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Toys

Seven Lucky Gods coming soon to a cellphone near you
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Read the full story Toys | Japan | Wireless 08:49 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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If you’re already weary of all the CES hype, with its rampant consumerism and one-upmanship and in need of a little divine help, then how about a cellphone strap featuring seven lucky, dangling gods from Japan?

Beer and digital telly on your wrist
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Read the full story Displays | Household | Toys 12:57 AM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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Asahi, the purveyor of fine Japanese beer famous for its golden unchi (turd-shaped) building is adding a technological twist to the joyful slaking of the great Japanese thirst during a typically torrid summer in Tokyo. Put simply; buy beer and (potentially) win a 1-seg TV Watch from Willcom that doubles as a cellphone.

Meet Neebo, Japan’s newest robot toy
Saturday, August 12, 2006
Read the full story Toys 01:45 AM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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Neebo from Robot Force is a sort-of robot, sort-of toy that is sort-of stylish and will no doubt appeal to some.

Bandai to release giant GUNDAM bots at Xmas
Saturday, August 05, 2006
Read the full story Toys 03:02 AM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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GUNDAM fans and other anime fetishists will likely be blessing Bandai this Xmas, as the toy company is going to release its completely enormous (read: 1/12 scale) HYPER HYBRID MODEL.

Xbox 360 maker to take over production of Lego
Thursday, June 22, 2006
Read the full story Toys 10:00 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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The company that produces the popular Lego building blocks has decided to outsource production to electronics contract manufacturer Flextronics International over the next three years. But in a twist, the Lego Group intends to continue to make products “characterized by high technical requirements” at home, the Billund, Denmark company said.

So that’s how Japan keeps its trains on time
Friday, June 16, 2006
Read the full story Toys 08:33 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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The Yamanote Line is a train line that encircles central Tokyo and which, as you may have surmised, is extremely busy at all times. To keep passengers from throwing themselves under the wheels of speeding trains…

Wanroom: weird Japanese toys for everyone
Friday, June 09, 2006
Read the full story Toys 01:16 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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We know how obsessed our readers are about collectible soft toys that double as secret storage containers and which come in the shape of a variety of household objects.

Real-life ghostbusting goes commercial
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
Read the full story Toys 02:21 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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Good old Solid Alliance (of sushi USB fame) has teamed up with Akkord International of Hong Kong to form a pan-Asian ghostbusting network of truly staggering proportions.

Salarymen dressing as superheroes
Thursday, April 13, 2006
Read the full story Toys 07:51 PM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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Middle-aged salaryman? Packing a beer- and bar snacks-expanded waist? Well it’s time to quit moaning and belt up.

Tetsujin 28 limited sale
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Read the full story Toys 07:28 AM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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Vstone is accepting orders for a very limited edition run of 100 cast-iron models of Tetsujin 28, in “celebration” of the opening of Kobe Airport on Feb. 16.



Scary MP3-loving teddy bear
Monday, March 20, 2006
Read the full story Toys | Audio 11:27 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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We don’t know much about the Soundpet, such as who makes it or how much it costs, but it ticks all the Japanese “cute” boxes and then some.



Thanko USB microscope
Thursday, March 16, 2006
Read the full story Toys 05:09 AM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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Thanko, in overdrive as ever, has just announced its Dino-Lite digital “microscope.” Just plug the thing into your PC via USB and get 20x/200x magnification on your hair follicles, fingernail dirt, or whatever else pleases you, all in glorious color on your PC screen. The Dino-Lite comes with software that allows you to save images, attach them to emails, go to next/previous, enlarge and shrink, etc


Mobile phone model madness
Thursday, March 02, 2006
Read the full story Toys 06:01 AM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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Mobile phone accessories are a pretty serious business in Japan. Street kiddies vie with each other to see who has the most (and most ridiculous) appendages, while corporate types just love to hang their swords from long, logo-emblazoned straps.


Casio brain training calculator
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Read the full story Toys 08:53 PM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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Here’s something that may bring back delightful or horror-stricken memories for you. Casio has two educational calculators that are supposed to work with the very Japanese Hyaku Masu Keisan (Hundred Square Calculation) arithmetic training method that was invented by a Japanese elementary school teacher in Hiroshima called Hideo Kageyama.


Imagineer game/alarm for kids
Friday, December 30, 2005
Read the full story Toys 05:15 AM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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With a spate of child killings fresh in the minds of Japanese parents, Imagineer has released a bohan buzaa (literally, “crime prevention buzzer”) that’s also equipped with an LCD game for kids.

Exams? Memoribo to the rescue
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Read the full story Toys 08:21 AM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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Kokuyo’s latest gadget is just the thing for all those tech-minded but less-than-diligent Japanese students. The memoribo memory aide stores up to 2,000 sets of questions and answers, and will surely find takers among Japan’s hordes of university hopefuls.

ASIMO gets refit, hits on women
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Read the full story Robots | Household | Japan | Toys 09:07 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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Honda’s smug ASIMO robot is incredibly annoying — here in Japan it’s hard to get through a single day without being subjected to his capering antics on TV and in magazines. Which makes it all the more disturbing that Honda has bestowed the bungling ‘bot with even greater powers.

Tamagotchi mobile Europe-bound
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Read the full story Toys 11:14 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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Hey groovy European pals — fret no more over your lack of access to a cellphone version of Tamagotchi.

Thank Takara for the music
Friday, November 25, 2005
Read the full story Audio | Toys 10:46 PM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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Takara’s Music Shower is a DAP interesting for the chosen method of attack on its target audience; pre- and early-teen girls. By emphasizing the fact that the ¥9,975 device can encode to MP3 from a standard line-in, Takara is attempting to open a relatively untapped market.

Takara Noh-Sapiens speed crammer
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Read the full story Toys 04:43 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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Takara, fresh from being back-slapped in TIME Magazine’s Best Inventions 2005 for its Walkie Bits toy robot, has finally released its Noh-Sapiens fully automated larnin’ doohickey.

Sports fans need help too
Monday, November 21, 2005
Read the full story Toys 05:59 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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This man may appear to be on fire but he’s actually a very well paid, overexposed and wholly annoying TV “personality” in Japan. Now, John Kabira is pimping one of those “Huh?” products that sell so well here; this time an automatic cheering machine featuring snippets of his insightful soccer commentary.

Drunkmeister meter from DATech
Friday, November 18, 2005
Read the full story Toys | Household 05:44 PM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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Digital Analogue Technology of Korea is now offering people south of the DMZ (and possibly north of it too, if there are any cars apart from Krazy Komrade Kim’s fleet of Benzes still working up there) the "booze-o-meter."



(Via Digital Analogue Technology [Korean])

Stressmeter for the drooling
Friday, November 11, 2005
Read the full story Toys 05:29 PM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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Here’s something to salivate over. Our (taste?) buddies over at Nipro have just released the Cocoro Meter, which measures stress by sampling our bile.



Via Nipro [Japanese])

idogs out (in pink) at last
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Read the full story Toys | Robots 07:05 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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Stop the presses – Sega’s idog is finally available in pink and blue. Not content with the common-as-muck white, Sega has added the two new colors to appease infantile adults and bored kids across Japan.



(Via Sega [Japanese])

Dragonball Z solar keychains
Monday, October 24, 2005
Read the full story Toys 08:08 PM Paul Kallender • PermalinkComments
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May the sun continue to shine on Bandai as it hawks its solar-powered (or at least solar cell-equipped) DragonBall Z wares.



(Via Akihabara News)

Confusing watch speaks Morse
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Read the full story Toys 08:51 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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For a mere ¥12,900, 150g of quality stainless steel wristwatch can be yours, along with the headache that goes with trying to figure the damn thing out.



(Via Tokyoflash)

Quartz sensors good for golfers
Friday, October 14, 2005
Read the full story Toys 10:49 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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Epson Toyocom, a leading company in the quartz device business (or so it says) has been touting its Gyrosensor Golf Putter recently in a bid to expand the market for motion sensors beyond digicam anti-shake units.



(Via Epson Toyocom)

New Aibo chows down on RSS
Friday, September 30, 2005
Read the full story Robots | Toys 09:21 PM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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The new Aibo announced yesterday afternoon is notable for its enhanced ability to communicate with the outside world through improved comms software.




(Via SonyStyle [Japanese])

Tamagotchi hits 10 million sales
Saturday, August 27, 2005
Read the full story Toys 01:19 AM JMLH • PermalinkComments
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Bandai reckons its Tamagotchi Plus has sold 10,000,000 units around the world as of mid summer this year. The breakdown reveals a whopping 60% of that was in overseas sales, which just goes to show that it’s not just the Japanese who dig their cute.




(Via Bandai Japan)



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