Saturday, January 03, 2015

Special Feature - TV Stations' Merchandise Shops ~ Part 1 FujiTV

If you have been to Tokyo, in particular Tokyo Station, you would probably have seen this row of shops from the major TV stations i.e. FujiTV, TBS, NTV, TV Asahi and TV Tokyo which sells official merchandise of their TV programmes. NHK also has its own shop in the same underground mall although it is not located within this cluster. As the shops are lined up side-by-side in the same row at the Yaesu side of the station, it will be hard for anyone to miss them. What's good about having these shops here is that you don't have to travel all the way to the various TV stations to purchase these official merchandise because their headquarters are located at different areas of Tokyo i.e. FujiTV in Odaiba, TBS in Akasaka, NTV in Shiodome, TV Asahi in Roppongi. Most people would be at Tokyo Station to make transfers or take the Shinkansen etc so the location is very convenient and customer traffic is definitely a boost factor as to why these shops are located here. In fact, there are usually too many people that it can get difficult just trying to enter these shops at times.

For fans of anime, you will be thrilled to note that in the majority of these shops, they carry a higher proportion of goods related to anime programmes. However, that doesn't mean that you won't get to see drama-related goods in these shops. The range of products though is subject to availability, the promotional strategy of the TV stations and the timing of your visit.

As I was there during December, I saw merchandise of "Nobunaga Concerto" and "First Class" (which were still on-air at that time) and "Orient Kyuukou Satsujin Jiken" (which is due to be shown during the Seijinshiki holidays). Then again, the range of products for each title tends to vary too. "Orient Kyuukou" only had its notepad being displayed while there were notebooks and folders displayed for the Autumn 2014 dramas. In addition, I noticed the absence of goods from other dramas from the Autumn 2014 season  i.e. "Subete ga F ni naru", "Suteki na Sentakushi" and "Dear Sister" which may or may not be related to their performance in terms of critical reviews or ratings. Given the limited space in the shop, I wouldn't be surprised if the TV stations choose to stock its shops with the merchandise from the titles they deem more popular. It would also be natural for a full-length drama series to have a wider range of goods as compared to a drama SP.

On the other hand, you have HERO 2's goods being displayed prominently in the store i.e. stationery such as notepads, folders, badges and snacks such as manju even though it had ended more than 3 months ago. Seems like after the success of the Hanzawa Naoki manju when it had long snaking queues of people waiting to lay their hands on it at the peak of its popularity, many TV stations are making their versions of confectionery snacks such as manju for their dramas. Perhaps the success of HERO 2 in terms of its ratings was the key reason why it took up so much space on the shelves but I would have wanted to see a wider range of goods from various drama titles rather than have one title dominate the shelves. Comparatively, the shop at FujiTV's HQ had a wider range of goods which included stuff from older dramas so I'll talk more about that when I come to my review of my tour there. If you are keen to check out the TV stations' shops in Tokyo Station, be prepared to see that there might not be goods from your favourite dramas especially if it's not doing very well in terms of ratings or is an old title.

I will be introducing the other TV stations' shops progressively so do stay tuned for those posts coming your way soon!


junny said...

Looks like you had a good holiday in Japan! :) Thanks for this write-up, it's very interesting and I'm sure the shops enjoy good business. Are the merchandise expensive, though? I'll be on the lookout for these shops when I head there next month, though I don't know if there will still be any merchandise left for Orient Kyuukou, but mmm, maybe there will be some for Zannnen na Otto, haha.

Am watching Suteki na Sen Taxi and it's a lovely gem of a drama. Yutaka is killing it as the cabby, and I'm loving the stories and twists so far. Have you watched the drama?

Chiaki said...

With regard to the prices of the merchandise, it really depends on a few factors such as currency exchange and your views on the worth of these items. Given that the yen has depreciated quite a lot in 2014, depending on where you come from, most likely you'll get a pretty good deal due to the currency exchange. Prices aren't fixed across the board so different TV stations may have different pricing ranges. Generally, most items are below 1,000 yen each.

The TV stations all have their own websites to sell the full range of the merchandise online but unfortunately, the shops have limited space so it's unlikely that you can find an extensive range of products there. What I suggest is, you can probably order from the online sites and have them deliver it to your hotel if you can't find some dramas' merchandise in the stores. The catch is whether they accept foreign credit cards online and if you can navigate the sites which I think do not have English versions.

I haven't watched Suteki na Sentakushi yet so I'll probably get started anytime soon. Thanks for the recommendation and hope that you'll enjoy your trip in Japan!

junny said...

Thanks, Chiaki!

Around/below 1,000 yen each seems fine, if the item is decent. Let's hope I'll still manage to find some good stuff when I get there. Time to check out the TV stations' websites! I never knew Tokyo Station has such a convenient shopping area for drama fans, but that makes total marketing sense given the traffic flow.

Were you only in Tokyo, or did you visit other cities as well?

Hope you enjoy Suteki na Sen Taxi! I've never seen Yutaka in this sort of role, and I think he was really enjoying himself. Are you looking forward to any dramas for Winter 2015?

Chiaki said...

There are a couple of interesting dramas such as Ghost Writer, Mondai no aru Resutoran, Ryusei Wagon, Ouroboros and Maru Maru Tsuma but as to how many I will actually finish watching, that's largely dependent on availability of the source, time and if the drama is good enough. Too early to tell yet at this stage. How about you?

I was in Tokyo and some other cities in Kanto and Hokuriku regions. Would have loved to venture further but due to time constraints, it wasn't possible.

junny said...

Sorry I saw this late! I'm mostly checking out Zannen na Otto but nobody seems to be subbing it (English, that is, so I'll have to rely on Chinese subs), which is sad since it's quite funny. I also plan to check out Ouroboros and Ghost Writer, and maybe Dakara Kouya and Ryusei Wagon - hopefully the Nishijima-Kagawa combo this time won't bomb as badly as in MOZU.

Oddly enough, I haven't visited Tokyo other than brief stopovers, so I'll be checking it out this time. But I also plan to move around in Nagoya and Kansai, among other places, so my biggest headache now is which JR Rail Pass to get. It's bloody confusing!