Hi! I'm April and my husband Travis and I are the proprietors of the Chibi Chop Shop. Like you, I'm an otaku, and extremely passionate about manga, anime, and moe.
After years of drooling over anime figures, particularly nendoroids, I began collecting them in 2017. I've been interested in toy photography from a young age but always found myself frustrated by the perpetually happy face on many of the dolls I photographed. I was attracted to nendoroids for their versatility and the fact that like me their face could display a variety of feelings including sad, scared, annoyed, tired, smug, or surprised.
I expected that nendoroid photography would become one of my main hobbies, but shortly after starting my collection I discovered I had yet another passion, figure customization.
My first custom was of Soul from Soul Eater. I was determined that if the nendoroids I wanted didn't exist I would make them myself and I began to customize nendoroids.
The more custom nendoroids I created and the more I talked to other nendoroid collectors the more I became aware of a big problem for the Western anime figure collector and customizer. Finding the parts you need for customs was a pain in the ass. Very few stores sold split pieces and when they did the selection was horrible. A few could be found on online auction sites, but were often being sold at ridiculously inflated prices and if they were coming directly from Japan meant you had to use a proxy to complete the purchase adding expense to the purchase. Plus if you were like me and didn't speak or read Japanese you had the added challenge of translating websites from Japanese to English and some sellers didn't want to work with proxy buyers.
Because of this most nendoroid collectors who wanted to split pieces were forced to 'host splits' meaning they had to sell off the pieces they didn't want by tracking down folks who wanted those pieces while retaining the pieces they themselves wanted. This process was time consuming and could be exhausting and risky because you could end up with pieces that other people didn't want. And all these logistics took time away from the creative process of taking awesome nendoroid photos or working on actual custom nendoroids.
Some people turned to bootlegs to get the parts they needed, but bootlegs are of inferior quality and are stolen intellectual property that doesn't support the anime/manga industry that we all love.
I got to dreaming. What if there was a business that not only sold split parts but had a decent inventory all the time? What if you could go online and search for shoulder length blonde hair or school uniforms or musical instruments for your figures with the click of a few buttons? What if you could more easily obtain the pieces you needed?
So I started researching and dreaming some more. My joking discussions with my husband about it turned into genuine planning sessions. Could we make this dream a reality for nendoroid collectors? We think so and we hope that you will choose to support us in our endeavor.
We'll be working to expand our inventory, provide exceptional customer service, and support the customization and anime figure community. Follow our blog for more details!
And please remember that when you shop with us you are not only supporting the anime/manga industry of Japan and Asia but also small business!