Saturday, February 21, 2015

Special Feature - TV Stations' Merchandise Shops ~ Part 2: TBS

Following the first report on FujiTV's shop at Tokyo Station, here comes the next feature on TBS. Compared to the other TV stations' shops which tend to sell the "in-season" goods, there is a fair mix of merchandise from older and new dramas' which is good news to fans especially if the goods from past seasons' dramas are difficult to find. In addition, there is a more balanced mix of merchandise from dramas, variety programmes and anime as compared to other shops which tend to be from one particular programme or genre. On the other hand, due to the limited shop space, you will notice that the number of items per title is rather small which can't be helped. It's a delicate balance between shop space and variety and extensiveness of the product range so each TV station has their own way of deciding what's more attractive to customers but it may or may not suit your own needs. If you can't find what you want here, you can choose to head to TBS' headquarters in Akasaka or try your luck on their website's store.

First of all, let's take a look at the "in-season" dramas i.e. Autumn 2014. When I was there in Dec, it was towards the end of the autumn dramas so the top level of the shelf was reserved primarily for them. Ever since the success of the Baegashi Manju from "Hanzawa Naoki", it seems like every other TV station is bent on doing the same to replicate the success of that. Of course, because "Hanzawa Naoki" was a TBS drama, the TV station will continue to produce manju for the dramas in the hope that that success will come again. However, "Hanzawa Naoki" was a rare hit in this era of low ratings which led to the high demand for its manju. Honestly, I don't think the manju will sell like hot cakes unless the drama is a runaway success. Having said that, it doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't buy the manju. When I tried the Baegashi Manju in spring 2014, it tasted quite ordinary to me so I suppose people bought it for the sake of the drama's popularity rather than for its taste. It's a nice memento to buy back if you like the drama but don't expect too much of the taste. "Gomen ne Seishun" seems to be the hotly-promoted drama in the Autumn season with a pretty extensive range of manju, towels, plastic folders, stationery bags and handphone accessories. I don't know if you can still find these by this time though. Comparatively, "N no tame ni" only had two items i.e. the novel by Minato Kanae and handphone accessories on display.

As for the "older" dramas, "SPEC" and "Mozu" have a wider range of items available such as stationery and accessories compared to the other titles. However, the items from "SPEC" aren't entirely from the drama series but from the movies. I bought a plastic folder from the "SPEC" series which had pictures of Toda Erika and Kase Ryo. As for "Mozu", due to the fact that there's a movie version to be made, that is probably why you can still see the drama's items in the store. However, for items which bore pictures other than the drama's logo, you will notice that the image of Nishijima Hidetoshi is printed there rather than those of his co-stars Kagawa Teruyuki and Maki Yoko. This speaks volumes of his popularity and the fact that his face could probably attract female fans to buy those items. One interesting item I found from the older dramas was the prepacked curry from "Kazokugari" which I suppose should be a pun on its name and herb rouge tea from the same drama. TBS seems to be quite keen on developing food items for its drama merchandise.

If you are looking for items from the following dramas which I've not mentioned above, you may also wish to give this shop a visit. Just note that by this time or when you visit, the range of items may have changed again though:
- Roosevelt Game
- S Saigo no Keisatsukan
- Pintokona
- Clover (movie)

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