toys

Talking Black Butler anime robot will flirt with you if you ask to kiss, also clean your floors

Up until now, you could say that Black Butler has followed the standard trajectory for a major hit in the anime world. It began as a manga about a suave and sophisticated demon entering into a pact to serve his master in return for the chance to eat his soul once his work is done. Next came an animated TV series, video game, stage musical, and live-action film. Really, pretty standard stuff for a mixed media franchise in today’s integrated otaku entertainment industry.

However, Black Butler is about to branch off into something very few anime, but almost all butlers, are involved with: keeping your home clean, as you can now order an official Black Butler cleaning robot that’ll vacuum your floors and even engage in flirtatious banter when you call out to it.

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Pure-gold traditional Japanese coins might just be the Star Wars collectibles you’re looking for

We recently took a look at some Star Wars-themed gogatsu ningyo, the decorative dolls families with young sons place in their homes on May 5. But what if you don’t have kids? Is there still a way to combine your love of Star Wars with some high-end Japanese traditional craftwork?

There sure is, in the form of traditional Japanese gold coins bearing the mark of the Imperial Military and the silhouette of its most famous commander, Darth Vader himself.

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Are they all duds!? Another defective Attack on Titan Eren official figurine leaves us wondering

Despite the Attack on Titan franchise being massively popular on an international scale, why is it that the toy companies just can’t seem to get the darn character figurines right?

We’ve already seen the shoddy Levi figure that surfaced last year, and now there appears to be another disappointing officially licensed Eren model on the market, too. And we have to say, we really can’t blame one fan for lamenting the poor quality of her new toy at all…

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Now on sale: The Kiki’s Delivery Service Broom, officially licensed by Studio Ghibli

In general, anime merchandise tends to be full of wonder and whimsy. Much like how the medium of animation allows creators to escape the restrictions of reality, many of the trinkets that are pitched to anime fans are supposed to be approximations of items they’re not likely to come across in their daily life, such as a mystical chalice or magic wand.

But hey, if you’re Studio Ghibli, Japan’s most venerated animation house, you can make anything seem magical, even an officially licensed broom.

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Master glass craftsmen creating 500 handmade Spears of Longinus for Evangelion giveaway

With its crowdfunding project falling short of its goal, Evangelion’s Spear of Longinus won’t be hitching a ride to the moon after all. That doesn’t mean the iconic weapon isn’t still going places, though.

As part of the influential anime’s 20th anniversary celebration, 500 lucky fans will be receiving handmade glass replicas of the spear, just the right size for equipping their Eva models with. The talented craftsman responsible for the high-class anime goodies recently spoke about the experience of making them, and one of them could be yours as long as you remember that you mustn’t run away from your daily glass of vegetable juice.

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Sith lord or samurai lord? Darth Vader becomes decorative doll for Boys’ Day in Japan

A long, long time ago, in a country far, far away (from English-speaking territories, anyway), Yoshitoku Taiko made its first doll. Founded in 1711, the company’s history goes back to a time when Japan was ruled by a shogun, and the country sealed off from the rest of the world.

More than three centuries later, Yoshitoku Taiko is still in business, but Japan is now part of the global community. That’s why the company’s latest offerings are two exquisitely crafted dolls of Darth Vader in samurai armor.

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Sailor Moon Silver Crystal magnet paper clip chalice helps maintain order in Moon Kingdom, desks

Out of the many magical artifacts Sailor Moon comes across during the course of her adventures, few can match the power of the Illusory Silver Crystal. Maybe that’s why when merchandiser Bandai offers some new anime trinket that includes the gem, it seemingly feels that the replica Silver Crystal also needs to have some sort of innate power.

Previously, fans could use the Illusory Silver Crystal to keep their homes smelling nice. Now, the crystal that helped Queen Serenity maintain order in the Moon Kingdom will help you maintain order on your desk, with this Rainbow Moon Chalice Sailor Moon paper clip case.

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New Sailor Moon merch goes old school as the magical girls turn into eight-bit pixel art

Seeing as how 17 years passed between the final TV episode of Sailor Moon and its reboot, Sailor Moon Crystal, it’s no surprise that the latter makes far more use of digital animation production. But while the newer anime’s designs have sharper line work, some traditionalists still prefer the old school look of the original series.

However, if you’d rather have your Sailor Senshi not just rough around the edges, but downright rectangular, merchandiser Bandai is ready to fill that need with this line of Sailor Moon merchandise done in the style of eight-bit pixel art.

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This woolly Yoshi Amiibo will make magic happen on-screen, be your bedtime buddy afterwards

Anyone who knows me well will tell you that, as well as being a huge video game nerd, I’m also a bit of a tree-hugger at heart, albeit one that possess neither a tie-dyed t-shirt nor the coordination required to play hacky sack. So as much as I like the idea of surrounding myself with dozens of Nintendo’s cute little Amiibo figurines, I just can’t bring myself to add yet more mass-produced plastic junk to my home when I know that it’ll only end up in a landfill someday (come on, Amiibo can be hard to find, but they’re hardly collector’s items).

But this woolly Yoshi Amiibo announced by Nintendo of America last night is not only much kinder to the environment, it’s one of the most adorable things ever, so I don’t think I’ll be able to resist getting one of my own.

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I see dead Pikachus! Fashion magazine reader comes up with dark take on freebie Pokémon pouch

We’ve talked before about some of the cool extras that’ve come bundled with girls’ manga anthologies in Japan, but they’re not the only publications that dangle the offer of freebies to help drum up sales. In Japan, fashion magazines for adults also occasionally come with promotional items, such as day planners, scrunchies, or other goodies they think their readers might be interested in.

Women’s fashion magazine CanCam recently ran a special feature on Pokémon-related apparel and accessories, so the publishers thought it’d be the perfect opportunity to package the issue with a Pikachu-shaped fuzzy cloth pouch. To make it seem extra special, they decided to pass on his usual vibrant canary yellow and instead produce a chic monochrome version of the series mascot.

But “unique” doesn’t always mean “good,” at least according to one reader who came up with a morbid interpretation of Pikachu’s lack of color.

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How to perfectly recreate the death of Dragon Ball’s Yamcha using baked goods

With the release of the new Dragon Ball movie now less than a month away, the popular manga/anime series has had quite bit of exposure on the Japanese Internet recently. One related product that’s getting a lot of attention is a figure of Yamcha, one of Goku’s rivals- turned-friends.

But this particular figure doesn’t have the look of your typical toy. As a matter of fact, it shows Yamcha in quite a pitiful state. Nonetheless, fans seems to be getting a huge kick out of it, and one fan has even tweeted an easy way to create a realistic diorama scene with the figure using quite an unexpected item — apple pie!

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Even adult men are snapping up girls’ comic magazine’s new issue, and for an unexpected reason

Publisher Shogakukan’s monthly girls’ manga magazine Ciao always comes packed with bonus goodies that are designed to appeal to its targer market of girls aged 9-15. For the April edition, Ciao‘s publishers really seem to have outdone themselves, though, since everyone from young girls to adult men are snapping up the latest issue with its supplemental goodies which are collectively being advertised as “the ultimate manga creator set.” Keep in mind that this is all for a very reasonable price of 570 yen (US $4.78).

However, a recent trend on social media has shown that many purchasers of the April issue aren’t using the extra items to hone their manga-making skills at all, but are instead buying it with a very different idea in mind.

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Pikachu puts on a suit, hopes hiring managers will choose him as a business formal plushie

Despite his cherubic good looks and smooth, unlined face, Pikachu isn’t as young as he used to be. The first Pokémon video game was released in Japan in 1996, and considering that the franchise’s most famous pocket monster was ready to go into battle right away, theoretically he must have already been a few years old by that time.

What we’re saying is, Pikachu isn’t a kid anymore. It’s time he entered the workforce and became an economically self-sufficient member of society, which is just what he’s poised to do in his new, suit-wearing plushie form.

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Stop-motion video made with action figures is the epic battle of our childhood【Video】

Everyone who ever had action figure toys as a kid will no doubt fondly recall the heroic battles that were fought using their imaginations in their bedrooms. It doesn’t matter which toys you had, they would amass together to fight the war to end all wars and save the universe! And who wouldn’t want to step back into their childhood and have one more epic battle? Whatever you can imagine is probably not as cool as this stop-motion movie using a couple of Dragon Ball Z figures and a heck of a lot of patience and creativity.

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Clever glasses stand lets you keep your eyes on your schedule and your specs on your anime crush

Quite often, anime characters are designed to radiate an aura of perfection, with absolutely unblemished skin and perennially perfectly styled hair. But myopia is one shortcoming that fans have proven to be widely accepting of, and many have a soft sport for anime characters who wear glasses.

But what if you feel like adding glasses to one who’s already got 20-20 vision? In that case, you’ll want this clever glasses stand/calendar that puts your specs on one of seven different anime characters.

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McDonald’s hopes to make kids happy — by teaming up with Japan’s favorite blue friend Doraemon!

It’s no secret that McDonald’s Japan has been enthusiastic about collaborating with various anime and character franchises to come up with goodies for children. In the past we’ve seen toys featuring Pokémon and Yokai Watch, as well as Pretty Cure, Super Mario and Transformers, among others, being offered with their Happy Meals, and kids certainly seem to be, well, happy with their Happy Meals, since almost 100 million of these sets are apparently sold in Japan each year.

This month, none other than Doraemon, the time-travelling blue cat robot, makes an appearance as six different Happy Meal toys, and they definitely look ready to delight children across Japan!

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Otaku’s mom finds out about his anime doll obsession, sews a set of Love Live! costumes for them

The tricky thing about social media is that announcing your passions to the world, by its nature, means you’re also announcing them to relatives and acquaintances you’d maybe rather keep in the dark regarding some of your more unusual pastimes. That’s why Twitter user Shitaraki Kongo set up his account and does his tweeting in a way that he hopes will obscure his true identity.

Nevertheless, his mom eventually managed to tie her son to the account, and his secret was revealed. That Kongo is an anime fan isn’t such a big deal, and given the current trends in the industry, the fact that he’s enjoying high school idol series Love Live! probably wasn’t a huge shock either.

Kongo is on the fringe of even otaku culture, though, as he’s also really into collecting posable dolls and dressing them up like the Love Live! cast. Odds are he was feeling pretty awkward when his mother discovered all this, but instead of disowning him out of embarrassment, dear old Mom instead grabbed a needle and made some new threads for her son’s anime crushes.

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R2-D2 is ready to chill with your groceries as a cool talking Star Wars fridge droid 【Video】

It’s kind of sad to think that with the Sapporo Snow Festival over, the event’s awesome Star Wars snow sculpture is demolished and melted. Thankfully, if you’re still feeling the icy allure of epic science fiction and low temperatures, there’s another way to combine the two, and this time in the home, with your very own R2-D2 fridge droid!

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Sailor Moon cookie charms look good enough to eat, but they’re for your bag, not your tummy

Like any healthy human beings, our ears perk up at the mention of “a dozen cookies.” But while we were all set to spoil our appetites with the tasty treats, it turns out that these particular sweets aren’t edible.

Ordinarily, we’d be storming off in a huff, but we’re giving these imposters a pass, because they’re a set of 12 cookie-themed Sailor Moon charms.

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Creepy or cute? Come face to face with deep sea creatures as gachapon sushi toys!!

Perhaps befitting an island nation surrounded by the ocean, Japan seems to have a fascination with deep sea creatures. One of our favorite deep ocean dwelling critters, the giant isopod, has made regular appearances on the Japanese Internet in various forms from toys to sausage snacks, and even as actual cooked food.

Other creatures of the deep such as the oarfish and the giant squid are also relatively popular here in Japan, possibly because much about them remains an elusive mystery. So it’s not entirely surprising that someone should come up with a series of gachapon toys featuring deep sea creatures. But these particular vending machine-dispensed trinkets that have recently been released from Japanese toy manufacturer Re-ment come with a  twist — they’re sushi-shaped and seriously bizarre-looking!

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