Mark Simmons (
Mon, 23 Oct 2000 10:16:48 -0700

Hi there, y'all!

  Mark Simmons here, back from a two-week trip to Japan and Hong Kong (my
first ever, thank you). Got a head full of random bits and piece to share
with you...

First, the trip. Since my wife and I were frazzled, overworked, and
underorganized, we made a bit of a hash of the trip, so not much shopping
glory to report.

* I did get to plunder the shelves of Shibuya's legendary Mandarake used-
comics store for the complete first year of B-CLUB magazine, and
elsewhere scammed all the latest Gundam publications (including some
sweet G-Saviour and G-Generation F guidebooks).

* In Osaka, I battled my fellow fans to grab the last Master Grade Gouf
from a toy store's shelves.

* And I found a really awesome toy store in Kowloon, where we stocked up
on "Super Robot in Action!!" toys - Gaiking's my favorite. Incidentally,
thanks to Core for reassuring us that these aren't actually made by
prison labor. I'm not surprised that they're made in Guandong - from what
my HK relatives tell me, the relationship between Hong Kong and the
adjoining region of mainland China sounds a lot like the U.S.'s
relationship with Mexico under NAFTA, i.e. a handy source of unskilled

* Speaking of Hong Kong, the Gundam presence is much more obvious there.
For starters, you see hobby mags on sale at street-corner magazine
stands, which you don't in Japan. Wish I'd picked up a copy of Toybox -
if only I'd know that was the issue with the Newtype Asylum plug!

* Shopping hero of the trip is Egan Loo (Escaflowne expert and master of
Macross), who finally tracked down a copy of the book with the complete
script to each episode of First Gundam. This will prove very handy. :-)

A bit of news, too. Starting today, I'm now going to be doing Gundam-
related stuff pretty much full time. Between running my site, and the
writing & contracting stuff I'm doing for other parties, I simply don't
have time to work a dot-com day job anymore (not if I want to get more
than four hours sleep a night). We'll see where this goes, but it's
likely you'll see a lot more stuff happening on the Gundam Project now.
Especially as we enter 2001, the official American Year of First Gundam...

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons / /
"If you can kill it, it's not a god, just a good old-fashioned monster."

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