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No.224 (11/30/12)

Unique Toys Won Awards in the Japan Toy Competition 2012

By Chiho Tsukiashi
Staff Writer

The Japan Toy Association selected this year's winners of the Japan Toy Competition in June 2012 as a part of the International Tokyo Toy Show. The annual event's objective is to encourage toy makers to develop quality toys that will appeal to customers. This year, 394 entries from 40 companies competed. Having started in 2008, it has only been held five times in the past, but it has attracted much interest in the media and with consumers. You may want to obtain some of the award-winning toys as holiday gifts or souvenirs. There are nine divisions and awards in this 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, Special Award and Top Sales Award. In each division, the five best toys were selected and a final winner was chosen from those five.
In this article, I would like to introduce some of the award-winning toys that might interest The Insider readers. They are available online at large toy stores such as Toys”R”Us. Also at online stores, you might get a good discount.

★ General Toy Division: Anpanman Kids Driver (Agatsuma Co. Ltd.) 9,240 yen Now children can experience what it is like to drive a car with this toy. It has a steering wheel, brake pedal, gas pedal, shift lever, and more. As they drive, they hear realistic sounds of an engine, horns, blinkers, etc. They can even choose to “drive” a police car, fire engine, or ambulance too. Also the seating position is adjustable. Anpanman is one of the most popular characters among Japanese children. Its round face also appeals to American kids too.

★ Boy's Toy Division: Daiya Robo (Agatsuma Co. Ltd.) 819 yen Popular cars that you see on streets are miniaturized, and they transform into robots. A robot can be a form of human being, animal, insect, or dinosaur. It is amazing to see the transformation because both shapes (automobiles and robots) are perfect and beautiful.

★ Girl's Toy Division: Monomane Rapper MC Mimicuri (Takara Tommy Arts Co. Ltd.) 2,940 yen These cute stuffed animals are rappers which rap to anything that you record, if it is shorter than four seconds. They come in the shape of hamsters, munchkins, and penguins, all wearing colorful parkers, headphones, and a microphone.

★ Innovative Toy Division: Yubi de Piano (Cube Co. Ltd.) 2,940 yen Now you don’t have to own a piano to play it. All you need is this small gadget which looks like a watch with five caps attached to it. Wear the caps on each finger on your right hand and press them down on any hard surface as you would play a piano. You can switch the sound from piano, cat, or handbell.

★ Grown-up's Toy Division: Jokki Awa/ Bubble Maker in a Glass of Beer (Takara Tommy Arts Co. Ltd.) 1,575 yen If you agree that bubbles make beer tastier, you might want to give this a shot. This special glass can create as many bubbles as you like. Just push down the lever on the glass and a vibration occurs at the bottom, which creates white foams. Kampai!

★ Special Award: Sylvania Family Series (Epoc Co. Ltd.) The award of this newly added division has been given to Sylvania Family Series. Their dolls and doll houses with furniture have been around for 27 years and can be found in more than 40 countries. Cute rabbits, squirrels, cats etc. wearing early-American style clothes are about two inches tall. The designs of furniture and small articles are very detailed and refined. Using the toys, children can pretend, dress up dolls, rearrange rooms, and even make a collection throughout their childhood.

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