HW Japan is a hobby supermarket online store from Japan based in Shizuoka. If you are looking for plastic model kits like Gundam, this store is definitely recommended for you because they offer up to 20% off the retail price for both Bandai and Tamiya products which I also can’t believe it when I can’t stop browsing the website. Other items like toys, kits and tools including the books and magazines also offer up to 6% discounts. There are some of the items offers 50% off for stock clearance I believe. Their discounts really beat the hell out of the others online store.
Review version 1.2:
- Correction on discount point system
- Update for items are flammable liquid issues
- Update shipping method information and includes HWJ FAQ links
The categories listing are somewhat unfriendly for me. But after a few search, I slowly get used to it. My advice is use the search system on the website because there are a lot of products are mixed together and not well organize like HLJ. Even the shortcut links for pre-orders or new items doesn’t work and listed as not found. Worry Not. They include the drop down browse by manufacturer lists for easier to navigate. As for the stocks availability, you can see the stock available numbers shown in the page before you place your order.
HWJ do kindly advise don’t count on that numbers because if the stock check dated were last years or month records. They will inform you if there are no stocks available and let you choose if you want to modify your orders or removed it or wait for 7-10 working days for restock according to them. Quite an impressive friendly order I have ever seen.
They also have a discount point system (HWJ Point or HP) like Hobby Search. The rate of the HP is up to 5%. The most surprising is that, it has no deadline for the point you earn which means you can save or spend it anytime without worrying the expiration rules in HWJ. I do discover that if you purchase some of the 50% off items, you won’t be receiving any HP. Not a big deal anyway, as long there is no expiration.
The shipping method is International Postal Air Service only (please note that no paints, sprays, adhesives shipped to foreign countries). I do find a bit tricky at some point. They don’t actually provide you the finalize shipment fee instead they charge you based on the estimate packing and includes the total weight of the items from their system. This happen when I decided to try and find out their service by buying MG Destiny Gundam (40% off), MG Decals (6% off) and Dengeki Hobby + Rasiel Bundle (6% off).
Same as usual, I used EMS delivery since SAL is never available for Brunei region. The huge surprises that I was able to receive on Monday when they shipped out few days ago. Nothing was damage during speedy air to Brunei and happy to received my goodies on that day. Do you really need an expensive DHL, FedEx or UPS just for fast shipping and tracking? Nah!
It was obvious that HW Japan much like a newcomer to me. But it’s good to have more optional choice on the online shopping locations especially for those of us who love bargains so much and saved for the next order. The only problems I encounter during my search are some items were restricting selling to international buyers especially like Gundam markers.
That really scratch my head and think if the other can sell it, why can’t HW Japan?
According to HW Japan, They don't ship paints and markers because these items are flammable liquid are prohibited to ship by air by International postal laws and treaties. They also know that there are some online shops who export these items, but it's illegal to the law (Please read).
For further confirmation, they contacted to each manufacturers, GSI Creos, Tamiya, and Copic, if there is any item which is not prohibited to ship by air. The answer was no from both Copic and Tamiya, but only GSI Creos said that only one item can be shipped by International Post is Gundam Marker. Lucky!
For more information, please check the “Read Before Purchasing” and “Policy” pages.
Anyway, I should stop writing now and encourage you Gundam collectors to check it out yourself. The good thing is, they accept many different types of payments so it
should shouldn’t be a problem.