Toys “R” Us where a kid can be an importer

By Spencer . March 10, 2008 . 7:10am

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There are not any specially packaged “Asian” version Nintendo games for English speaking areas like Hong Kong or Singapore. Unlike Sony Computer Entertainment and Microsoft, Nintendo doesn’t have an official branch in Hong Kong. Local distributors take care of the Wii, DS and software supply throughout the region.

 

Street vendors are a popular place to buy games, but familiar brick and mortar stores sell Nintendo products too. Specifically, Toys “R” Us has an eclectic blend of titles from North America, Japan and Europe. The two recent Naruto DS games, Naruto: Ninja Destiny and Naruto Shippuden: Dairansen! Kage Bunsen Emaki are cozily sitting next to each other in their display case. Not a common sight at chain stores!

 

While Toys “R” Us in Hong Kong has a decent selection of titles from a smorgasbord of regions they do not carry everything. There no niche titles from Atlus, a few Japanese training games and a sparse selection of RPGs. Toys “R” Us felt focused on selling games based on popular franchises and casual pet simulators. I mean this is Toys “R” Us, not a one stop headquarters for all your video game needs. Still, it’s pretty neat that Toys “R” Us has such a multicultural selection of software.


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  • Aoshi00

    Quite a sight indeed..

    The thing is HK retail didn’t used to sell US games since they were region-locked (the SNES, N64, and Genesis cartridges don’t fit into the Jpn systems unless modified or w/ adapters). I suppose this is more viable now since both the DS and PSP portables are region-free.

    People are probably scared when they look at the “HK dollar” amount :)

  • Konrad

    One Us dollar is equal to 7.7887 HK dollars. Which is a good thing for us State side importers, not something I get to say very often now days. Macroeconomics aside, it would be nice to see more region free games and more retailers supporting imports (not gonna happen but its nice to hope).

  • Aoshi00

    US dollar and HK dollar are actually pegged to each other, been that way for almost 3 decades. So both the $HK and $US are really depreciating against other currencies right now.. I’m glad I don’t import Jpn games in yen from sites like Play-Asia or Yesasia.

    Speaking of import games in retails, I once saw import boxes of Naruto Council 3 and Jump Superstars on the shelves in Best Buy. I wonder if they were actually selling imports, should’ve found out what the deal was back then.

  • kakashi

    Interesting article, Spencer.
    I was in HK last summer, with my gf (now fiancee) and I found it incredibly difficult to find a non-pirated game.
    Most places just sell the R4 card, and I’d like to say that I saw about 99%, if not 100% of the people on the MTR playing DS with R4 cards.
    Sad, but true.

    I had to travel to some isolated mall near my fiancee’s uncle’s house to find a legit copy of Ouendan 2.

  • Justin Bailey

    @Aoshi00:

    I was scared when I looked at the HK dollar amount T_T

    I wish the US would hop on this bandwagon. Why do we have these silly regional restrictions anyway?

  • TacoBeaver

    @kakashi

    ooo, playa playa gettin married XD CONGRATZ

  • maxchain

    Psst! I think you’ve confused the Toys “R” Us motto for the Chuck E. Cheese one.

    That’s a pretty impressive selection though!

  • http://www.siliconera.com Spencer

    @Aoshi00 – Hahaha you’re right about the HKD amount. I’ve seen other people with shocked comments on other sites. Thanks for clearing that up for the readers here. I should have done that! Really interesting comment about Best Buy. I’ve seen a few imports at a Best Buy awhile ago too. I think Tommo (the same company who is handling UFO’s stuff) is getting them into stores. Not sure though!

    @kakashi – Really? I’ve seen many people playing with their DS on the MTR, but I haven’t been paying too much attention to the cartridge. I saw a few people with different colored carts though and suspected they were pirates. P.S. congrats about the engagement :)!

    @maxchain – You’re right! Toys “R” Us’ slogan is “I don’t want to grow up I want to be a Toys R Us kid” or something like that. Actually, the alternate title for this was “I want to grow up and be a Toys R Us importer” but it just felt too long. I thought the Chuck E. Cheese slogan was one of the newer ones so I borrowed that. Good thing Mr. Munch doesn’t read SE.

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