Pang Man is here to treat us all to another snippet of Tokyo gaming culture as he recalls his awesome trip to Japan.
This time we are privileged to be able to tag along with the Pang Man on his pilgrimage to the Square Enix Store......
Sadly this store closed down a few years ago, but fortunately, a new Square-Enix store called Artnia opened up in the Higashi-Shinjuku region. (Address: 1F Shinjuku Eastside Square 6-27-30 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan)
I hopped on to the Tokyo subway and made my way there using Google maps. (Honestly, I don’t know how I survived without a smartphone all those years ago! Back in the day we had to use paper A- Zs and rely on people turning up at the agreed time for catch ups).
It was a little bit chilly (not as cold as the UK though!) so I wore my trusty Superdry jacket. Now I knew that Superdry isn’t really a Japanese brand, but I was a bit surprised that I didn’t even see one person in Japan wearing the brand.
But anyway I finally managed to get to the Square-Enix Store, which was very unique looking from the outside, kind of like a white capsule pod.
Inside the store, I was a little disappointed to find that it was not as large as the old store, but I soon forgot about that, once I got distracted by the rows and rows of goodies on display.
From Dragons Quest to the Final Fantasy series, there was a variety of; posters, stickers, key chains, mugs, soundtracks, phone cases, hats and Nanoblocks on display.
As well as some fantastic figurines:
And a funky egg timer:
As expected a wide selection of plushes were available to buy
As a huge Final Fantasy VII fan (I can’t wait for the remake on PS4!), I predictably purchased the Cloud and Sephiroth plushes.
The Bravely Default plushes all looked fantastic as well and in the end bought the Agnes one. I was very tempted to get Edea too but sadly my wallet said no!
There were a few trading card games as well; a Chocobo one, as well as a Final Fantasy one. A member of staff confirmed to me that the Final Fantasy one was in English, so I bought the starter pack. Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to play it yet, but I think I made a mistake not picking up additional booster packs!
In an adjoining, dimly lit room, there were larger figurines on display:
The focal point of the room was this stunning waterfall. It was extremely impressive in person with a red crystal floating in the middle and a pool of Materia at the bottom. The waterfall/fountain looked familiar but I couldn’t quite place the scene it came from, so please let me know if you are able to figure it out!
The store also had a café, but unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to try any of the refreshments on offer. My understanding is that some of the food and drinks were game specific, so l have added a return visit to my to-do list on my next trip.
Overall my impressions of the store were good. I would argue that the old Square-Enix store has the edge over this one, simply because it was bigger and hence had a wider variety of merchandise. However, there were definitely still a lot of positives to take away from the new store, especially with the addition of the café and for the fact that there are still some damn good collectibles to pick up.
Have You Ever Visited The Square-Enix Store Before?
Let Me Know Your Experiences In The Comments Box Below....
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