I’ve mentioned this company a few times in connection with Woody Joe. Zootoyz is the company I was referred to when I first contacted Woody Joe, looking to buy one of their kits.
This Fukuoka-based company is run by a very nice gentleman name Kazunori Morikawa. I have had wonderful service with this dealer and they carry a large range of Woody Joe kits, and not just their ship models. They also carry many of the Japanese temple and castle models by Woody Joe as well as by the company Kobayashi-Kougei, which are very similar.
In addition, Zootoyz has a very large selection of Tamiya plastic kits. There are several other items on their site that are always listed as out of stock and it’s too bad. Some of these look really interesting, but perhaps they are out of production now. In particular, I’m fascinated by the Working models of the Edo period Karakuri puppets. Still, don’t let this discourage you. I suggest asking them through the “Contact” button on their site and asking them about it. Maybe they can order it for you.
Anyway, I’ve found Zootoyz prices very reasonable, particularly if you compare them with Japanese Ebay and Amazon sellers, which mark up prices by hundreds of dollars for no apparent reason. Zootoyz prices are in yen and are slightly below Woody Joe’s listed retail prices. But, when you add the items to your cart, the site automatically does a conversion to dollars based on current exchange rates. There are no surcharges for international orders. In fact, there is a bit of a discount that is tied to your order total. I’m not sure what the formula is, but seems to start around 4% for an average ship model kit.
Of course, shipping overseas is more expensive than domestic shipping, but there are three methods to choose from. EMS, or Express Mail Shipping, is the fastest, but not necessarily the most expensive. You can check out the different rates and see what gives you the best deal. The website has a page that does a pretty good job of explaining shipping times, so you should take a look at that.
But, I will point out that I ordered the Kanrin Maru kit by EMS and it only took a week to get it. The total shipping cost was about $40, which really isn’t bad. When you compare this to shipping rates from places like Model Expo, where a similar order would cost $25 – $15 more to get a unique kit from Japan is a pretty good deal.
Of course, it all depends on what you order. Shipping is based upon how much your purchase weighs, not on how much you spend. Some kits are heftier than others, and some of the really big kits can get a bit expensive.
Anyway, if you have any interest in a good selection of these Japanese kits and you want a good customer experience, I wholeheartedly recommend you visit Zootoyz.jp.