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The Black Hole Show January 2008


Well it’s that time of year again where the loons that love the sport head out to Tokyo for the biannual Black Hole Show.


This year’s show took place over the 5th and 6th of January and needless to say I grabbed my camera and headed on in to the city for the event.


Now over the years I have been to the show I have reported that it has got worse, this year was no different and the show was dominated by booths selling rebranded Chinese copies and German Nazi memorabilia, which out of personal views I avoided like the plague.




This year’s event seemed very sparse indeed and I was pretty much able to take in the sights within 2 hours, before you could spend a whole day there and get lost in the amount of booths and vendors.


Also a lot of the things there have already been released or reported on several months back.


The Tokyo Marui Stand


There were some nice finds there, for one Tokyo Marui was there show casing this year’s new releases. Their new AKM with blow back was on display for all and sundry to have a go.




Now don’t get your hopes up…the blow back is weak and a .22 air rifle delivers more kick than this. But saying that it is a nice feature and it does add that little extra realism to the game.


Marui Man firing his piece:




Semi Auto:



Full Auto:



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The overall finish of the AKM is pretty good, although the only thing that places this on a wish list is the blow back, but veterans of the sport will know that Guarder actually came up with the idea some time ago, which Marui has copied. Saying that I was able to pick up the Guarder kit for my AK at a bargain price!


Also you will be pleased to know that the weapon is actually full metal construction.








Also one the stand were the usual “Old Hat” items that Marui has been displaying for the last 3 years.










But this time the MAC 11 and Smith and Wesson PC356 were show cased, again clay models but knowing Tokyo Marui’s release schedule these items will be released during the summer.




I also asked the team about the new M4 blow back system, to all my questions they replied. “You’ll have to go to the Shizoka Hobby Show” which is the event that Tokyo Marui always show cases any new products.


So just like last years show and the shock release of the HOWA Type 89 rifle, it looks like the new M4 blow back will be released early this year. Guess we will have to wait and see!


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Tanio Koba Stand


Tanio Koba was also at the show, again showing off his gas blow back Canadian C8 M4. I was also able to ask him about product release dates and pricing as well as the versions he intends to release.




As of now the release date is Spring but due to the huge interest and the fact that he will be producing HFC134a, CO2 and Propane versions of this weapon no current pricing scheme is in place.




Also having fired this weapon on HFC134a they have the same amount of range as a gas gun firing on the same, but as we know with improved inner barrels and a better bucking and nub the range can seriously be improved on. Firing on Propane this weapon kicks like a mule and also has a range of 50 meters.


It looks like owners of Escort and other classic style guns will receive a run for their money, especially when a valve to be used with CO2 while still maintaining legal limits and offering more kick is in the making by a 3rd party manufacturer.


I have to say that this really is something to watch out for in 2008!


Hopefully I will be able to bring you some more news in March as he has asked me to come down and visit him at his factory and work shop!




Gun Vest


Also at the show was the Korean company GunVest. This is the first time they attended the show here in Japan and it was a perfect opportunity to get to see their products up close.




Now I have to say they are worth every penny you pay for this classic bit of kit, although you can buy real steel gear by Eagle or other companies for less. Needless to say cheaper than the original!






Tango Company


Another apparel manufacturer from Asia was Tango Company, who funnily enough also was displaying an amazing replica of the CRYE Combat Chassis in Tan. But also they had some other unique and extremely innovative products for sale.






Hopefully I will be able to bring you all some more news on these products.


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It was also a perfect opportunity to meet up with one or two of the companies that have supported Arnie’s Airsoft in 2007.




Modify had a few surprises in store with their new “Top Gear” range of modular gears, these are apparently the fastest gear sets on the market at the moment.




One cool little feature is that they have solved the problem that many of us have with high speed gear sets and the striping of pistons. Take a look at the new style piston!!!




Also they have packaged complete sets for all types of weapons, meaning that you can just pick up a complete overhaul for your weapon without having to worry if you have the right piston or tappet plate!




Again I will have more news on these products as they were kind enough to give me the display model for review!




The whole show was dominated by U.F.C which is a Japanese company that rebrands Chinese products, everything here the Japanese could pretty much get at RSOV, Gunner Airsoft and other online retailers who specialize in ACM products.






As you can see the prices are crazy compared to what I normally pay for products in Honk Kong, I will let you work out the markup percentage!




Also companies such as CAW and the likes were also there, with not so good bargains either as you can buy the same products for a lot less in the high street airsoft shops scattered around Tokyo not even 5 minutes away by train.




There was however some great bargains or even rare items to be found in amongst the private sellers booths. I found this Tokyo Marui SIG 550 with 3 round burst in mint condition for a pretty reasonable ¥25,000.




Along with these “Fukubukuro” (Lucky Bags) these were ¥10,000each. You don’t actually know what you get but being the cheeky git I am I asked the vendor to let me have a sneaky look….and this is what you got:


• Tokyo Marui Hi-Capa custom (Two Tone)

• 2 spare magazines

• 3000 BB’s

• Speed loader

• Mystery item (different in each bag)




The total value of the items inside the bags ranges between ¥15,000 to ¥20,000 each and are designed to be just a bit of fun for those willing to take the risk.

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The real stuff


Also this year for the first time was the JSDF recruitment team, now I couldn’t believe just how much traffic these guys were getting and I also witnessed three guys signing up there and then!




I had a pretty good chat with the guys working the stand and they informed me that last year was the best year for new recruits they have had in a long time, this could possibly be down to the Japanese constitution changing and allowing Japanese Self Defense Force to carry out Peace Keeping missions abroad, which the youth of Japan feel very positive about.




Not only that but he was more than happy to let me try on his Kevlar Vest and Helmet and pose for photos. I have to say the Japanese vest is pretty comfy and knowing the Japanese there has to be a pocket in there for my iPod and camera somewhere!




The Ride Home


To be honest this is probably going to be the last Black Hole Show I cover for Arnie’s, it just doesn’t have the same appeal as it used to.

What with manufacturers now supplying us with news directly, a lot of the items covered have already been mainstream knowledge for 3 months now.


Also with the cancelation of the Gekishin Matsuri last year and no news of a 2008 event it might look that all the vendors and manufacturers are going over seas to push there products.


But never fear I will try to head on over to Korea or Hong Kong to attend future shows there!

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Kin' ell a full size Smith & Wesson Auto GBB, great about time ( thought it could still be years ). Not complaining but I wonder why that model rather than a M39 or M645?


Basically the owner of Marui is the one who chooses what guns get made, so if he likes that model that's the model that gets made, there is no real method to Marui's releases.


TM make any comments on the 5-7?


Erm nope no comments made on the 5-7

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Thanks for the report, it's a shame it's going downhill like that though.


TK M4 GBB: interesting!

TM S&W GBB: interesting!

Modify products: interesting!

The prices on those rebranded ACM bits: WTF?? :o lol!

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Thanks for informing. :D


S&W Target Champion by Marui? When will it be released? 2010? :P


They still have to get on the FiveseveN, the MEU and their AEP stuff like the Beretta M92 and the TMP submachine gun, they're anouncing ever since years now!


No handgun news by Western Arms? Or have I just miss the info in the text?

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Funny that a company like gunvest.com attend to such event.


They use personal pictures on their websites (including mine, but also many other airsofters) without authorisation, making customers believe it's pictures of their products (which, at least in my case, is not since it's real deal material and not replicas like they are producing)


If they want to have international representation, they should first respect privacy rules.

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