(That's my car in the front of the shot, btw. Oh wait! I am missing a hubcab...)
As many of you already know (and now everyone else does) I work for a company which sells Japanese anime, manga, and hobby related products via the internet. Or to put it simply so everyone knows what I am referring to, I WORK FOR HOBBYLINK JAPAN! And it's awesome! Oh wait, I already said that.
Some people have asked what my job entails and more specifically how it relates to Gunpla. Having asked for, and received, permission to blog about my position I am going to use this blog entry to tell everyone a little about what I do each day.
If I had a job title it would be 'Wholesale Account Representative'. Sound fancy, doesn't it. That's because I made that title up for myself, so I feel important. Aside from retail, HobbyLink Japan also has a wholesale department for businesses who wish to purchase large amount of products at less than retail prices. My job is to take orders from wholesale customers, co-ordinate shipments, track down hard to find products, occasionally offer input and/or advice on product lines, and so on and so forth. While that may not sound too exciting, I will remind you that I AM SURROUNDED BY GUNPLA!!!
I have a confession to make. When I first started here I didn't really know what Gundam Plastic models were. I am an action figure guy. Before moving to Japan I had amassed a very large collection of various action figures and had them packed securely away in boxes or hanging all over my apartment walls. Star Wars, Mcfarlane Toys, Final Fantasy. You name it, chances are some kind of figure variation was in my apartment somewhere. I sold everything to move to Japan.
Shortly after starting my employment here the first indication, for me, that Gunpla was enormously popular, was seeing a whole truckload of Master Grade Sinanju hit our warehouse and piece after piece being packed and shipped out at rapid pace. I also started noticing that a large amount of the wholesale customers I am responsible for were ordering Gunpla. And lots of them.
"Why are these so popular?", I thought.
So I decided to try one out and see for myself. That first one, the MG Shin Musha Gundam (the one that inspired me to start this blog), set the hook and now I cannot get free, even when I tell myself that I have better uses for my time and money. Hobbies are like that. Then I started reading into Gundam plastic models on various internet forums and blogs and discovered that you don't just build Gundam models, you can also paint them and customize them as well! Now I will never get free...
But back to job...
Here's some shots and commentary to give an idea what a day at HLJ is like for me.
First off, here is the most important spot in the entire building. This is where the magic is created. Well, to be more truthful, this is where my daily drinks are created. It's the vending machine area.
I usually hit this place first thing in the morning to grab some kind of tea (I don't drink coffee). There's nothing like a good FREE drink to get you going.
And here's my desk. As you can see, um.. ya, this is definitely my desk.
It was thursday yesterday which meant new Gunpla releases! Knowing thursday is new kit release day I was able to run outside and snap some picture of the truck being unloaded. Often we will open up the carton on the spot and have a look at the newest big Gunpla release.
Look! It's the 30th anniversary PG Aile Strike with clear armour! And the Shin Musha Gundam Sengoku no Jin! It's back!
Once the Gunpla is moved into the warehouse and received into the system, one piece of each new release makes its way to the office where the box is scanned in order to place the pictures on its product page, and then the item description is written or tweaked. And that's my job too! Here's what my desk area looked like when the new Unicorn hit a couple of weeks ago.
And here's what I will be working with later today.
I open the box, drool, look at the contents, flip through the manual, meditate with a couple of runners in each hand for inspiration, and try to write as informative and detailed description as I can. I try also to cross-link the kits to their respective Bclub hands/parts, decals, and kit variations so people looking to purchase a kit can also easily see what else is available.
And after staring at Gunpla kits all day I get the urge. I get restless. Sometimes you may even see me building gunpla at my desk during break time or after work. Then I hop in my car, drive home, kiss my wife, sit down to dinner with my family, put the daughter to bed, and then.. you guessed it; Gunpla!
And the next day I hop in the car and drive to work and do it all over again. And it's awesome!