JMTN blog

(Japanese Model Train Newsletter)

Buying a limited release Bandai B-train Dr Yellow

In a Japanese train magazine recently, I saw advertising of a limited release of a Dr Yellow 923 T4 set. So of course I had to have one 🙂

The big problem was that …

  1. it was a limited release made by Bandai for another company, and as such was not available from the ‘normal’ hobby outlets (this is done quite often).
  2. the place advertising it …
    1. would not sell outside Japan
    2. did not have a web site where it could be ordered from easily

The first and obvious option, was to get a kind soul who lived in Japan to organise the purchase.Unfortunately, I could not find one of these 😦

So it was Tenso to the rescue !!! This is a company that will handle this kind of situation for you – at a price of course.  There are two ways you can use their services …

  1. they will give you a Japanese address that you can use for those sites who will not ship outside of Japan. When the item arrives, Tenso will ship it to you.
  2. use their “Japanese Buying Service” to order for you when you cannot navigate the Japanese order page, or you have to be a member of their site etc etc.

So I wrote to them on Jan 21 to request they order the items I needed. The items had been released on Dec 24, so I was hoping that after nearly a month that they are still going to be available. Using the “Japanese Buying Service”, I cut and pasted the web page address  & description, quantities etc of the items I wanted. This costs Y1,500. Shipping of the item to Tenso cost Y600. On Jan 24, they wrote to me to request payment for these fees, as well as the goods themselves. After receiving it, they obviously ordered the items I wanted. On Jan 31, they wrote to me that the items had arrived, and asked me to pay for the shipping and their basic service fee (Y490). After receiving that, they shipped on Feb 1 using EMS (their only option) which cost Y2,040. It arrived on Feb 4 and I picked it up today (5th).

So on top of the actual cost of the goods, it cost me Y4,630 to get them here in my hot little hands. A bit more than I really wanted to pay, but in cases like these, if you want something there is no other choice. If you use this type of service, the only way it can be cheaper (Y1,500) is if you are able to do the online ordering yourself, rather than using the “Japanese Buying Service”.

I believe there are other companies that also do this type of thing, but I would heartily recommend Tenso without looking around at any others. As you can see, I had the items just one 2 weeks after I contacted them, and all communications in English were concise and understandable. Here is their web page …

To read about this Dr Yellow set, please go here


February 5, 2011 - Posted by | Bandai


  1. Thanks for the tip in procuring items out of Japan when the site tells you they can not. I have looked at site in Japan for my N scale railway and given up on the process. I put it in the to hard basket but next time I will give it a go. Do you know of any Japanese railway modelers in Adelaide or South Australia, anyone? I live in the Charleston ion the Adelaide hills and do not belong to any club. Cheers Jim Hamilton

    Comment by Jim | February 5, 2011 | Reply

    • Hi Jim, I model the Japanese system on my T-TRAK modules and I live in Northern Adelaide. I think there may be others.

      Comment by Ian | February 9, 2011 | Reply

      • Hi Ian I go to swap meets when I can but haven’t meet anyone that has told me they are into N Japanese. I use Kato mostly and are keen to have contact with someone with a similar interest. I also need help with making my layout DCC. I have started stage 1 of 3 and have made them transportable First stage is about 2 x 3 Meters. Cheers for the contact Jim

        Comment by Jim | February 10, 2011

  2. […] You can read about HOW I got it here. […]

    Pingback by 923 Dr Yellow T4 limited release set « Bandai's 'B-Train Shorty' | February 5, 2011 | Reply

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