Chit-chat from Imaginatorium Shop
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Scenic index : Cherry blossom - Flowers - Summer - Autumn - Winter - Mt. Fuji - Japanese castles - Temples and shrines - Trains - Mountain roads - Bridges - Tokyo - Kyoto scenes - Fireworks - Scenic 300 - Scenic 500 - Scenic 1000 - Scenic 1500+ - Exotic
Traditional art : Traditional - Tigers - Dragons - Gods 7-4-2 - Lucky! - Kimono - Rural - Hari-e - Woodblock - Art with words - Flowers - Kaname - Ogasawara - Kayomi - Hakuga - Zigen
Illustration : Haruyo - Chihiro - Reina Sato - Okamoto - Uchida - Animal art - Cartoon fun - Wachifield
Fantasy : Horaguchi - Fujishiro - Kagaya - Kusuda - Nishino - Shu - Teppei - Takaki - Other fantasy artists
Anime and characters : Studio Ghibli - My neighbor Totoro - Kiki's delivery service - Evangelion - Conan - Suzumiya Haruhi - One Piece - Dragon Ball - Naruto - Gintama - Rage of Bahamut - Sailor Moon - Pokémon - Children's anime - Hello Kitty
Western art : Classics - Mucha - Alice - Lassen - Wysocki - Americana - Moomins - Peanuts - Ellenshaw - Thomas Kincade - Tim Rogerson - Gonzalez - James Coleman - Disney
Miscellaneous : Mandalas - Heian period - Floral collection - None of the above - Tiny pieces - Scroll - Bargains
April 1st: The Post Office is not accepting packages to 153 coutries; so we have stopped accepting orders for the immediate future. This will change; I have to make the checkout accept only selected countries, which will take a day or so. Please go ahead and browse, and if you want to order puzzles you can send us details on the special form at the checkout. We will keep your order ready for later payment and despatch.
Chit-chat from Imaginatorium Shop
May — Increases in EMS shipping costs
We have had a notification from the Post Office that some rates will rise on 1st June. (This is the first time for such a change since we started operating 14 years ago!)
(7th June) I have updated the EMS charges, which are the only changes to affect checkout calculations. The minimum weight step has been raised from 300g to 500g, and then there is a flat increase per package of 300–500 yen (depending on zone). This is a big increase for a single (very) small puzzle, but for larger orders EMS is still a very good deal: it's fast and tracked, and we can pack everything in a single carton. (For SAL and Airmail "small packet" rates, we have to split into packages not over 2kg, equivalent to two 1000-piece puzzles.)
June — Brexit vote
This is not the place for political discussion, but surely everyone will have seen the announcement that the UK is to leave the European Union. The immediate effect of this, of course, is that the pound sterling has fallen by 5% or so, making everything imported into the UK more expensive. Unfortunately, this is not all: by a bizarre quirk of the modern "science" of economics, any big event like this, whether notionally "good" or "bad", and in whatever country, means that the yen also goes up. So overall, I'm afraid prices go up by 5-10% just about everywhere. (Did you know that the Japanese national debt is something like 20 years worth of tax revenue, and every year if the government makes a budget to spend 2 squillion yen, it raises 1 squillion in tax, then prints the rest. I wonder how long the current situation will last...?)
December — New Year 2017
Another New Year is here! There were certainly plenty of unexpected events in 2016, but I take this opportunity to wish all our customers, past, present, and future, all the best for 2017.
2016 was not an easy year, with the yen going up with each political dislocation, good or bad, but things have settled down now. We have reached a range of 1200 puzzles in stock, and in the New Year we will have plenty more new ones. There has been a trend in recent years towards more of the "novelty" small puzzles, but we will do our best to keep a good range at the challenging end too. After a gap of two or three years with exactly one puzzle over 3000 pieces (the superb Yanoman 5000 of Mount Fuji, we have just added a couple of new 4000 Disney puzzles, which should keep you busy. And lots more to come, new artists, upgraded rewards for One Piece pirates, and more...
"A kind of blog..." My sporadic comments, mostly topical, on shop matters. (Brian Chandler)