Details for each type of buyfaggotry

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Before we get started

This is what the buying process is generally like:

  • You place an order or preorder
  • You receive an email from the store acknowledging they received your order
  • The store checks if your items are in stock, then packs things up and calculates shipping costs
  • The stores invoices you for the items and the shipping.
  • You pay (this is important)
  • Usually there’s a payment received email, followed by a shipping notification, with the tracking number if you paid for that too

Note to /v/irgins: If the item you’re looking for is from a western property or made by a western company, obviously you should try to get it locally at Toys R Us or other domestic online stores first.

For where to purchase these products, look at the List of shops

Importing vs. buying from domestic stores

Each has its own advantages. Importing from Japanese stores like AmiAmi means your preorders will be shipped much earlier and often works out cheaper. However, you’ll be paying for international shipping which is almost never cheap, and you may be hit with customs taxes. Very few books and Blu-rays have non-Japanese translations, so either learn Japanese, deal without translations or buy licensed localized versions.

Sometimes buying from stores in your country will be cheaper in the long run, once you factor domestic shipping in, and many offer flat rate or free shipping over a certain amount. Most likely you’ll have to wait a month or two after the Japanese street date before getting your things. Holiday sales are usually pretty nice, though, and you can often find some older figures still hanging around in their shops.

Buying original Japanese vs. localized material

Japanese manga are relatively cheap compared to American versions. Paper is very heavy though, so weight-based shipping for importing these will probably rape your wallet. The French have the best manga releases outside of Japan, so you could also try your hand at learning French.

As for Blu-rays and DVD’s, Japanese versions

  • almost never have subtitles
  • supports the creators more directly
  • get it sooner, obviously
  • very expensive, for reasons discussed in section 8.
  • usually 2-4 episodes per release
  • extras like soundtracks often included
  • nice package design
  • international shipping (although they usually aren’t that heavy)
  • Blu-ray or DVD region might not match yours (DVD and Blu-ray, don’t have the same region system)

Localized

  • translated
  • supports the creators more indirectly
  • sometimes lengthy gap between Japanese and domestic releases to avoid reverse importing
  • almost always cheaper
  • more episodes per disk, season sets available
  • very few extras
  • less fancy packaging
  • domestic shipping in many cases
  • can get discs that match your player

However, Japanese companies seem to be learning that there is actually an international market out there willing to buy their shit directly, so some Japanese BD’s are starting to come with English and other language subtitles. Mostly limited to Bandai, Aniplex, Ghibli and known popular Western releases currently.

Anime on DVD’s list of Japanese releases HERE.

Distributors

There are a few different companies that distribute hard copies of anime to us filthy gaijin. Much like the rest of the guide, following list is subject to >opinion.

  • Aniplex

One of the big two. The most expensive distributor, but you get more for your money. Their releases are usually limited edition and usually come with a box, a booklet with character designs, VA and staff interviews and notes, and possibly various other paraphernalia. Some series get standard edition re-release later on. Yellow subtitles, good video quality not great, translation choices are iffy but decent overall, dual audio and subtitle only releases depending on the series.

  • Funimation

One of the big two. The biggest distributor in the US. Video quality on par with Sentai (not something to be proud of because total shit), though their releases are cheaper and tend to come with a fair bit more than a Sentai equivalent. They offer limited editions with a box, BD/DVD (for what it’s worth, might be cheaper without DVD honestly) and an extra item like an art booklet or mousepad. White subs, dual audio.

  • Sentai Filmworks

Barebones. Releases are generally just the case and a few discs slapped inside. Yellow subtitles, bandy video, dual audio etc. They might add an extra every once in awhile if they can afford it (i.e. Infinite Stratos CD with character songs). Worst pricing out of all the manufacturers for what you get.

  • Madman Entertainment

Ausfag distributors. Relatively comparable to Funimation, though generally better quality. Releases often come with dubs.

Dolls

Asian ball-jointed dolls (BJD, ABJD) and Asian fashion dolls. Extremely customizable, highly posable, addicting, and exorbitantly expensive. You may buy some of them from the usual Big 3 stores (AmiAmi, Hobbysearch and HobbyLink Japan) as well various other shops. Bootleg dolls do exist.

  • Ball-jointed Dolls

Usually cast in a porcelain-like hard vinyl plastic and the parts strung together with a thick elastic. Commonly range in size from about 60 cm. (24 in.) for larger dolls and 40 cm. (16 in.) for smaller dolls. Easy to customize, they can be painted, eyes and wigs can be changed, hundreds of accessories, clothes, furniture, etc. Customization is the keyword here, you can do about anything you might think of, it’s not even funny.

Major manufacturers includes Volks (Volks USA) and Azone.

Volks is widely known for the attention they pay to their fans, while offering the widest variety of dolls of any company in the market and also the only company whose dolls come with built-in UV protection as a standard feature. They’re the most recognized and the most experienced. Also known for their members-only Doll Parties (Dolpa). The Dollfie, Dollfie Plus, Dollfie Dream and Super Dollfie brands, also known from their initials only (e.g. SD), are all made by them.

To clean your dirty, dirty doll, use gentle dish soap and water. Mr. Clean Magic Eraser is recommended, as is Volks Cleaning Sponge.

What is Volks Full Choice System (FCS).

from furniture and shoes to eyes and clothes.(Yes, it’s from LJ).

/jp/’s links to buy dolls and doll-related items can be found here. You should ask /jp/ first if you have doll related questions.

Den of Angels is the place to get information about dolls. The forum is currently invitation-only however.

/jp/'s Doll FAQ

/toy/'s BJD FAQ

Video games

There is a huge amount of video games which are never played by western customers, if you are willing to learn or force your way through them then there are many games available to you, including some which are available but have been censored by western companies. For purchasing these, look at the List of shops

Dakimakura

  • What’s a dakimakura?

Dakimakura are a type of pillow from Japan, usually 150cmx50cm (commercial) or 160x50cm (doujin, some commercial). Dakimakura are also known as “hug pillows”. They usually have anime, game, or original characters printed on them.

  • What can I do with a dakimakura?

You can hug it, talk to it, cuddle and sleep with it or simply look at it. (with onahole, you can j-j-jam it in! ;_;)

  • Is it worth it?

All depends on a few factors. If you think you are paranoid about people coming in your room and criticizing you about it, don’t buy it. If you really love your waifu, buy it. You will never have a better sleep. Amazing back support. It will never reject you or walk out on you for some guy at the bar.

  • Dakimakura all around me, I want them all

Only buy it if it’s your waifu, you fucker. Feel free to buy multiple dakimakura of your waifu though.

  • Ah! What are these fabrics? I wasn’t a Tailor in WoW!

Generally just about all covers will be 100% polyester (synthetic fibers). Good: doesn’t stain easily, doesn’t wrinkle easily, good drape, extremely cheap for the makers to produce & turn profits Bad: pills easily, doesn’t breathe, easy to get sweaty and uncomfortable, cannot iron on high, will melt instead of burn in case of fire The exact qualities will depend on the maker and batch.

2-Way Tricot is extremely smooth and stretchy, and the colors stand out. Highly recommended. 100% polyester, can be cleaned fairly easily. Most common material used for doujin dakimakura these days (via maker A&J). Peachskin fabric is almost always used for bootlegs. It’s fairly soft, and as the name implies, has a skin-like feel to it. Durable. 100% polyester, can be cleaned fairly easily. Velvet is the softest and most expensive if it’s real velvet. The short-pile fibers give a very distinctive “hairy” feeling. Hand-wash. More difficult to clean if it contains cotton or silk.

  • How do I wash my dakimakura?

Instructions are usually labelled inside dumbdumb.

If yours is a bootleg and doesn’t have one, here are some tips on washing it. Wash it with only cold to lukewarm water, inside out. Set it on delicate or similar setting. Dry it with a dry sheet, also on delicate, or hang-dry. Hand-washing (in cold to lukewarm water) is recommended over machine if you can do it. In between washes, you can Febreze to keep her smelling fresh and spot-clean the most used areas. Gently snip off pilling, but usually that’s the first sign of its unraveling.

  • Any special care tips?

It is important for you to shave your neckbeard daily to avoid tearing the fabric. Especially if you get one that’s 2-Way Tricot. Also, take a bath daily, preferably before bed. Your waifu doesn’t want to sleep with you if you smell. It’s inevitable that dead skin cells and body oil will rub off onto the dakimakura over time, so wash it at least once a month if you are using it regularly. Let it sunbathe inside-out twice a year to allow UV rays to kill microbes for you.

Above all, try to take good care of your dakimakura and avoid getting it dirty in the first place. It will degrade faster the more you wash it, and polyester is prone to pilling (forming little lint balls) over time.

  • Is there a way to get a custom printed dakimakura?

There’s a seller on eBay called janelee922. If you have big enough pictures he’ll print them on dakimakura cases for you. It currently costs $50, including shipping.

The quality of the material and print is really good. I washed mine 4 times already and the colors are still beautiful. He also sells stuffings.

Alternatively, there’s Hobby Heart, who also offer “free” vectoring (nobody tried that out yet).

Figures

Blame.jpg

Material

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) - The standard plastic that constitutes most of your figures. Somewhat flexible. Contains plasticizers to make your plastic more plastic.

Acetyl tributyl citrate in polyvinyl chloride (ATBC-PVC) - PVC with the biodegradable acetyl tributyl citrate plasticizer. Most rubber straps are made of this stuff, so it is recommended that you air them out regularly or risk deformation/degradation.

Acrylonitrile butyl styrene (ABS) - More rigid plastic than PVC. Usually used for the hard parts and figure bases. More likely to break cleanly rather than bend.

Polyurethane (resin or polyresin) - Typically used in garage kits. The components can vary a lot, but this label usually refers to the polyurethane resins that produce heat when casts are made.

Cold cast - Also polyurethane resin, but with components chosen so that the casting process doesn’t produce much heat which allows molds to last longer. Cold cast figures are especially fragile.

Polystone - Polyurethane resin with stone powder mixed in to make the material stronger and give a stone feel. Also a cold cast process. Polystone figures are very heavy and brittle.

Soft vinyl - For some doll bodies. Think Barbie.

Some other minor types of plastic, but the above plastics are the main ones.

Ceramic - Baked clay.

Die-cast - Metal.

Garage kits

These are resin kits which need to be put together and painted in order to create a figure. These tend to be made by a number of different circles and then released at several events which may mean there is only a single run of a specific kit, making it very hard to find some of these. In order to counter this, there are several companies which recast garage kits, which although usually lower quality, they will still be very acceptable. There are many garage kits which look great, but are not picked up by companies for release as a scale figure which means you will have to learn if you want that figure.

Although these are difficult, it is very possible for you to achieve a result you are happy with if you are willing to put in time, effort and money. Your first kit will most likely look bad, but if you are willing to put in effort then you will end up with a collection of figures which many people would be very jealous over.

These guides (1, 2) should help in putting together your GK.

The initial equipment will be expensive, but the lower cost of kits (in particular recasts) will mean that this evens out over time compared to figures.

Plastic model kits

“Gundam plastic model”, or Gunpla (ガンプラ Ganpura). Model kits depicting the mechas, vehicles and characters of the Mobile Suit Gundam franchise by Bandai. Assembly required.

“Plastic model”, or plamo (プラモ puramo). Hobby modeling done in plastic, including mechas, aircraft, ships, automobiles and military vehicles from pre-molded kits. Designated in a well-established scale they’re also known as scale models. Real modelists do it from scratch.

For discussion on these, try on /toy/

Gelgoog Guy !!XOac6frt+Ny ’s Gunpla Guide (Google Docs)

Otaku Revolution - Layman’s Gunpla Guide

Prints

Canvases, posters and wallscrolls: Custom print them online. They’ll look better than most official ones and you can pick whatever size you want. First, find the right picture. You’ll want the highest resolution you can find or else your prints will look blurry: Yande.re (high-res scans), Konachan (wallpapers).

Apparel

Rule of thumb is to buy a size bigger than your western clothing since Japanese people are scrawny (i.e. if you wear American size L, buy Japanese XL). If the manufacturer has a size chart (usually in centimeters), measure yourself or a similar article of clothing that you already own and compare against it for a better fit.

An important note about purchasing apparel is that many of these shops do not ship outside of Japan, and because of this it’s very likely you’ll need to use a middleman/proxy website to obtain them. Like most clothing companies these items are also only around until they sell out, and afterwards are replaced by different designs. Some apparel can be found secondhand or unopened on sites like Rakuten and Yahoo! Auctions Japan. There are also a number of manga artists that have merchandise listed on their personal websites that may not be available in the online stores listed here (for example, Suehiro Maruo has a couple shirts available only on his site), so if there’s anyone you like be sure to look them up online in case there’s any information about merchandise on their website/blog.

If you’ve gotta get shimapan to wear (f-f-for the little girl in you!), consider purchasing from domestic stores instead of Japanese stores, since underwear are generally a lot cheaper (e.g. $3 to $7 a pair in the US vs. $16 on AmiAmi).

Adult goods

Japan has a large amount of products made for your personal enjoyment, however many stores such as amazon restrict these to Japan only. However, there are options to allow you to purchase these products.

The NEETs at /jp/ have created a guide for purchasing adult toys, take advantage of it.

Look for /jp/’s Eternal Onahole thread if you have any questions not answered in the guide and also to discuss onaholes in general.

Do not ask for recommendations, there is a section on their guide to avoid this.

Doujin works

These are self-created works, usually released at Events in small quantities and can be quite hard to find. This does not just mean porn, but can mean CD's, games, and other items. Realistically though, you're not looking for safe for work stuff. Unfortunately, most places will not ship doujin works overseas while others will ship non-adult works only. Therefore it might be necessary to get a forward or proxy from the Special services section.

Before placing your order make sure you have the correct kind of proxy, some of them charge flat rates per item, so those are generally not friendly to buy doujins (since doujins are relatively cheap), in this case is better to look for a proxy who charges a percent of each item’s price. Remember to look at their guidelines, some of them don’t like adult material.

Now if you are ordering compilations or a bit more expensive items (around 1500+ yen per item) that’s when you start considering using a proxy service with flat rates.

After you have picked a proxy or forwarding service, let them know what you want and ask for estimate fees, usually is either done by emailing them or filling a form at their site. This is when your wallet starts to hurt, since you are not getting second hand doujins directly, like in Mandarake’s case, you will be paying at least 30% more per item in just additional fees.

If you are okay with their estimate you can formally place your order, some will ask for upfront payment so make sure it’s a reputable proxy (see the Special services list). After that the rest is waiting, the items will be shipped locally to the proxy service, which might take a few days, then the proxy will contact you when your items are ready and ship them to you.

So, added to the original price you’ll have to consider some of the following charges:

  • Proxy fees
  • Local shipping
  • Wire transfer fees
  • Paypal fees
  • Handling fees
  • International shipping

You might be charged for some or all of them, so before placing the order make sure to ask for estimates and read the proxy’s FAQs.

H-Manga

Japanese comic porn. These can be quite thick and quite heavy, so do not go and buy a lot at once unless shipping by boat unless you are fine with paying significantly more for shipping than for the actual product.

If you want a certain extra from a store that outright refuses to deal with foreigners like Yahoo! Auction Japan, you probably will need to employ a proxy service, which might end up in exorbitant prices (see the doujin section for more details on ordering this way). Use this way as last resort.

A small PSA due to current events: Do not blindly buy new tankoubons (after May 2013) from any publisher. Due to increased law enforcement activity they have cranked up the censor a whole lot. There is not much difference left between soft (usually B6 comics) and non-soft (A5 comics, with the yellow 成年コミック mark) for many publishers. Even Wani Magazine is now going for the “four bars across vagina and penis”-approach. It’s become rather unsightly.

Cards

There are various card games out there, with some including characters from various anime, manga and games. Unfortunately, most people in the west will stick to collecting these rather than actually playing them due to their relative unpopularity compared to other games, which means you may never get the chance to actually play with your cards. For those just looking for cards with waifu art however, you may be lucky.

Some translated Wiess Schwarz cards are available here.