Over 150 international toy companies will be setting up stage at Tokyo Big Sight for the annual Tokyo Toy Show, showcasing a huge range of the latest toys, games and gadgets for kids young and old to check out. Admission is free, there’s lots of food and drink available, and the event slogan is punny enough to please even the most cynical parents out there (get ready for some top quality ‘Enter-toy-ment’ everyone).
The big guns of the industry including Bandai, Sanrio and Combi will be there as well as a number of smaller boutique toy companies and a few maverick inventors hoping that their creation will be the next big thing. Big kids get a chance to see the old classics updated; three-time world yo-yo champion Taka will be showing off his skills for his Akihabara store Spin Gear while Tamagotchi have a display of the modern digi-pets – now emotionally complex enough to experience a mid-life crisis.
For the modern brood it’s all about the smart toy; wearables, robots and Wi-Fi are the main draws for little consumers, and companies are figuring out exciting new ways to implement smart-device technology into kid’s toys.
Sega Toy is releasing its Jewel Watch, a version of the Apple Watch which offers a touch panel and video games, while Tomy’s effort, the Play Watch, features a built-in camera. BotsNew has created an affordable pair of virtual reality goggles, letting you experience anything from skydiving to a date with a famous pop star.
MOOREdoll from Taiwan is a teddy bear designed to enable communication between family members. Parents can send voice messages through their phone to the bear, which can be delivered directly, at a chosen sound or light signal or when the doll is picked up by the child. You can also send bedtime stories or songs stored in the Cloud to play at a designated time.
2015 is also the year of the flying toy with several companies riding the recent drone trend. Happinet’s HoverTech challenges kids to shoot down an automated drone, while the Nano Falcon DigiCam is making waves with a flying camera that transforms into a helicopter.
Finally, to coincide with the release of the new movie, there’s a large-scale StarWars exhibition, as well as a display of Marvel merchandise and plenty of anime products to keep us Japan-nerds happy.
The International Tokyo Toy Show will be open to the public on the 20th and 21st June, from 9.00 till 17.00 pm and 9.00 till 16.00 pm. Entry is free.
Head to Kokusai Tenjijo Seimon station in Odaiba, Tokyo Big Sight is a 3 minute walk. There’s not much in the immediate area, except for a Tully’s Coffee which is likely to be rammed, but there are places to buy food and drink inside the building as well as cloakroom for storage if you need. Have fun!