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JoshB's blog

Another day, another adventure.

This was Thursday.

At the end of Preview Night at Tamashii Nations, we agreed to meet the next day and take a trip out to the burbs again to visit SIC Sculptor Takeuki Takeya. I set off in the morning along my usual route, it's a beautiful day. I stop and take some shots along the way...

Birds outside of a resturant in Tokyo

The only gas station I saw in metro Tokyo. Notice how the fuel is dispensed from above.

The only gas station I saw INSIDE Tokyo

Lucky Cat (Maneki Neko)

Posted 7 May, 2009 - 08:58 by JoshB

Day three, Wednesday.

I slept in a bit, took my time getting ready, and headed out mid morning. I got a pastry for breakfast from an AM/PM convenience store. Outside this store I see my first, real blooming Sakura. They smelled sweet.

P3242089

I know that if I take the train to Akihabara, its only one stop, but according to my map I can walk there just as easily. So I take a left instead of going straight and begin to wander the side streets of Ochanomizu.

Not but a few minutes into my walk do i discover a shrine, sandwiched between large construction sites. It's the Kanda Shrine, site of one of the three biggest Matsuri in Japan. Unfortunately, there was no festival that day, but I got to take a lot of pictures and enjoy the calm oasis within the city.

Posted 5 May, 2009 - 15:19 by JoshB

What the hell was I thinking, scheduling this trip the day after I got in? I guess it wouldn't have been so tiring had I not had the flight from hell that I did.

I got up around 6am, to the sound of my alarm from my cell phone. I had set up international calling on my phone, so it wasn't useless, but I didn't have all the features I was used to. In the daylight I was able to survey the room and my surroundings.

The room is small, but serviceable. My window overlooks the intersection below, and it's a bit overcast.

P3231960

I put on the TV and listen to Japanese local news as I gather my stuff and get dressed. The shower is hot, and strong enough to to the job, although the shower head is a bit low.

Yes, there is a mythical Japanese toilet with Bidet in here.

Shortly after 7 I am out on my adventure.

Posted 4 May, 2009 - 12:46 by JoshB

People have been asking me, on CDX and in real life, how was the trip to Tokyo. For posterity's sake, I'm going to write about it here.

I got the opportunity to go to Tokyo from a meeting with Bandai at the 2009 NYTF. They invited me to attend the Tamashii Expo, but of course I had to pay my own way. But money was not the only obstacle. My wife had said after my last Tokyo trip "You are not going to Tokyo again without me".

At the end of Toy Fair, I was waiting in the hotel lobby for our ride out to the airport, when my phone rang. My wife was out keeping busy with the kids, and they ended up at a pet store, looking at a puppy.

An idea sprung into my head. I said to her, you can get the puppy if I can go to Tokyo. Surprisingly she agreed, and I began to make my plans for a trip to the motherland.

The first thing in order was the flight. From the east coast, Tokyo is a LONG way away. Total air flight time is around 16 hours, so you want to make damn sure you pick a good seat. I always go with this travel agency out of California called Gateway LAX. They buy tickets to Japan wholesale, and they have blocks of them, so not only do you get the best price, but you also get to pick your seat. Now normally I fly on American Airlines, because being a fat American, I need the extra inch of seat room in economy. I highly recommend finding out what kind of plane you are flying in and visiting seatguru.com to figure out what kind of space you have. While flying AA to Tokyo is cheap, it is not fun. The planes are old, the flight attendants tired and jaded, the entertainment stupid. I heard that flying a Japanese airway was the way to go, so I took a chance and booked a flight on Japan Airlines. You have to be careful when booking a JAL flight, because often even though they say JAL, they are actually AA flights. The good thing though is that the two airlines share miles. After confirming the flight with the agency, the next stop was hotel.

Posted 28 April, 2009 - 21:35 by JoshB

So I am officially in freak-out mode, with only a few days left until I am off for the motherland.

This trip came together rather quickly, so I feel as though I am forgetting something, but man am I excited to go again. This will be my third trip to Tokyo. I'll be a big man in Japan once again.

Some cool things are going to be happening on this trip, only some of them I can tell you about now. For one, I'm going out to HobbyLink Japan for the day to check out the new warehouse and interview Scott Hards. Hmmm, i guess that means I need to write down some questions. Any questions for HLJ?

Then a few days later I will be covering the 2009 Tamashii Expo at UDX Akihabara... I can practically taste the metallic T-28. Of course, I'll have the HD camera on me, so I will do my best to make you feel as if you are there along with me.

I'll also be doing some insane toy shopping, hitting up all of the hot spots - some covered in Tokyo Underground, some that are super-secret and known only to the illuminati. I'm dying to check out the new 10-floor Mandarake in Akiba, and of course I will hit the usual haunts.

Posted 18 March, 2009 - 22:58 by JoshB

The old CDX office is getting full of junk and I need some cash to go to Tokyo, so out goes some stuff. Most items are priced to move at 0.99, many items have been reviewed here on CDX.

http://shop.ebay.com/merchant/quibx_W0QQ_nkwZQQ_armrsZ1QQ_fromZQQ_mdoZQQ_sopZ14

Posted 1 March, 2009 - 12:27 by JoshB

Man, 2009 is starting off with a Bang! First we get an awesome new President, one Mr. Barak Obama (who is a bit of a geek), and also we have a great new batch of toys coming up soon on cdx, including the Beagle Mospeada, TWO Macross Fronteir Valks, the new Yamato Destroid, and even the Respect for Volt in Box.

We're also very excited for Toy Fair this year, although all indications point to a much scaled back event. Still, we get to go to NYC for a few days. If you want to get together with us, let us know! We'll be hitting the usual haunts - chinatown, Toy Tokyo, Image Anime and more...

Anime.CollectionDX.com is doing well, but the extra workload is killing us right now. We primarily need help with news. If you are interested in being part of the CDX family, let me know. We can't pay, but there are perks!

Thanks!

Josh

Posted 21 January, 2009 - 11:34 by JoshB

I made this book, "All About Joshua Bernard" in October of 1977.

Of course, I've left out a bunch of pages so as not to bore you.

I was six years old in 1979.

My favorite pet was a parakeet named Jack, and my favorite toy was something called the Sho-Gun Warriors.

I also liked to play Hotwheels with Andrea.

My Favorite TV shows in 1979 were Buck Rogers and Devlin

Apparently at the time I looked like a Roswell alien who wore a black t-shirt with dragsters on them.

Posted 30 December, 2008 - 23:00 by JoshB

So I'm sitting here at a friends house, leeching off of their internet connection. We're three days into our power outage at CDX HQ. We had an ice storm Thursday night that knocked out power to a good portion of New England. Over 300,000 homes in Massachusetts were without power. It's Sunday now, and they are now telling us that we may not have power back until Tuesday.

We've been keeping warm, we still have power, but we have no heat. We have a fireplace that has been keeping us warm, and we should have enough wood to last us the duration.

It's amazing how much we rely on technology. I went into laptop withdrawl while at the house, so we ended up folding a lot of laundry. Our cel phones worked, but thats about it. We went scrounging at local stores for batteries and candles...

We were really unprepared. Looking forward we may invest in a generator to keep the heat and lights on. Where we are in town is not exactly on the list of priority places to restore power.

Please bear with us if the site goes down, or news and content isnt updated much this week..

Posted 14 December, 2008 - 13:23 by JoshB

I love Plaid Stallions. It's such a fantastic blog, each day is a trip back into my childhood. Today they had a great sale ad from JC Penney.. from 1978. This takes me back to a happier time...


Image via Plaid Stallions

How old were you in '78? I was FIVE.

Posted 1 December, 2008 - 14:14 by JoshB

So I just got back from seeing Twilight. In case you live in a cage, Twilight is the new book sensation. It's what Harry Potter fans are now reading now that their hormones have kicked in. I've heard the books are pretty good (comparatively speaking) and to me anything that gets kids reading is a great idea.

But I have to tell you, the movie sucks balls.

Spoilers within.....

Posted 21 November, 2008 - 23:13 by JoshB

You know, sometimes we lose sight of what the true purpose of toys are, and how some companies are really in touch with that.

I just read this article on CNN:

http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/conditions/11/20/autism.fire.hotwheels/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

"(CNN) -- After the fire, all that was left of Jonathan Reyes' massive Hot Wheels collection was a piece of metal that once was part of a toy car.
Jonathan Reyes shows off his new Hot Wheels cars sent by Mattel after they heard his own toys were lost in a fire.

But on Wednesday, the arrival of two cardboard boxes at his grandparents' house sent 7-year-old Jonathan flying to the door, said his mother, Jan Reyes.

Mattel, the company that makes Hot Wheels, sent racetracks, play sets, stickers, folders, T-shirts, hats and hundreds of toy cars.

"He was speechless," Reyes said. "He didn't say anything. He just smiled. He opened it up. It was like Christmas. All of us were bawling, crying. He was so happy."

Posted 21 November, 2008 - 11:17 by JoshB

Saw this on BoingBoing

"From Hell

It's hard to think of an office-based comedy more different from The Office than this. Graham Linehan's absurdist sitcom feels nearer in spirit to The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin: off in a mad world of its own, yet uncomfortably familiar, even at its maddest. The IT Crowd even used to have its own "CJ"-type figure in Denholm Reynholm, the overbearing boss of Reynholm Industries played by Chris Morris. Although Reynholm jumped out of a high window in the last series, his playboy son Douglas (Matt Berry) shows every sign of carrying on the family name (plundering the pension fund, putting flakes of gold in the drinking water, etc) and more or less takes over tonight's very funny opening episode. That leaves our IT-department trio of geeky Moss, lazy Roy and uptight Jen slightly overshadowed. But the sweet scene where Moss and Roy try some role-play to help Moss deal with park bullies just about makes up for it. "

Posted 19 November, 2008 - 09:17 by JoshB

Every year some group you never heard of comes out with a top 10 list of dangerous toys. Usually that list is filled with products you never heard of, and never would buy anyway. I thought that some of the reasons these were bad toys were not quite accurate so I took a stab at them.

Posted 18 November, 2008 - 15:40 by JoshB

Not a huge Naruto fan, but I thought this was kind of neat. It appears the new Naruto Anime will air in the US just days after its Japanese release.

"VIZ Media will begin streaming NARUTO Shippuden - just days after it's release in Japan....FOR FREE on the Ultimate Destination For Anything NARUTO - The Official NARUTO website ----- www.Naruto.com !

(A new English-subtitled episode will be added every Thursday thereafter)"

So instead of going to TV, they are going straight to net with almost instantly subtitled episodes. How cool is that? If only more anime came to the states like that.

Posted 18 November, 2008 - 09:32 by JoshB
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