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Where to get J-Pop/K-Pop stuff at or around ACen?

#1 User is offline   The Commodore 

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 08:48 PM

Hey all.

I'm looking to pick up pretty much only J-Pop or K-Pop stuff this year (no anime stuff this year). I know Mitsuwa's bookstore sells some J-Pop stuff, and there's usually one or two booths in the dealers room with some merch, but I thought maybe Illinois natives could fill me in on where to find some other things.

Does Korea Town have any stores that sell K-Pop CDs/merch? I drove through last year but it was late afternoon on Sunday so most everything was closed.

Any help would be appreciated, thanks!!
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#2 User is offline   dorkatlarge 

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:03 PM

There's a store dedicated to Korean pop in *Woodfield Mall* of all places. You'll find it right next to the Ruby Tuesday's on the upper level. I don't know how long it will exist, so go there while you can.

Anyone else have recommendations?

#3 User is offline   The Commodore 

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:08 PM

Oh I remember hearing about that! And only 10 minutes from Mitsuwa, sweet! Do you happen to remember the name?

EDIT: Is this it??

This post has been edited by The Commodore: 21 April 2012 - 09:17 PM

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#4 User is offline   Ashori 

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 10:52 PM

View PostThe Commodore, on 21 April 2012 - 09:08 PM, said:

EDIT: Is this it??

Actually, I think that might be the one inside of Gurnee Mills.
There's also a store inside of the same mall called Too Cool that sells a lot of anime and Hello Kitty goods.
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#5 User is offline   linlindesu 

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 11:19 PM

View PostAshori, on 21 April 2012 - 10:52 PM, said:

Actually, I think that might be the one inside of Gurnee Mills.
There's also a store inside of the same mall called Too Cool that sells a lot of anime and Hello Kitty goods.

however that place is over priced and the materials are bootlegged :/

I concur with dorkatlarge, get to that place at woodfield while you can. I'd also suggest hitting up fye for cheap anime goodness.
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#6 User is offline   Sir Viver 

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 10:24 AM

If you're looking for official merch, be absolutely sure to check the record label. Companies such as Miya Records, Ever Anime, and SonMay are Chinese companies profiteering at the expense of the Japanese music industry. If you find an import CD for $20 or less, odds are it's a bootleg. I know I'm forgetting several pirate labels here, those are just off the top of my head. I'd advise using a little bit of your time before ACen to do your research. (I felt pretty silly when I bought bootlegs of both FLCL soundtracks several years ago, unknowingly until after the fact...)

Additionally, here is a list of common legitimate Japanese CD distributors:

COCC – Columbia Japan
KICA, KIDA, KICS – King Record (Starchild)
KTCR – Kitty
LACA – Lantis
PICA, PIDA – Pioneer
PCCG – Pony Canyon
TKCA, <2digits>ATC – Tokuma Japan
TYCY – Toshiba-EMI (Futureland)
VICL, VIDL – Victor (also known as JVC)
VPCG – Vap
SVWC – SME Visual Works (also known as Aniplex)

Armed with a small list of these as well as the pirate labels to avoid, you can ensure that you walk away with legit stuff. :)
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#7 User is offline   The Commodore 

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:44 PM

A friend of mine checked the mall today and KPop America is still open!

That's excellent advice Sir Viver, thanks for the list! I'll definitely have to keep my eyes open to make sure anything I get is legit. :)
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#8 User is offline   magicalgamer 

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 01:43 PM

I just stopped at k pop at woodfield. The girl at the store knows her music and offers sugestions. I would recommemd visiting the store.
I picked up a cd and the packaging inserts were fun to look at.
Also, she pulled up some videos of the bands so i could listen to them before buying.

#9 User is offline   The Commodore 

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 08:21 PM

I stopped at K-Pop America at Woodfield Mall on Thursday as well. As magicalgamer said, the girl who was working there knows her K-Pop, and was very friendly and fun to talk to. I spent about an hour in the store looking around at everything and chatting with her.

The store has a whole wall of albums, the prices of which are pretty decent, about what you'd pay if you bought online with shipping. They also have calenders, t-shirts and hoodies, posters, wall scrolls, and other trinkets. They have open copies of some albums as well so you can take a look at them before you buy. They have a few TVs in the store that they play MVs on too.

Of course there was the booth selling K-Pop in the dealer's hall this year as well, which was unexpected, and will apparently have CDs next year too. But I would still recommend making the trip to Woodfield if you're a K-Pop fan going to ACen!
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#10 User is offline   Ash Anesthetic 

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 10:37 AM

I must go to this next year, then. o_o
I was sooo pleasantly surprised to find a kpop booth! <33 I got some SHINee merch. =3 I wanna get more kpop stuff next year, to. Do ya know if the prices were fairly similar in both places?
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