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Hobby Link Japan


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Just realized we had no main topic on Hobby Link Japan!


Hobby Link Japan (https://www.hlj.com) is an online hobby shop that has a broad range of items from gundam, to military models, to anime figures and some railroad items. In the last decade their railroad selection has decreased slowly, but still some surprising things at time show up here or can be backordered. they have no physical storefront, just a web business.

Some items are in stock, some are instock in x-y days and some are backordered. You can backorder many items and surprisingly many do show up, but may take a month or more if they can be sourced at all. You do not pay for the item until it arrives and is ready to ship when backordered or in stock in x-y days. Payment is credit card or paypal (you can set up a standard paypal payment that is automatic as well).


they have a virtual warehouse that you can buy items and keep them up to 60days before you ship them. This lets you consolidate orders into one or more packages for optimal shipping. It’s a really nice feature and works very well as I find I need small things at times like Tomytec train parts but not in a rush and nothing being ordered right then so I order (or backorder) then and keep them in the virtual warehouse until enough stuff has built up or I decide I need them now. You can decide what you want to ship out of your virtual warehouse at any time and with what ever shipping you want. Sometimes breaking the order into 2 boxes can reduce shipping other times it’s an odd thing with one little piece jumping the shipping up a lot. Shipping calculations are tricky at times. But prices are very fair for shipping (minimum for DHL and FedEx did shoot up with Covid, but I think that was because DHL and FedEx jacked up their rates and minimums). they ship SAL (registered or unregistered), EMS, FedEx, and DHL. I think they had started the epacket before Covid.


generally their prices are somewhere between HS and amiami, so decent. Service has always been prompt and well packaged, sturdy boxes. Never had an issue with them in like 15 years buying from them.


Hlj generally has the best price on sankei around usually 20% off and other places a lot less discount as apparently the dealer margin is slim on sankei stuff. Once and a while amazon has some sankei on sale a bit cheaper than hlj, but not often. Hlj is also been really good at backordering sankei pretty quickly in a week or a few weeks all the ones I’ve backordered. HLJ is my goto place for sankei due to the discount, backordering, private warehouse to collect items and then good Sal shipping.




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  • cteno4 pinned this topic

Shipping costs are fine.  SAL/EMS when those are working, plus DHL and FedEx.  Once you get above SAL sized boxes, then you pour a wee dram of whisky and spend an hour or so playing a game of "and how much would it cost to ship this combination".  

After testing various permutations, I've always found that one big DHL/FedEx box comes to just a buck or two more than multiple SAL ones.  (At least back before the couriers jacked their rates up due to Covid shipping demands, but SAL won't be shipping to the US any time soon.)

Their Private Warehouse system for holding stock on the shelf is just brilliant and a much nicer way of collecting backordered goods than Hobby Search.

Edited by Cat
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Yeah things have changed with Covid as the minimums for DHL and FedEx have gone up like 40%, but the. You can put quite a bit in with it at that minimum (around $26).


in normal times with small stuff they stated at about 420¥ Sal for a few bits like sankei kits and such. If you build up a big pile usually FedEx or DHL Work out pretty good deal compared to Sal in multiple boxes as cat notes.


they use sturdy boxes and usually shrink wrap items down to a piece of cardboard and glue to the bottom of the box to stop any shifting. Cuts down on weight some and works well. 


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