For the past few weeks, I've been hunting around for a Toys 'R' Us Masterpiece Soundwave, but hadn't had any luck. These were Toys 'R' Us Exclusives that were released locally around November of last year. At the time, I'd taken a job that didn't leave me with as much to spare as I used to have and had to pass it up. Now that I'm back on my feet again at a new job, I figured I'd pick one up since it's really a steal compared to the Takara version which didn't originally include the other cassette accessories.
I figured it would be an easy hunt, since I'd been seeing it on shelves pretty much constantly since they arrived. The Php 8,000 price tag was a huge turn off for most people.
I was so wrong.
It looks like in the past few weeks or so, there's been a mad rush on these. According to the forums, there was some deal a while back that gave a significant discount if you bought it as a pair with Acid Storm, the other Masterpiece Exclusive that was released at the same time. Not sure if that was the reason they're all gone. One rep in Toys 'R' Us Express in the Galleria Department Store told me their last one was shoplifted.
How that guy got away with something this huge (the cojones on this guy), or how they know about it if he got away has bothered me to no end.
Aaaaanyway, my usual haunts in Ortigas Center didn't pan out. What's nice about Ortigas is that you have a few big malls in a relatively close group; ETON Cyberpod Corithian, Robinsions Galleria, SM Megamall, Shangri-La, Starmall, and EDSA Central are all (kind of) walking distance from one another and each has one or more toy stores in them. An intrepid person can check them all in a couple of hours (which I've done on more than one occasion).
As opposed to Eastwood where there is basically one small toystore, Toy Kingdom, in the main mall. 2Rats doesn't really count.
So with my old stomping grounds dry, I decided to try and work out a good trail around the new office in Makati. Turns out the new trail maybe a bit better than the old one!
From Google Maps.
There were five stops on my little treasure map; Toy Kingdom in the MRT SM Annex, Rustans, Toys 'R' Us in Glorietta, The Landmark, Toys 'R' Us in Greenbelt. After I made the run, someone told me that there was still a ToyTown in Greenbelt, so I've added that stop as well. There are also two outliers; Century City Mall on Kalayaan Ave., and SM Hypermart Makati. The last is questionable, since Hypermarket TK Express branches aren't known for having the best selection.
You start the run at the Ayala MRT Station. As soon as you get off, turn left and there's a connecting bridge to SM Makati. Near the entrance is Toy Kingdom, you're first stop. It's a pretty big branch and I've picked up quite a few things from here in the past after they've sold out elsewhere.
Proceed to your next stop, Rustan's Department Store.
On the third floor of the Department Store, you'll find the toy section. Like most toy sections in the major Philippine department store chains, they are tied up with the same suppliers as Toy Kingdom and Toys 'R' Us and often get their stock later and hold onto it longer than the major branches, just because they don't have the same amount of traffic as the major stores do. On this trip, I found some nice Spider-Man Infinite Marvel Legends bad guys that had sold out quick elsewhere.
After you're done there, use the connecting bridge through Debenhams on Level 3 to exit out to the Glorietta 4 cinemas. From there, go down to the ground floor and out into the atrium. Orient your self and look for the wing with The Landmark exit. Go towards there and go to Level 2. Toy's 'R' Us Glorietta will be to your right, right before you enter The Landmark linking bridge.
Found myself a Transformers: Age of Extinction Voyager Class Hound on this particular run. Yay!
Toys R' Us Glorietta
Check out that toy store for any hard-to-find figures, and proceed on out and through the bridge to The Landmark Department Store. Proceed to the third level and you'll find a fairly big toy section just waiting to be searched. On this trip I found a Playmates Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Classics Rocksteady, a figure I've been looking for several weeks.
Once you're back on the ground floor, ask any guard or sales rep which exit is the Greenbelt exit to get your bearings again. Go out the door and across the street you'll see Greenbelt 3 (the one with the cinemas). Go around the park and the little lagoon and you'll find Greenbelt 5. It's a little walk to get to the other end of Greenbelt 5, but on the other end, on the third level, you'll find another Toy's 'R' Us.
Because it's all the way on the far end of limbo, they sometimes have choice leftovers at this branch. They had quite a few Voyager Hounds when I paid them a visit, but by far the best find for me was Transformers Generations Legends Class Cosmos. Lots of them, too!
After this is that aforementioned ToyTown in Greenbelt 1 which I'll have to check out (I can't find any info about it online, so maybe it's a different store?). If you have a car, and some time, you can proceed to the Century City Mall for another Toys 'R' Us branch, or to the SM Hypermart to try you luck there. You can expand your search to Bonifacio Global City where they have a few stores in Market Market and High Street, or the Venice Piazza Mall in McKinley Hill.
So that's my current toy hunting trail. Let me know if I missed out on any good stops along the way, or if there are any more outlying destinations in Makati.
Leave a comment and tell us your own daily toy hunting route in other areas. We'd love to try them out!
PS: Never did find that MP Soundwave. A sad banana am I.