From June 1st to June 4th, the 2017 International Tokyo Toy Show took place at Tokyo Big Site. A total of 35,000 toys
– from ones that are meant to mimic toys from the old days, to new ones produced with the latest technology-went on display over 4 days, amassing 147,000 people in total. Let’s check out the 3 types of toys that are currently hot in the toy market.
■ The Toy Market – A Market Worth Over 800 Billion Yen
A Photograph of the exhibition
According to the Japan Toy Association, every year, Japan’s domestic toy market had been pulling in a total of close to 700 billion Japanese Yen for about 10 years. Since 2014, however, for 3 years in a row, that number shot up to 800 billion Japanese Yen. What happened in 2014 was that we had Yo-kai Watch and Frozen, both of which were big hits and really boosted up sales of their related toys with their IP’s (intellectual properties). Popular movies with their intellectual properties have been dominating the toy market ever since then.
Just last year, in addition to toys of “Anpanman” and “Mell-Chan”, toys of “Beyblade Burst” and those of other animes also went big and helped drum up the market.
Mr. Tomita of Takara Tomy stated that “strong IP’s” would continue to dominate the market this year. At Takara Tomy’s booth, there was a spacious exhibition space entirely dedicated to Licca in celebration of her 50th birthday. The latest version of Licca was made with new, high-tech materials, so that when you shine it using the light that comes with the doll, apparently her hair color would change. After a while her hair color would go back to what it originally is so you can keep playing with it.
Licca from different generations, splendid with style in all her loveliness
Licca’s hair color changed!
Among all the toys on display at the show, let’s take a look at the 3 types that caught our eyes there.
■ Toys For Experience: The type of toys that gives you the sort of entertainment experience that you don’t get everyday.
Puni Gel (by Sega Toys)
At Sega Toys’ booth, a group of girls
ranging anywhere from 5 to 10 years old were checking out Puni Gel. Mr./ Ms. Kameda of Sega Toys stated that “we do carry accessories made with UV resins that are geared towards young women. Young girls, however, yearn for all the fashion that older women get to enjoy. We simply helped materialize that yearning into something tangible for our young girls”. You play with it by mixing any 2 kinds of the special liquids together, and try to make a shape out of it. After you are done putting patterns with the seals that come with the set, you will be good to go with a bouncy,
springy accessory that all kids will love. The material is soft and safe, and you can make arrangements with the whole set however you see fit.
Girls visiting the booth got hooked up as they got busy putting the accessories on, checking themselves out in the mirror, and then trying on different accessories.
What’s more is that Sega Toys came up with “Puni Gel: The Nail Artist Studio”, where you can put your nail artist skills into test!
Making cute accessories with Puni Gel
A bunch of girls falling head over heels choosing accessories
A girl working away at her nails with“Puni Gel: The Nail Artist Studio”
“The Nanoroom” (by Kawada)
Kawada had a variety of their construction sets and puzzles on display.
A paper model
The Nanoroom has been hot these days.
The Nanoroom, which is geared specifically towards females, is special because its individual pieces are made from actual cloth and wood. You can make all sorts of furniture and put together rooms with these pieces. And you can arrange your furniture however you like, so go ahead and enjoy making your dream room.
The individual pieces have got a heartwarming texture to them, making them all the more enjoyable. It’s a toy that will surely put your mind at ease as you put together your dream house.
Pieces made of cloth and wood
“Time For A Walk With Pup” (By Takara Tomy)
Here, we have a wearable device that you can slap on to your pup’s collar with. This little gadget measures the amount of activity by your pup when he goes on a walk. Connected to your smartphone, it keeps you updated on how much longer it is going to take for your pup to finish his walk. The gadget can also automatically identify the way your pup walks, and classify it into either “wandering”, “walking”, “walking fast”, or “running”. Furthermore, the gadget apparently can also calculate the appropriate amount of exercise for your pup, based on his breed, size and age. This is one gadget born out human’s increasing awareness of our best friends’ health.
You may also say that this is one toy that helps push the limit of how “toys” have been defined.
“Time For A Walk With Pup』 The Device Is Strapped To This Pup’s Neck
Also on display was this toy called the “Pelotto Ice DJ”. If you lick the ice, an electricity wave will pass through it and the toy will start talking.
” Pelotto Ice DJ” If you lick it, it’s going to start talking. The “Age-age” version of the toy is absolutely hilarious!
■ Toys For Interaction: the kind of toys that people play so that they get to interact with their family members and friends.
“Printoss” (by Takara Tomy)
In this time and age, taking pictures with your smartphone is something that we all do everyday. Applications that allow you to do some fine-tuning with your pictures are popular and, more so than ever, we show pictures to one another and exchange all sorts of information. But then when we want to print out these pictures, we either usually have to do so with applications that are designed specifically for this purpose, or go to places with printers, or try to find electronics stores with printers ? and all these are just such hassles. This is where Printoss comes in. All you need to is to bring up on your phone the picture you want printed out, and throw on the switch in Printoss. And then out will come a polaroid picture. In a sense, this is one very nostalgic work, and it’s also fairly priced at 3,758 Japanese Yen.
Up until now, smartphones haven’t been able to print out pictures the way that photo sticker machines do. Printoss, however, makes it so that pictures are no longer constricted to the cyberspace, but a communication tool to be used in real time. Who knows, this gadget might just be what it takes for a whole new market to be born.
Put your smartphone on Printoss’ box and just turn it on!
This is how a Printoss picture looks like. ※It will take some time for the picture to completely develop, since it is a polaroid picture
In addition, there are also many toys that you can spice up the party with.
The Round Earth Sugoroku. Check out this super unique 3D earth sugoroku!
The “Big Stream Somen Slider－Extra ” Now you can enjoy flowing somen at the comfort of your home!
“The Giant Sushi Ferris Wheel－A Party In The Sky” Enjoy spinning sushi at home. You got to check out this vertical spin!
Looks like dinner is going to be a whole lot more exciting for kids if they eat with this!
We will look into more unique toys in volume 2 of this special coverage.
>>Continuing onto the second half
(Article by: Kenichi Nakamura)
（※1）The “UV Resin Liquid” is a liquid that hardens when reacting to ultraviolet. With it, one can make all sorts of accessories in a breeze.
“The International Tokyo Toy Show 2017”
・A report on “Tokaigi 2017” －living our life with games－
・”Japan Amusement Expo” report －3 New Trends- First half
・”Japan Amusement Expo” report －3 new trends－ Second half
Fields Research Institute (FRI) conducts research in entertainment.
This article was written by a member of FRI, through the original coverage of his/her interests observed in their daily lives.