Check It Out

No.198 (10/28/11)

Unique toys won awards in Japan Toy Competition 2011

By Chiho Tsukiashi
Staff Writer

The Japan Toy Association selected this year's winners of Japan Toy Competition in June 2011 as a part of International Tokyo Toy Show. The annual event's objective is to encourage toy makers to develop quality toys. This year, 308 entries of 31 companies competed. The number is a little less than it was in the last year due to the disaster on March 11. The association considered cancellation of the event, because it might be “inappropriate” after such a catastrophe. But when they saw children's happy faces receiving their huge toy donation, they decided to hold the event this year again. It had only been held four times in the past, but it has attracted much interest of media and consumers. You may want to obtain some of the award-winning toys as holiday gifts and souvenirs.

There are seven divisions in the competition: General Toy Division, Educational Toy Division, Boy's Toy Division, Girl's Toy Division, Character Toy Division, Innovative Toy Division, Grown-up's Toy Division. In each division, five best toys were selected and a final winner was chosen from them.

In this article, I would like to introduce some award-winning toys that might interest the Insider readers. They are available online at large toy stores such as Toys”R”Us. At online stores, you might get good discount.

General Toy Division: こっちをむいて おさんぽ俊太郎 Osanpo Shuntaro/ Walk Shuntaro (Iwaya Co. Ltd.) 6,280 yen

Your child will have fun walking a stuffed Shiba dog, holding a lead with a controller. He walks just as fast as not to bore you. He sometimes turns around and looks at you.

General Toy Division: Tomica Preschool “Yubi Con/ Finger Controller” Series (Takara Tommy Co. Ltd.) 5,229 yen

Tomica is the big line of die-cast toy vehicles. This new series comes with a remote controller that operates like a smart phone. You can control the car by moving a finger over the card-shaped controller. It tells you where it's going and when it comes across an obstacle in Japanese.

Educational Toy Division: Memory Tamago/ Memory Eggs (Kumon Co. Ltd.) 2,940 yen

Toy eggs contain baby animals inside. Place one on a stage and “Pop!” An animal pops out. You can play concentration with this toy.

Girl's Toy Division: ヘアコレカチュール / Kachuru (Epoc Co. Ltd.) 3,129 yen

Lately you see many Japanese girls wearing headbands. They have been popular these days. With this toy, you can design and make your own headbands, using tiny bows, charms, and stickers.

Innovative Toy Division: 人間楽器 Ningen Gakki/ Human Musical Instrument (Takara Tommy Arts Co. Ltd.) 3,360 yen

2-4 people hold a little cute doll-shaped controller. The device produces sounds or music as they touch one another. The sound variation is wide, from piano to “bow wow.” You can see demonstration at It looks so fun!

Innovative Toy Division: 3D Spray Art Pro (Sega Toys Co. Ltd.) 3,675 yen

You can draw a 3D picture with this gadget. Insert a pen and push a button to paint a picture on any paper like you were using an air brush. Then wear glasses that came along. Voila! Your picture pops out!

Grown-up's Toy Division: Nanoblock Tokyo Sky Tree & LED Plates (Kawada Co. Ltd.) 3,675 yen

Construct tiniest 500 piece blocks, and a nice tower will be completed within an hour. The tower is a model of Tokyo Sky Tree, expected to be open in May 2012. It will be the second tallest building in the world. Place your tower on a LED plate sold separately and it illuminates beautifully.

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