While nothing could hope to replace the simple brilliance of last year’s Teacup Poodle, it seemed that a lot of products at the Tokyo Toy Show 2009 (東京おもちゃショー２００９) took a more traditional approach and favoured updates of older toys or figures based on licensed properties. I never saw anything amazingly high-tech, although I admit I must have walked past the dog-speak translator at some point without it registering.
This is not the collection of the coolest toys, or the toys I would most like to own. It’s what left a lasting impression on me, for better or worse.
Necktie Llama (pictured)
Meet Necktie Llama. Actually called “Mirabakesso”, which is an abbreviated Japanese phrase meaning ‘products to transform the future’, you can play games, watch commercials and anime shorts by Studio 4°c on the official Mirabakesso homepage. Some of these creatures can talk, by the way, just in case you didn’t find your nightmares sufficiently fuelled already.
Hot Toys Booth
The first thing I noticed was a large T-600 figure, standing slightly taller than myself. Having drawn me in, there were a number of anime figures and figures based on Hollywood properties like X-Men and Pirates of the Caribbean. Also, a surprising amount of Edward Scissorhands merchandise, including cute SD figures. There were also a number of Michael Jackson figures prominently displayed, which made me wonder how long they had been in development.
Mickey Mouse Transformer
One of the runners up in the “High Target Category” at the Toy Show. See below for a picture.
Yakiniku is often translated as ‘Korean barbecue’ and many ex-pats living in Japan love showing these restaurants to visiting friends and family. You have an open grill in front of you and the meat and vegetables arrive to order, which you then cook yourself. All the fun of eating burnt meat and fighting over the cooking tongs is now brought into your home in the form of a new game. It consists of vibrating board and plastic meat and vegetables (of various values) which you have to pick up with plastic tongs. As fun as it sounds.
Canaan Model Gun
You too can own a model gun or airgun based on the ones seen in the anime Canaan.
Children in Japan love poo and adults are only too willing to indulge them. Naturally, this is in direct opposition to Western countries where children love poo and adults keep Mr Hankey to themselves. From what I could figure out, there are many different types of collectible poo that live happily together in a village on a poo-shaped island.
Like Domo-kun, Gachapin is an iconic mascot in Japan. This time, he appears as a cuddly dancing toy, along with hundreds of other properties (mostly Disney-owned). The overall effect was terrifying.
Pogo sticks are back! Okay, probably not. These are powered-up versions that had the crowd watching in awe as the demonstrator did backflips while several metres in the air. At no point were they thinking that they could do that themselves and they wanted to buy one.