I swung by the post office on the way to work this morning since I received a notice that a package had come in (apparently I was vacuuming and didn’t hear the doorbell ring). My Miyuki Figma had arrived, courtesy of Tenso.com.
The package arrived in good condition and it appears that Tenso had put a new shipping label on the box and forwarded it on. It didn’t seem the seller had anticipated that Miyuki would be flying overseas, so no padding was used at all…
You may have noticed that Konata is missing from these shots. I was going to pose her on top of the box in a sitting position, but there was an accident when I tried to do that. Apparently the joint was a bit tight or weak (never really tried to pose her before) and it snapped as soon as I tried to move it. ;_;
I’ll definitely try to replace her, but I haven’t had much luck finding a seller that still has them in stock (aside from eBay). Realistically though, I’d just be looking to replace the leg piece, so if anyone knows where I can get a spare left leg for Figma 008, I’d be open to options…
As for the actual Tenso service, it seems like a pretty good concept. I can see how it could be useful for people trying to buy goods from a Japanese retailer that doesn’t ship outside of Japan. The process itself is pretty simple:
Go to Tenso.com and sign up for an account
Once the account is activated, they provide you with what amounts to a PO Box at their offices in Tokyo
When purchasing from a Japanese retailer, provide them with your Tenso address
Once Tenso has received the package, they contact you for shipping payment (a small shipping and handling fee applies on top of actual shipping cost)
When they’ve received your payment (they take credit card and PayPal), they’ll put a shipping label on the box and send it to you
You wait and check tracking every 15 minutes to find out where it is
Package arrives via EMS and delivered by your local postal system
In all, a nice little business model. It is very easy to set up and use. For my order, however, I struggled a bit to see the value of the service. Miyuki cost 2244 Yen from a marketplace seller on Amazon.co.jp. Shipping charges from Tenso added 1990 Yen more, bringing the total to 4234 Yen or US$42. The current going rate for a Miyuki Figma from Toylet.net is $30+$10 shipping.
Now, using the service may be worthwhile on something a bit larger and expensive, as the service charge would be a smaller percentage of the item cost. With a small order such as this, it doesn’t make much sense to go with this method. It may also be worthwhile to get rare items that can’t be found elsewhere except for Japanese auction sites or smaller online retailers.
Thanks Danny for allowing me the opportunity to try out this
service! Now to see if I can replace Konata or her leg…