Note: This is a translation of original text wrote in Polish: Hong Kong - raj dla maniaków airsoftu
To feel better my role of Chinese correspondent of Wmasg, I took myself for one day trip to Hong Kong, to pay a visit in two respectable shops and as well to look around - to find out more about local retailers.
First I went to Redwolf, who calls itself the biggest mail-order airsoft shop in Hong Kong. I had a chance to talk to managers, some members of the team, take some photos and to carry out short interview (soon published on Wmasg). Before it would be posted I can say, Redwolf team agreed to give exclusive news to Wmasg readers, that soon in their offer there would be 'land-mine-like' device, launching Tornado grenade from Airsoft Innovations. It is said to be propelled by stamping on it.
If you look around their shop you may affirm yourself, that they are mail-order company. There is no space in terms of shop window (not mentioning small showcase next to the entrance), but to be honest warehouse is really broad. I had a chance to where, and by whom the custom replicas are being mede.
Unfortunately the main technician was not present, but I have found some time to talk to 'Glocktologist'. The Fin, who someday knocked to doors of well known shop and asked if there would be some job for him there - as you could easily guess - they hired him :) Under this nickname you should be able to find some movies on Youtube.
Place itself, easy to find after getting full and precise information, I guess is not that easy to get to, by just following the address. If anybody would like to there shopping during the stay in China, I could suggest flight to Shenzhen, then KTR train to Kowloon - from were we would be in very convenient starting position to reach the place by subway and what is more - much cheaper than any direct flight to Hong Kong. It is important to remember, that most of realistic look replicas, would not be allowed to bring them back to mainland China. If you would plan such a shopping, you should plan flight back from Hong Kong back to country of origin. I hope mentioning that you are not taking a replica in carry on luggage is just my exaggerated precaution.
You might trip over this beauty
Talking about Redwolf - while being walked around the facility, nice M134 has drawn my attention. I must admit - it makes an impression. If you want a minigun it should look like that one. There was no time for any tests and to be honest place for real test was really limited. Warehouse as a warehouse should be, it was filled with airsoft guns and equipment.
Even though I had visited them on a short notice, I was well received. It was nice to get know more about them and on the other hand to interest them by good old Wmasg. We hope to improve cooperation.
Next step was WGC Shop, who are advertising themselves on Wmasg forum. It was really a pleasure to finally meet, kind marketing manager, previously known only by e-mail exchange.
Of course... small world, small world: I have met there two maniacs from Krakow. Greetings!
Shop has a window display (photo by WGC)
Also here I took a tour through workshop, warehouse and i had a chance to see some intreesting new arrivals. I had a chance to ask about interview which would be posted soon on Wmasg. I cannot vouch for photos quality, I could only wish for understanding of all profesionals reading this poor column. I hope pictures are of some use to interested reader. I was backed up a bit by WGC itself who supported me without asking with some photos (marked in captions).
After fulfilling my small mission I went for a walk into airsoft and model making surroundings. It is mentioned in the title paradise, for any maniac having free time and some bargaining skills. It is part of the district, where shop next to shop is filled with either specialised model making products with sometimes impressing pieces of art (like those with petrol engines) either that what is most desirable - airsoft stuff.
First place to visit was small branch of Classic Army (head office in the other part of town was out of my range this time). Gold Kalashnikov reminded some scenes from 'Lord of War', but it is still unacceptably ugly.
Shop itself without gaudy ideas makes a good impression
Not to crowded inside, but you may observe some people with 'professional approach'
It was nice to see practically full selection of CA at one place. Prices - competitive. Though I should admit shop itself was nothing out of ordinary. It was neat, simply organised, but if you cover well known brand, some of the shops with less popular products, or Chinese no-names, were making as good or better impression.
While walking around, I have came across a shop with mainly Chinese mainland products, but it was not my deepest interest in there, but case-display with STAR products. Not even replicas itself, but their price. If you take exchange rate during my visit M60 by STAR was about 380 USD (when writing this article as much as 450 USD). If it was real STAR, big suitcase and reserved direct flight back to Poland was on my present wishes list.
Then I got myself to Den Trinity where I get some directions from other place, on my way to find some specific part, I couldn't find in other places. I was a bit disapointed. First of all, bargaining so popular in whole China was not possible here. Therefore no discount was granted, and what is more when I asked to take some pictures for the article purposes they didn't allow me to take any photos inside. Prices where also not shocking good. Maybe they have great quality of products, and reliable mail-order system - I cannot say - I never tried. I got a bit negative experience from the shop itself.
In small shop 'Barret' without any surprise there were some Barret replicas for around 540 USD. It was probably possible to bargain there if I would be really interested in buying one.
Guns Workshop made the best impression overall. Small shop, specialized mainly in Russian equipment replicas, had small but impressive shop window.
Sorry about the gleams...
I like all the series of AK, but such a customs, just make you love them at the first sight. I would come back there. This time my shopping list had to be limited to small parts, my travel plan was including going back to China - where airsoft is illegal. Complete replicas had to wait for another visit.
Legal issues regarding airsoft in China deserve writing another column, but I may say that even here there are active maniacs. They either use replicas trafficked in parts from Hong Kong, or they use Chinese ones from local production lines. They claim, that if they use only AEGs, it goes somehow with Chinese police (in the name of local law, any objects imitating guns are illegal). There would be serious problems if they decide for gas charged guns.
To summarize short trip to Hong Kong: obviously going there just for shopping, couldn't be justified by economic reasons. After taking into consideration even the cheapest flight tickets and baggage limits when you use such, and adding cost of stay in HK, it is just not grounded. For sure, when we would like to travel in Asia or we would be on a business trip, such a shopping is no longer rational - it starts to be airsoft maniacs' obligatory.