IMPORTANT: This online figure stores review (guide) is based on my personal experience(s) only.  Your experience(s) with the parties involved may differ.  Always cross-check with other sources to get a better idea of what you’re getting into.

Generally, I will give a store two tries (two bad experiences) before I condemn them into the “blacklist-of-a-thousand-dooms”.  However, if you do in fact find me throwing them into the blacklist after one order, you should take extreme caution if you do order from them.

Information you can expect:

  • Accuracy of Item/Stock Information: Accuracy of product information on their site.
  • Customer Service: This is what I value most when buying from anywhere.  You can find information such as how helpful the CS were, how promptly they responded to my emails, and how they handled problems with orders.
  • Payment: Payment options.
  • Shipping: Shipping methods, shipping time, and packaging.

Stores: Hobby Link Japan []  Hobby Search []  J-List []  Otakufuel []  Toylet.net []  Toyslogic

Hobby Link Japan (Last updated 06/17/2009)

Hobby Link Japan, aka HLJ, is based in Japan and it is one of my primary, and most trusted, source for figure buys.  They have a huge and diverse inventory of Japan hobby related products from PVC figures and Gundams to scaled models and hobby magazines.  Their site is organized and easy to navigate through.  My favourite part of the HLJ site is their stock status indicator, shipping estimate, and price converter. Be sure to check out their “sales” section for some great deals too!!

Remember to read their FAQ page for all terms and conditions before buying from them.

Accuracy of Information: 100% accurate for released items, but not the most reliable source for pre-order information.  I suggest you cross check with other online stores for pre-order information before committing.  Stock status indicator is accurate according to my experience.

Customer Service:  Extremely fast and responsive! Their customer service is extremely helpful and courteous.

Payment: Paypal or Credit Card preferred.  You are only required to pay when your order is in-stock and ready to ship.

Shipping: EMS or SAL.  Check their site for shipping times to your respective country.

Hobby Search (Last updated 06/17/2009)

Hobby Search is based in Japan and they are another one of my primary, and most trusted, source for figures.  They are also one of the fastest online stores to ship out pre-orders upon arrival, usually one or two days before HLJ.  They are currently my primary source for pre-order items because I’ve met a need for speed to receive my pre-orders recently ^^;; Highly recommended for figure buys; be sure to check out their “bargain” page for some really good deals on recent releases.

Remember to read their FAQ page for all terms and conditions before buying from them.

Accuracy of information: The information is extremely accurate for both released and pre-order items.  Hobby Search also provides a lot of pictures to feast your eyes on.  Their site loads A LOT faster with Firefox.

Customer Service: No experience with this matter…yet.

Payment: Paypal or Credit Card only.  You are only required to pay when your order is in-stock and ready to ship.

Shipping: EMS.  Check their site for shipping times to your respective country.  You will not know your shipping cost for pre-orders until AFTER your package is shipped. Do not be alarmed because they will not overcharge you.

J-List (Last updated 04/07/2009)

J-List is another Japan based online store but they have a branch in San Francisco as well.  They are a trusted source for everything Japan including, but not limited to, figures, magazines, CDs, and DVDs.  You will find that they have a huge variety of other Japanese goodies as well.

Remember to read their FAQ page for all terms and conditions before buying from them.

Accuracy of information: Item information is accurate, but stock status indicator is not.

Customer Service:  Extremely fast and responsive! I had no problem dealing with their customer service.

Payment: Paypal or Credit Card preferred.  You are required to pay after receiving confirmation email from J-List.

Shipping: SAL, Air Mail, EMS.  Check their site for shipping time to your respective country.

Cancelled Order(s): Ordered a figma Izumi Konata from them.  It was listed as in-stock and ready to ship when I made the purchase.  They proceeded to sending me a receipt for payment when in fact the item was on “backorder”.  I emailed them after waiting three weeks when they finally told me that the item was on “backorder” and promptly refunded my money.

Otakufuel (Last updated 04/07/2009)

Otakufuel is an American based company selling…well…otaku goodies.  Being an US based online store, their pre-orders and releases are usually a couple months behind Japan based online stores.  A good place to look for figures you’ve missed ^^

Remember to read their FAQ page for all terms and conditions before buying from them.

Accuracy of information: Item information is accurate, but stock status is not.

Customer Service:  My experience dealing with their customer service was not very pleasant. To make a long story short, I asked them about combined shipping to Canada and received a response in the lines of “Sorry, but we do not offer free shipping to international customers because we would be losing money that way.”  double “orz

Payment: Paypal or Credit Card.  You are required to pay upon checkout regardless of the stock status.

Shipping: USPS International Priority.  Check their site for shipping time to your respective country.  They list a couple other options on their FAQ, but I was only given International Priority at checkout  “orz

Cancelled Order(s): Ordered an Alter Chua Churam from them, only to be told “We are sorry, but we sold out of the Alter Chua Churam JUST before you ordered yours.”  It was good that they took the initiative to let me know that the item was sold out.

Toylet.net (Last updated 04/07/2009)

Toylet.net is another American based online hobby store with a huge selection of otaku related merchandises.  Their releases are usually a couple months behind those of Japan based stores, so they are a good place to look for something you’ve missed out on.  Be sure to check out their “specials” page for some great deals.

Remember to read their FAQ page for all terms and conditions before buying from them.

Accuracy of information: Item information is minimal, but accurate when available.

Customer Service:  Quick and responsive.

Payment: Paypal or Credit Card.  You are charged after your item is ready for shipping.

Shipping: USPS.  Check their site for shipping times to your respective countries.

Toyslogic (Last updated 04/07/2009)

ToysLogic is based in the US with a huge selection of otaku related goods.  Their prices are very reasonable and their selection is varied.  Like other US based online stores, they receive their loot a couple months after the Japanese release date, so they’re another good source for buying figures you’ve missed out on.  Be sure to check out their “sale” page for some great deals on their merchandises.

Remember to read their FAQ page for all terms and conditions before buying from them.

Accuracy of information: Item information is accurate, but stock status was not.  I believe they upgraded to a “real-time” stock indicator recently.  Not sure how accurate that information is, but you’ll have a general idea of their stock status.

Customer Service:  Very slow and unresponsive.  Message their “info” department for any problems because their “sales” department will not reply to your messages. Long story short, their “sales” department ignored my emails three times in two weeks.  I had to email their “info” department to get a response regarding my order that’s one month old.

Payment: Paypal or Credit Card.  You are required to pay upon checkout regardless of stock status.

Shipping: USPS and UPS.  Check their site for shipping times to your respective countries.

Cancelled Order(s): Ordered a Good Smile Company Amami Haruka and Lala Satalin Deviluke from them, both figures were listed as “in-stock” when I placed my order.  I paid for the items and waited for ONE MONTH without receiving any word or confirmation from them. I emailed their sales department, but I didn’t receive any reply after five days.  I messaged their info department and was told: “There was a mistake on our site, Amami Haruka is not available anymore.”  They did not ship my GSC Lala for another two weeks after.  I emailed their sales department again, but didn’t receive any reply again  “orz  Item was finally shipped after I contacted their info department again.

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