I was looking for some information today on a Japanese model kit and went to the Zootoyz website and got a very pleasant surprise. The Zootoyz site has gone through noticeable renovation.
The site has always sold Tamiya plastic model kits and Hasegawa products, but they’ve focussed a lot of energy on their lineup of Woody Joe kits, with better organization, making it easier to find the kits.
They’ve also improved their listings with lots of photos. In the past, when you clicked on a kit’s photos, you see a couple photos of the kit, generally from manufacturer’s images. Now, many of the listing have included photos of the kit contents, including one or more pages of the instructions. This should make it easier for non-Japanese buyers to know what they’re getting themselves into.
The more popular kits that I’ve written about, in particular, have more than dozen photos now, including the Kitamaebune, Higaki Kaisen, Hacchoro, Sir Winston Churchill, and the Charles Yacht. The Kitamaebune is of particular interest to me, since I have not seen the contents of the kit before. Zootoyz spent plenty of time with this kit, posting more than two dozen photos of the kit including the instruction booklet, so you can really see what you’re getting.
From the new images, I can see how the Kitamaebune model is engineered to be a far easier to build kit of a Japanese coastal transport than Woody Joe’s similar Higaki Kaisen kit. You can check it out for yourself by visiting the Zootoyz site.
I still consider this to be the best place to buy Woody Joe products. But, if you like Japanese castles and temples, also check out the Kobayashi Kougei kits. The instructions appear similar in style to the Woody Joe kits, but they appear to be mostly larger scale. I’ve never seen them in person, but I’ve seen many Woody Joe kits, and the Kobayashi Kogei kits look a bit more “old school” in design, using These are special order kits that can take a couple months to get, and they’re pricier than Woody Joe, but they have some big and interesting models. Ω