Comics Connection Pte Ltd
- < $20
- < $50
- < $100
Established in 1992, Comics Connection Pte Ltd is a chain that carries a wide range of comics to serve their customer's needs. It specializes in books that are imported from different countries such as Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. Other than that, it carries an extensive range of other products, ranging from action figures, trading cards, animation VCDs and posters to game consoles, etc. Today, Comics Connection has 23 stores across Singapore that are strategically located in high traffic areas within shopping centers, MRT stations and bus interchanges.
However, I realised that they are increasingly selling K-pop imitation goods.Not really a good idea, since now, the people who visit comic connection are more of kpopfans instead of true lovers of manga.
Some things there are good buys. Some are rip offs (flimsy calenders printed with low quality photos taken off google images) - Anyone can print that, so really just keep your eyes open before you make a purchase.
I'm not sure on what's the law on producing goods with copyrighted photos of idols, but I'm skeptical about the permission Comics Connection got to produce these K-Pop merchandise. I've seen even fan art on products such as files being sold there. Also, stay away from the badges. Your Korean idol looks wonderful on it but he/she won't be after a few months when the rust starts to eat at his/her face.
K-Pop fans, if you truly want to support your idol while owning merchandise to flaunt your favourite K-Pop act to friends, please buy the official products. You can order it online through sites like yesasia and some blogshops take requests and import straight from South Korea for you if you're unable to pay through online banking. By buying from Comics Connection, you're cheating both yourself with the poor quality of the products and your idols of income. This is coming from a fellow fan.
But if you aren’t keen on buying mangas and hope to instead widen your collection of K-Pop items, I wouldn’t recommend this store. The K-Pop items they sell are ridiculously overpriced and horrifyingly low in quality.
So if you are going Comics Connection, it’d be best if you stick to purchasing what it’s best known for — comics.
One lady there was very friendly and helpful--she showed me the entire Kindaichi collection which I bought over a span of a few weeks. After Kindaichi, I craved for more mystery mangas, and the lady recommended some titles like Detective Academy Q and the Food Detective. Over time, I discovered more mystery titles by myself, like Q.E.D. (a.k.a. Wonder Little Detective) and C.M.B. The great thing about Comics Connection (or any manga shop) is that they are able to source for rare, out-of-print titles. The very early issues of Q.E.D. were very hard to find, and luckily, Comics Connection was able to source for me. The great thing is sometimes Comics Connection tries to clear their stock of rare titles, and if you happen to want these rare titles, you can get them cheap--like $1 or $2.
It took me a long time to realise that the prices in Comics Connection are not low. I can actually get the same mangas at much lower prices at Kinokuniya. However, I did get personalised service from the helpful lady at Comics Connection. Sadly, this lady no longer works there.
Other than mangas, Comics Connection also sells pendants, brooches and keychains based on popular mangas. I once bought a cross (from the manga D.Gray Man) keychain for less than $10 and converted it to a pendant. Today, this beautiful, less-than-$10 cross is my favourite pendant, despite my owning a number of much more expensive jewellery!
Now, I hardly patronise Comics Connection, mainly due to their higher prices for the mangas. A pity. If they could lower the prices of the mangas, I believe more customers would patronise them.
Recently, I visited the shop again to collect my comics. Somehow they had changed the system to accommodate people that cannot understand Chinese. Now, every person that had an order would have a plastic bag with his name on top. So you only need to tell the staff your name and he would be able to give you the comics you ordered.
The new system worked because reading an English name was easier for everyone.
While I have to kick myself for making my purchases there, since I know that their gaming products are generally overpriced, their location, being almost in all shopping centres and everywhere, made it much easier for me to buy games.
However, the recent occasion for me to buy something from Comics Connection totally turned me off and I rather travel further to buy my games now. I was looking for Guild Wars 2 for my girlfriend previously, during the period of time where it’s being sold out island-wide. She stepped into Comics Connection, asked if there were still stocks available and was given a nil reply. Probing further on when the stocks will arrive, the store attendant revealed that they actually do have a copy of the game now. On the other hand, they will only sell for $10 above the SRP (Standard Retail Price). If I remember correctly, the SRP was $79 and they are willing to sell only at $89 if we want the game now, which leads me to wondering if the store attendant is trying to pocket the extra charges or if it’s a common practice in the industry to mark up prices above the SRP.
I remember visiting the store often a few years back. At that time, there was a much greater variety of the merchandises they were selling. Besides comics, their merchandises catered to much more fandoms. Being the Cpop fan I am, I looked out for the idol merchandises of various taiwanese stars. Now... I don't even see them in the store unless you're talking about Show Luo or the occasional Fahrenheit.
They did a good job going along with the K wave though. From keychains to badges to iphone covers, you could find your K idol's face printed on it. Bottles too! I know how it feels like to be a fan, and I know if you're a K fan without self control, you'll definitely walk out of the store with something in your hands.
Good news to Kpop fans out there! Sucks if you happen to belong to other fandoms like me though.
After some time, i realised that the KPOP songs that they repeatedly play doesn't seem to irritate me as much as i've expected! So i thought "Hey, maybe KPOP isn't all that bad!" and went ahead to give this genre a try.
And TA-DA! I became a KPOP fan. From then on, Comics was like a heaven. It managed to satisfy both my manga and KPOP cravings all the time! After browsing through some mangas, i can just grab an item or two that's on offer! and the good thing about Comics is that they always have KPOP items on offer!! I've gotten badges at $1, socks at $3 and more!
Not only that, Comics now brings in official merchandise! I was shocked when i saw that they brought in SMTOWN official merchandise! Even though they were selling it at an expensive price, it was still a notable effort from them as im sure some fans are willing to spend that amount of money since we aren't able to easily get official merchandises in Singapore!
Lastly, i would like to add that Comics Connection is really up-to-date. They know what and who's the current trend and they constantly add more items to their inventory, making it an enjoyable experience everytime i enter the shop.
Comic connection not only serve kpop fans by selling kpop items, they also sell items like comics books, comics related figures, game consoles, toys, stationery and games. In the past before I am a kpop fan, I loved to play online games like maplesea and auditionsea which I am sure most of us are still playing. In fact I am still playing when I feel bored. To get @cash to buy those power weapons and beautiful clothes, you can actually go to comic connection to buy. However you have to ask the counter for it as they did not displayed it out. Furthermore, they also sell Kinect and Wii updated games like Just Dance. I don’t really read comic except Detective Conan which is my favorite detective comic, so I cannot comment if those comic books on the shelves were updated though.
However, in the recent years, with the ongoing K-Pop craze, Comics Connection has started to change into a place where you can find all sorts of K-Pop related stuff, from posters to mugs to even socks. I'm pretty disappointed by the huge change, and have reduced the number of visits to near zero.
For fans of Taiwanese idols like myself, Comics Connection has become history. So, if you really love K-Pop or is looking to purchase K-Pop related merchandise, Comics Connection is a must to visit.