Newcastle has a vibrant centre full of lovely items to buy, but if you’re looking for something specific, and more in the eastern range; there are a number of places in the city centre to buy some cuddly eastern toys.
Animez. 48 Low Friar Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear NE1 5UE.
Animez is a specific store featuring every king of collector’s edition toys, action figures and trinkets from your favourite Anime or Manga. They have everything from Naruto headbands and sweatbands to Final Fantasy action figures and everything in-between. They also stock some of our favourite toys, including Studio Ghilbi’s Totoro.
Baltic Flour Mill. Gateshead Quays, South Shore Road, Gateshead NE8 3BA
Though not strictly from Japan, Kozyndan are an L.A. based couple that had an exhibition in the Baltic in 2008. The Baltic gift shop sells their famous Tidal Wave of Bunnies, reminiscent of The Great Wave off Kanagawa. There is a small model version of this, as well as a portrait of bunnies on branches with pink flowers, also reminiscent of Utagawa Hiroshige woodprint Cherry Blossom art.
There are also display cased toys by Takashi Murakami, a Japanese contemporary artist. The toys descend from his famous Mr DOB work, with huge obscure, somewhat scary, expressions. The price of Mr DOB is over £55, but to own something from Japan, made by the famous artist is somewhat priceless.
Forbidden Planet. 59 Grainger Street, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5JE
Forbidden planet has a range of toys and plush. They have the typical and loveable range of Studio Ghibli toys including Totoros with a range of expressions, soot bunnies and sometimes a even cat bus!
If the nostalgia of Pokémon still washes over you (and it should) plush Pikachus are available! And many different types of Pac-Man toys are on sale, including a stress ball; all Japanese originated.
Travelling Man. 43 Grainger Street, City Centre, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 5JE
Travelling Man stocks all your favourites including Domos, and even a white Domo to pain how you may. Gloomy Bear, a more sinister Japanese toy in the disguise of a lovable pink shell is available in Travelling Man, again blank ones to paint how you may.
Travelling Man also stocks Momiji Dolls. Based on the idea of friendship, there is a large variety of Momiji dolls in Travelling Man so find one for a friend! Though the Momiji dolls we know originate from England, Momiji originated from traditional Japanese folk-art.
Debenhams. St Andrews Way, Eldon Square, Newcastle NE1 7XD
Debenhams, on the top floor do have a range of toys originating from Japan. Yes you guessing it, Hello Kitty! They have Hello kitty toys and stationery sets in the kids department, most likely for little girls, but we won’t judge!
Fenwick. Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7AF
Fenwick, same as Debenhams have a whole pillar dedicated to the Japanese Hello Kitty. Based on the top floor, in the kids department, Fenwick stock Hello Kitty toys, stationery, jewellery making sets, jewellery and hair accessories.