Monday, November 10, 2008

Kimono My House Closing Retail Store!!

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After 28 years, the oldest running Japanese Toy Store in the United States, Kimono My House is closing it's Retail Store in Emeryville, CA in the January / February time frame. While this is a huge loss, don't too weepy since Yuki will continue to operate the Web Store and Wholesale business. A few of us locals decided to make a pilgrimage to visit the venerable toy store.

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Located in Emeryville, CA on top of this building, KMH is a toy oasis in a sea of industrial buildings.

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I first blogged about KMH a little over three years ago... and you can see not much has changed...which is a good thing.

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Check out the video...

Kimono My House from toybot studios on Vimeo.

Although KMH will live on in it's web incarnation, losing this old retail store will be a real heartbreak. There will never be a store like this again. It's truly the end of an era. Ironically it's the web that has caused it's downfall. Back in the day before the interweb, collectors had to come to stores like KMH to get their toys. There was no other way. Now that you can buy pretty much about anything on Yahoo Japan Auctions and eBay, there is far less foot traffic at KMH. But buying toys on the web is a completely different experience. You usually have to know exactly what you want to buy before "browsing" YJA. You don't get the experience of walking down the aisles searching through shelves, turning boxes to see if any hidden gems lurk behind. This is what is most fun about KMH: you never know what you will find. It's a toy buying experience that i'm very sad my son will never get to experience (at least at KMH).

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Steve, Joe and Dean doing the Ultraman Air Guitar

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So what was the haul? Yuki gave me a good deal on a Hyper Hero Kikaida, couple of die-cast Banpreso T-28 Mini figs, Hot Wheels Kikaida bike and these really cool transforming mini Mazinger toys. They transform into flying mode! Finally a really beautiful book with wonderful photography of Tokusatsu Heroes and Villains.

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So if you're a Japanese toy collector, I would get over here to Emeryville, CA before January / February timeframe when the retail store will be closing. It's your last chance to experience a wonderful toy store that will be missed.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

Poignant post, K. This is a real loss to the Bay Area, and the history of US/Japanese toy shops. I've been there several times and had no idea it was almost as old as me. A true hidden diamond in the east bay. I'll definitely stop by again to pay it my respects. (Incidentally, my CAPTCHA riddle to post this comment is "excess." Interesting irony there...)

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