Monday, July 6, 2009

seoul searching

To tell you the truth, I didn't know what to expect of my first South Korean trip. My friend J and I only decided to fly there because Cebu Pacific Airlines had a big sale and it was the only Asian country that we hadn't been to. If you ask me, I knew nothing of the place, except that Seoul, the capital where we were headed, was the site of the 1988 Summer Olympics.

It was a trip in search of an itinerary. Fine by me. The prospect of deciding where to go and what to do 'on the spot' was truly liberating. And I loved it!

After days of wandering leisurely around the busy Myeongdong shopping area, taking a guided tour of the Gyeongbok Palace (with my Korean Flag bear, top pic), and strolling down the touristy Insadong-gil, I finally decided to try my luck with Bearbricks.

That search took me across the Han River to the Gangnam-gu area where the huge COEX Mall was. There, I found one (1) of the four (4) Kinki Robot stores in Seoul (see below).

The toy store chain's managing director happened to be there. We got to chat a bit (nice guy) and he even helped me get a cab to the other Kinki Robot store in Sinsa-dong Kangnam-gu.

That other shop is this one below. The guy with glasses is Jerry, the store manager.

On the wall beside the cash register is a poster by the famous Seoul-based figure maker, Coolrain. He's a Michael Lau copycat, but a very good one (the miniaturized Nike shoes are wonderful!) But you have to order online, where each of these handmade 12" figures will cost you US$770 – whoa!

Just when I thought my search was over (I was ready to head back to my hotel with several new bears), I stumbled upon this cafe/toy store called Le Caviar (below), just about 50 meters from Kinki Robot Sinsa-dong.

Outside, the place looked loaded!

Inside, stuff was spilling over to the cafe's dining couch! LOL

100%s.

400%s.

That night, I went back to the hotel happy – with 8 new Bearbricks (including the first die-cut metal one from Bandai) from three different stores.

Bearbrick-hunting may be tiring for the body, but as far as I'm concerned, it's damned good for the soul, too!

All pics by yours truly.

3 comments:

sunny said...

congratulations on your 200% bearbrick. i'm getting mine soon!

are you getting the black one too?

- sunny

Bearbrick Lover: said...

Sunny, I didn't know there was a black one – thanks for telling me. Haven't seen one yet... :-)

kcatwoman said...

wow, sobrang nakakainggit, you went to seoul,,and youre really splurging on your bear collection. good that you had fun.btw, can e xchange links?



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