No.174 (10/22/10)

Unique toys won awards in Japan Toy Competition 2010

By Chiho Tsukiashi
Staff Writer

The Japan Toy Association selected this year's winners of Japan Toy Competition in July 2010. The annual event's objective is to stimulate toy makers to develop quality toys. 349 entries of 35 companies competed. It had only been held three 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, Girlfs Toy Division, Character Toy Division, Innovative Toy Division, Grown-upfs 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 ToyshRhUs. At online stores, you might get good discount.

Boy's Toy Division: gGummixh uW[X O~bNX }U[Z^[v(Mega House) 3,675 yen
The first cooking toys targeting specifically boys. Mix juice, ketchup, and other ingredients to make gummy insects (eek!) such as pill bugs, beetles, and crayfish that look as if they were alive and make you hesitate to chew.

Girl's Toy Division: gShushurunh Scrunchy Maker uVVv(Pilot Ink) 2,604 yen
Scrunchies are fabric-covered elastic hair ties that have been increasingly popular among Japanese girls in the past few years. With this kit, you can easily make original scrunchies by mixing and matching cloths, lace, etc.

Innovative Toy Division: gJigazo Puzzle Arth uihf`yn@otyykd@v(Tenyo) 2,310 yen
A set of 300 jigsaw puzzle pieces that can be customized to any portrait -- President Obama, Mona Lisa, and even yours. Send your photo to the toy makerfs website via cell phone, and the map of the 300 pieces will be sent back to you instantly. Put the pieces according to the map, and voila, your portrait will appear!

Grown-up's Toy Division: gOtama-toneh uI^}g[v(Cube) 2,940 yen
A tadpole shaped musical instrument. It also looks like a ladle. (Tadpole is gotamajakushih, and ladle is gotamah in Japanese.) Hold the shaft with a finger to release a note. Slide the finger, and push the tadpole head from the sides to create interesting effects to the sound. How to play the instrument is demonstrated at the following website:

Grown-up's Toy Division: gChocho (Super Butterfly)h uv(Tenyo) 3,150 yen
A butterfly in a jar flutters about, and stops to rest its beautiful wings. It is startled at a large noise you make. It looks so real, but the paper-butterfly does not need to be fed. You donft have to worry about its death. The only thing you have to do is to make sure the battery in the jar cap is charged. What an undemanding pet it can be! In stores from November.

Grown-up's Toy Division: gNeuschwanstein Castle Nano-Blockshunanoblock mCVoV^C Deluxe Editionv(Kawada) 16,800 yen
Neuschwanstein Castle, which Cinderella Castle in Disneyland was designed after, is located in Germany. Now you can make 1/220 sized Neuschwanstein Castle of your own by building 4,000 tiny blocks. Each cubed block is with sides 4mm.

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