Today I went to Odaiba, a strangely futuristic island just off the coast of Tokyo Bay, to cover this year’s Tokyo Toy Show. The event takes place every June and is one of the biggest and most important toy exhibitions in the world. Last year’s show attracted over 110,000 visitors. The picture above shows a huge crowd watching a Power Rangers dance show.
Sorry, I didn’t see any booth babes. But I did see desperate parents, nerve-wrecked staff members and tens of thousands of Japanese kids drooling over the newest Hello Kitty stuff, fancy robots, stuffed animals, mechanical toys, figures etc.
It’s impossible to fit everything in here at once so I will blog videos and pictures on the coolest stuff in separate postings. For now, have a look at what the organizer of the show, the Japan Toy Association, thought what the best toys [JP] were:
Official Grand Prix:
Omise de okaimono oshaberi ippai – Anpanman rejistaa from Sega Toys [JP]
(Buy and talk a lot at the shop – Anpanman cash register)
This is an educational toy for children who can learn basic mathematics by playing store cashiers and customers (on sale in Japan since March for $58). The cash register features Anpanman, a famous Japanese cartoon character.
Award winner in the trendy toy section:
Mugen ni dekiru shiriizu (Mugen puchi puchi puchimoe, mugen edamame) from Bandai [JP]
(Do it forever series (infinite pop pop bubble wrap, infinite soybeans))
With the Mugen Puchi Puchi, Bandai simulates popping bubble wrap. The toy’s built in speaker rewards patient players with a dog barking, a sexy moan or a fart after 100 pops. Available in Japan since October 2007 for $6.
The Mugen Edamame gives you the feeling of popping cute bean faces out of a soybean pod. This toy went on sale in April and costs $6. Pods with 12 different faces and a special edition are available.
Award winner in the basic class toy section:
Pyun pyun saakitto (Wroom wroom circuit) from Takara Tomy [JP]
This toy car motor circuit will be available in August for $78.
Award winner in the high class toy section:
Micro slot car owner’s basic set from Takara Tomy [JP]
This toy car motor circuit is scheduled to go on sale on September 25th for $70 (with one car). It will only feature expensive sports cars like the Toyota 2000 GT.
Award for the best innovation:
Eyeclops from Bandai [JP]
Bandai will sell this digital microscope starting June 28th for $75. The Eyeclops is able to magnify objects by 200x. It can also be connected to a TV or monitor.