The International Tokyo Toy Show (Also known as “Tokyo Omocha Show”) is the one of the first major ‘fun’ event to be held in Big Sight since the earthquake. Okay, there were trade fairs devoted to sales incentives and a few doujinshi markets, but nothing with sponsors. They weren’t even sure if it would go ahead considering both the Tokyo International Anime Fair and its new rival, Anime Contents Expo, were cancelled. Although numbers for both attendees and booths owners seemed like it was down, I’m glad they went through with it.
I must admit, fewer things caught my eye this year. However, the people behind Doubutsu Shougi (“Animal Shogi” or “Catch The Lion!”) were there again to give demonstrations. If you like board games or puzzles, I totally recommend this one. It has a few basic shougi pieces, represented by simple illustrations of animals and a reduced playing area. The pieces have the potential moves (mimicking actual shogi moves, obviously) included in the illustrations too.
This year they had a treat for us — a full shogi set with the same basic concept! That is, the legal moves for each piece are clearly marked and all pieces are adorable animals. These are a perfect gift for anyone, even adults (especially adults!).
Amongst other toys that caught my eye was Yummy Dough. According to the flyer, they started making it when a little German girl asked “Why can’t you eat clay?” Instead of replying “Because we said so,” they made edible play dough and set up children for a lifetime of bad decision-making. It looked like a pretty good idea, but I didn’t try any of their many samples, simply for all the children already pawing through them. There’s a photo of the booth below though.
Amongst other things I photographed was 4D Cityscape Time Puzzle from Yanoman. The concept isn’t new, but now Tokyo has been added to the list of 3D cities you can make. There were also plenty of sentai and tokusatsu rangers on display at the Bandai booth. Like Takara Tomy, their booth took up about a quarter of an entire hall. This time they were promoting Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (AKA Pirate Squadron Gokaiger), which is a mash-up of a Super Sentai show and pirates. Probably my favourite photographs were of Lego’s new magic-ninja-and-dragons model line, called Ninjago.
I was very pleased by what I found in the Takara Tomy booth. I’m a big fan of ‘we made it so-so-so cute that it stopped being cute and became creepy’ — I love soulless eyes, kigurumi cosplayers and life-sized dolls with visible balljoints that they didn’t have to include but did anyway. Good work guys, and I won’t be able to sleep for some time.
Here’s a list of Japanese Toy Awards 2011 grand prize winners. There are a few changes from the previous year (See a list in English here), although Bandai are still making sentai transformation belts and Anpanman keeps educating kids. This year, Takara Tomy took more wins all round and their winning entry for the Innovation Award, Ningen Gakki, looks particularly intriguing.
|Category||Name||Company||Sale Date||Price in Yen|
|Access For All Children “Kyouyuu” Award||Tomica Yubi-Con Series||Takara Tomy||June 2011||5,229|
|Educational Award||Anpanman Touch de “AIUEO” o-kyoushitsu Kids Tablet [Link to .PDF]||Agatsuma||August 2011||7,329|
|Boys’ Toy Award||Henshin Belt (Kamen Rider) DX OOO Driver O Medal Series||Bandai||September 2010||6,825|
|Girls’ Toy Award||Licca-chan 31 Icecream Shop||Takara Tomy in association with Baskin Robbins||April 2011||4,725|
|Character Toy Award||ONE PIECE LOGBOX||Megahouse||September 2010||630|
|Innovative Toy Award||Ningen Gakki||Takara Tomy||June 2011||3,360|
|High Target Award||nanoblock Tokyo Skytree and LED Plate||Kawada in association with Tokyo Skytree||September 2011||2625 (+1050)|
I hope you enjoyed my report and photographs from the International Tokyo Toy Show 2011. If you like anime, you might enjoy my cosplay photographs from Winter Comiket 2010. If you want more photographs from other big events like this toy fair, maybe you’ll prefer my report from last year’s Tokyo Game Show. Alternatively, click on the banner to your left to see photographs from other bloggers in Japan. You can also share this on Facebook or Twitter (amongst many other sites!) if you click the button to your left below.