have seen bootleg Figmas & Nendoroids in some shops. The chain I like to visit is called “Recycle”. They usually have some older items on sale. I bought an original Bandai S.H.MonsterArts Big Chap Alien at a very reasonable NT$799 (SGD$35).

 

Zhongxiao Xinsheng

Syntrend (三創生活)

Syntrend Creative Park, or simply “Syntrend”, is the latest and greatest IT mall in Taipei! Floors 1 to 5 cover your usual IT gadgets and gaming peripherals. On the 6th floor, you will find an entire floor dedicated to toys! Figma, Nendoroid, SH Figurarts, Gunpla, nanoblocks, DC, Marvel, PlayArts, NECA, Tamiya, Hot Toys, Sideshow, ThreeA, Kids Logic, Bandai Chibi-arts can all be found there!

Syntrend
The entrance to the high tech mall, Syntrend

Syntrend
It has a bridge to Guanghua Digital Plaza, the older IT mall.

Syntrend
Pillars encased in HD displays on the ground floor

Syntrend Intel
An Intel showroom demos the latest gaming technology including driving simulators using wrap around displays. The Oculus Rift is also available for you to try.

Syntrend Asia Goal
The lower floors showcase mostly lifestyle products, PC and mobile accessories. The real action starts on the 6th floor which is entirely dedicated to toys!

Syntrend Asia Goal
Even NECA is available! But the prices are generally 20% higher than Hong Kong and Singapore :(

Syntrend Tamiya
Tamiya store for the hobby kit enthusiast.

Syntrend Gunpla
Everyone’s favourite Gunpla at Gundam Base.

Syntrend Gunpla
There are plenty of display cases for you to admire the finished models.

Syntrend Gunpla
Photography is welcome but as usual, no touching!

Syntrend Nano Blocks
The ever popular nanoblocks are available at Syntrend as well, along with Taiwan exclusive models.

Syntrend
Hobby toy is an authorized agent for Hot Toys, Play Imaginative, Side Show Collectibles and COSMI, which has interesting designs for Disney as well as Marvel products.

Syntrend Acid Rain
Acid Rain

Syntrend Titanfall
Titanfall Atlas

Syntrend Hot Toys
Hot Toys Batman series

Syntrend Pili
There was an exhibition at the atrium on Pili, the puppet-based martial arts drama that is surprisingly popular with people from all ages, when we visited the mall in Nov 2015. I enjoy the show too as the choreography and visual effects are a treat to watch. It has its own cable TV channel so you can try to catch it at your hotel room and new episodes are broadcast nightly. Short clips can be found on the official YouTube channel.

Syntrend Pili
The puppets are huge works of art with elaborate costumes and lively facial expressions. The life-size replicas of the puppets used for the show were on display and ranged from 80 to 90 cm tall!

Syntrend Razer
A Razer gaming centre at one end of the floor seems popular with the local youths.

Syntrend (三創生活園區)
Address: No. 2, Section 3, Civic Blvd, Zhongzheng District, Taipei City, Taiwan 100
市民大道三段2號 (金山北路)
Nearest MRT: Zhongxiao Xinsheng
Walking directions on Google Maps


Other areas

Shilin Night Market

For those looking for gashapons (扭蛋) or candy toys, I highly recommend 日亭商店 which is selling licensed and authentic ones. Try you luck at individual gacha or purchase a complete set, both at very reasonable prices. I bought a Rilakkuma mobile phone strap set of 5 characters at a total price (NT$300) which was less than the combined individual marked price in yen (200yen x 5 = 1000 yen = NT$383).  Always check that the set comes with the accompanying character paper slips to ensure that you are getting the authentic version as there are other stores selling bootleg items.

ri ting gacha shop
[Update Nov 2015] The store has since moved to a different street occupying a space that is twice as spacious and features literally 100s of gashapon machines! :D The store proudly proclaims that all goods are authentic and licensed from Japan.

ri ting gacha shop

Shop name: 日亭商店
Outlets:
1) Shilin Night Market (台北市士林區大東路15-10號)
Walking directions on Google Maps

2) Danshui Old Street (新北市淡水區中正路11巷23號(接近新碼頭)
Walking directions on Google Maps

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/toys8/

Shi Lai Zhuan Yun
Another gacha shop that you can try is this, aptly named “Every dog has his day”. Lots of gashapon machines and complete sets can be found here too.

Shop name: 時來運轉 (Every dog has his day)
Address: No 14-1 Shilin District, Wenlin Road Lane 101
Facebook: 士林 時來運轉
Walking directions on Google Maps


Plushie Store in Shilin

shilin plush
If you have visited the plushie stores in Wan Nian and still couldn’t find what you want, you can try this shop near the entrance of Shilin Night Market. The plush toys are authentic and Crayon Shin Chan (蜡笔小新) is usually available too. Prices are quite a bit higher than Wan Nian though but better than Ximending central. Here’s a street view of the shop in Google maps to help you locate it.

Taipei Taoyuan International Airport

Hello Kitty Taipei Taoyuan Airport
As you are leaving Taipei, do check out the Hello Kitty store at Taoyuan International Airport. This store carries many exclusively licensed Hello Kitty Taiwan products such as luggage bags, tags and accessories. The store is at areas A & B in Terminal 1 and at area C in Terminal 2.

Hello Kitty Taipei Taoyuan Airport
There are exclusive Taipei-themed Hello Kitty merchandise here. Great for last minute shopping before you catch your flight!

Have fun shopping in Taipei!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Eric Tan October 19, 2013 at 12:37 pm

Thanks for the info.
I’m more interested in shops with a huge and varied selection of toys (but not Toys R Us), but your webpage is a great place to start.

Reply

Car Chua January 25, 2017 at 1:31 am

Hi there, It’s nice to see such an informative site on where I can find someone also into toys. I’m actually heading for Taiwan and I’m interested to purchase a GX-71 Golion toy made by Bandai. Would you know which toy store would have it? It would be a great help.

Thanks!

Reply

him January 26, 2017 at 8:46 am

Thanks for your kind words. :) The best chance of finding Voltron Go Lion would be either Y-Mall (Taipei Main MRT) or Wan Nian (Ximending)

Reply

tian lan May 10, 2017 at 9:43 pm

great list,thanks

Reply

batmailliw September 10, 2017 at 10:27 am

visiting taipei soon, hope to find place selling batman items. Thanks

Reply

Breggie V d Linde April 24, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Hi. Im looking for Momoko dolls to buy. Where can i look a big variety?

Reply

Mary Yap May 3, 2018 at 12:43 am

Which mall sells thomas train toys or plarail in taiwan? Thank you

Reply

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