Japan is famous for having some of the most innovative (if not most peculiar) toys available.
And what better place to showcase Japanese toys in all their unique glory than the International Tokyo Toy Show, an annual celebration of toys, games, fun, and frivolity?
The Tokyo Toy Show gives out awards to the best toys of the bunch, and in this post we've handpicked eight of our favorites from 2022's recipients.
If you're itching to know all about the latest and greatest Japanese toys, read on!
#8: 3D Othello
Gold Medal (Communication Toys)
Many of you probably already know Othello, the king of Japanese strategy board games.
The rules are simple: each player starts with two black and two white discs at the center of the board, and the goal is to get the majority of color discs on the board at the end of the game.
It's a tried and tested formula -- which could very well be why toymakers Megahouse (a branch of Bandai Namco) ramped up the stakes and released this 3D version!
The game's rules are the same as in a standard Othello, but you must be on guard because attacks may come from anywhere -- including the board's sides and diagonals. You can play with the three-dimensional board anywhere you like and change the level of difficulty as you please.
If you're a fan of Othello and feel like you've mastered all there is to master about it, this is definitely the challenge you've been looking for!
Silver Medal (Basic Toys)
Love plushies? Why not try making one of your own!
Very simple to use, this kit lets you make your custom plushes in a few steps: you just have to insert the cloth into the main frame and choose how kawaii you want your new friend to be. With four different colors, two mouth and eye sets, and two additional felt stripes, the combinations for your plush doll are almost infinite.
If you can't wait to show your craftsmanship to the world, you can't miss out on this custom plush toy!
#6: Explosive Ice Blizzard Spino
Silver Medal (Action Toys)
If you or your kid are a dino fan, you've arrived at the next best thing after Jurassic Park. While there are only so many plastic dinosaurs one kid can have, this one is going to be the most amazing one you could have ever dreamed of (as the name suggests).
Blizzard Spino can walk, move its neck, light up its eyes, and even spit real vapor!
If you are looking for a new addition to your dino collection -- or simply the perfect gift for a die-hard dino fan -- rest assured this will fulfill your expectations.
#5 - Impossible Rubik's Cube
Silver Medal (High Target Toys)
Few puzzles are as well-known as the Rubik's Cube, and few nations have embraced the puzzle game as thoroughly as Japan has. Still, the game's core mechanics haven't changed significantly over time.
And while new generations of puzzle solvers are still challenged by it, those who have already mastered the Rubik's Cube are left with few to no solutions to revisit the game.
Because of this, the aforementioned MegaHouse -- which owns the rights to produce Rubik's Cubes in Japan -- set about developing the toughest Rubik's Cube ever. That's not an easy task since any big change to the puzzle's design bears the potential of turning it into a "fake" Rubik's Cube.
As a solution, MegaHouse created Rubik's Cube Impossible. It's similar to the conventional cube puzzle, but features some colored squares that change color based on the angle you look at them.
If you're ready to walk the fine line between using your head and getting a headache, you absolutely must try this Rubik's Cube!
#4: Trainbot Shouki (Transformers MPG-01)
Silver Medal (High Target Toys)
Looking for some new cool Japanese Transformers?
Trainbot Shouki, one of the characters of the TV anime Transformers: The Headmasters, is now available in a new MPG series. The letters stand for MasterPiece G, with the G encompassing three separate meanings:
- GATTAI ("union" in Japanese)
What's amazing about this toy masterpiece is the level of detail to be found in it: every part can be "transformed" and changed from the train to the robot version, and the whole transformation process can take up to a whopping 20 minutes (as seen in the video below)!
If you like to build or switch up your toys (and enjoy both trains and the Transformers franchise), this is a must-have product that you can brag about for the rest of your life.
#3: Smartwatch Tamagotchi
Silver Medal (Communication Toys)
The egg-shaped Tamagotchi gadget is one of the most famous toys that Japan has contributed to the world.
You're tasked with taking care of your very own virtual pet, keeping it healthy and happy around the clock. Indeed, you have to go the extra mile for it too -- otherwise it'll say sayonara to you and be on its way!
There are numerous characters and game variations available -- not to mention the many shapes, sizes, and styles that the Tamagotchi casing can come in.
Deciding what kind of Tamagotchi you want was always a hard task in the past, but the release of the Smartwatch Tamagotchi makes things a whole lot easier.
Equipped with a touch LCD screen and a microphone, the Smartwatch Tamagotchi allows you to pet your Tamagotchi and talk with it for an even more realistic experience. It is also one of the smallest color-screen Tamagotchi models (similar to the original one, in fact), and can be charged via micro-USB instead of alkaline batteries.
In addition, it can be equipped with so-called TamaSma cards (sold separately) for extra items to make your little friend even happier.
If you are looking for the best Tamagotchi on the market, then this is the choice for you.
#2: Tomica Cars
Gold Medal (Special Mention Toys)
In second place, we have Japan's leading brand for car collectibles: Tomica Cars from Takara Tomy.
These die-cast cars are among the most well-known toys in Japan and have captivated kids all around the world for generations. The collection, which currently has 140 models, is constantly being updated with the introduction of a new model on the third Saturday of every month.
Why did we add the Tomica series to this list? Because every person, whether kid or adult, deserves at least one Tomica car in their life!
Thanks, Takara Tomy!
Ready to start your Tomica adventure? Click here.
Silver Medal (Action Toys)
And in first place, we have our top pick: the unitroborn, a new brand of superhero robots from Bandai.
If you are a fan of “weird” action figures, rest assured this collection is going to blow your mind.
The idea is very simple: take whatever object you like and match it with an animal of the same color.
The result? A full series of superheroes ready to protect the world!
At the moment there are 6 robots, but there is a chance that in the future there will be more!
(You can find the whole collection here.)
Red Hero: Apple Lobster
The Applelobster is the first hero to be born and can be considered the main character.
Though it doesn't take much imagination to understand what two elements make up this hero, it sure does take a lot to even consider the combination in the first place!
Blue H: Shark Vending Machine
As if the thought of your coins getting jammed and stuck inside a vending machine wasn't frightening enough!
What if that vending machine had the jaws of a shark to literally bite back?!
Yellow Hero: Bulldozer Burger
What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a bulldozer?
Hamburgers, of course.
Supports the whole team with delicious robot burgers!
Green hero - Taxi tree
If you are in a hurry but would also like to feel the thrill of riding a dinosaur then the robot taxi tree is the perfect choice for you. Environmentally friendly hero.
Black Hero: Beetle Steam Train
This robot hero can blow away enemies with its cleverly named Steam Ray.
Useful if you're on a diet and don’t have a steamer with you.
White Hero: Plane Eraser
Last but not least, we have Plane Eraser.
Futuristic sci-fi technology once again showers us with random bits of little-known knowledge; namely, that combining a plane and an eraser will result in a robotic dog.
If you ever need a metallic dog to fly you around and help you erase mistakes on pesky admin forms, you know where to look.
Despite being some of the wackiest action figures we have ever seen, that's precisely what makes them so appealing and charming.
No doubt they'll be the pride and centerpiece of many a Japanese toy store!
So, did you enjoy our article?
If you didn't find the perfect toy for you, visit our store for more fantastic toys!
For more unique Japanese store spotlights, check out the articles below:
- Japanese Skin Care Routine: 4 Steps for Better Skin
- How to Choose a Leather Wallet: The Complete Guide
- Real Talk: Most Expensive Pokemon Cards (& Their Real Worth)
Thanks for reading!
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