toys

Cute Cardcaptors, titanic females, and the other cool anime figures of Wonder Festival【Photos】

Cute Cardcaptors, titanic females, and the other cool anime figures of Wonder Festival【Photos】

While we spent plenty of time at this week’s summer Wonder Festival snapping pictures of the awesome cosplayers, they’re really not what the event is about. Wonder Festival is actually Japan’s biggest modeling convention, with hundreds of displays of the latest figurines and garage kits.

We sent our Japanese-language reporter Meg out to the Makuhari Messe convention center, and she brought back a batch of photos sure to have anime fans clearing off space on their desk for one more figure.

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Titans attack Lawson convenience stores, bring tons of anime goodies with them

Titans attack Lawson convenience stores, bring tons of anime goodies with them

Pokémon fans recently got some good news when word came that Pikachu will soon be taking over the city of Yokohama. It’s not just cute and cuddly anime icons running rampant in Japan this summer, though.

Next month, Lawson convenience stores across Japan are going to be invaded by the remorseless and/or skinless cast of Attack on Titan, and they’re bringing a staggering amount of merchandise with them..

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Optimus Prime to upgrade from truck form to PlayStation Classic form in 2015

Optimus Prime to upgrade from truck form to PlayStation Classic form in 2015

So it’s the 30th anniversary of the Transformers, the 20th anniversary of the original PlayStation, and TakaraTomy Arts is the bolder, crazier cousin of the legendary Japanese toymaker TakaraTomy (who distribute Transformer toys in Japan).

What do these three things have in common? Well, TakaraTomy Arts apparently saw that the venerable console and the adored-before-a-certain-Hollywood-filmmaker-destroyed-it cartoon robot franchise were both celebrating a milestone and decided to commemorate it the only logical way: By combining the two into a new badass toy.

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Bandai Japan unveils bizarre new turtle launcher capsule toys, curiously epic promo video

Bandai Japan unveils bizarre new turtle launcher capsule toys, curiously epic promo video

Capsule toy-dispensing machines like those dotted all over Japan were something of a rarity back when I was growing up in the UK. Instead, we had to make do with Kinder Surprise, the tiny chocolate eggs that came with a small plastic toy inside (which, weirdly, were banned in the US). Some of the trinkets that came in those little eggs were actually quite cool, and the build-it-yourself element was genuinely appealing to our curious young minds.

But none of those toys came even close to being as exciting – or incredibly random – as the latest release from Bandai Japan: swimsuit-wearing turtles that can be fired out of their shells.

Join us after the jump to meet the whole shell-less turtle gang and watch their needlessly dramatic promotional video.

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Slimes in your glass are a good thing as long as they’re awesome Dragon Quest ice cubes

Slimes in your glass are a good thing as long as they’re awesome Dragon Quest ice cubes

There are some things that are nice to have in your drink, such as those little paper umbrellas, or a shot of bourbon. On the other end of the spectrum, there are things no one’s happy about having slipped into their beverage, like a mickey, whether it be the mouse or the incapacitating drug.

Ordinarily, slimes would fall into the latter category. But what if the slime were actually an ice-cube, and shaped like the beloved mascot monsters from role-playing game series Dragon Quest?

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Those awesome voice-activated Laputa pendants that just hit stores? They’re already sold out

Those awesome voice-activated Laputa pendants that just hit stores? They’re already sold out

The principal characters of Studio Ghibli’s Laputa: Castle in the Sky are all seeking something. Protagonists Sheeta and Pazu, as well as the villainous Muska, are looking for the titular floating castle, but what they’re really after is a peaceful resolution to a dark heritage, adventure and purpose, and the power to rule the world, respectively.

These days, fans of the 1986 anime film have a search of their own, as the voice-activated Laputa pendant that just went on sale this month is already sold out nationwide.

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Sailor Moon gashapon hang out on your books and drinking glasses

Sailor Moon gashapon hang out on your books and drinking glasses

Bandai is getting cutesy with its new Sailor Moon gashapon toys, offering miniature Sailor Senshi that perch or lean happily on the rims of glasses, books, and other desktop items.

The toys are already stocked in capsule figure vending machines around Japan, and are selling for 300 yen (about US$2.96) each.

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New “Living Barbie” is why we can’t have nice things

New “Living Barbie” is why we can’t have nice things

Human beings, as a species, have done some pretty amazing things. Spaceships and meatball subs, for instance, being two of man’s standout contributions to the universe. But, on the whole, we’re also kind of a species that shouldn’t be allowed to have nice things.

For every fantastic human invention, a handful of people will always show up to go way overboard and ruin it for everyone. College students pretty much ruined beer and parties for everybody, now we’ve got Tea Party advocates taking the generally pretty cool “car” concept and making them belch out thick, black smoke for seemingly no reason other than to be jerks to the environment and everyone in a 20-yard radius.

Oh, and you’ve got people like the newest “Living Barbie” who took cosmetic surgery and makeup and toys – all generally useful inventions – and used them to turn themselves into freakish nightmare fuel.

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Lovers of Love Live will love this lovely anime smartphone case

Lovers of Love Live will love this lovely anime smartphone case

Last month a set of futons for smartphones caught our eyes. Considering all the handy gadgets do for us, we agreed it’s only fair we help them get the rest they need. After all, don’t you enjoy a good’s night sleep at the end of a busy day?

Still, you don’t want your smartphone loafing about all day. Sooner or later it’s got to get up and get to work, just like you. Of course, unless you’re a work-from-home nude model, you can’t be running around without any clothes on. Once again, it’s only fair that you apply the same standards and extend the same consideration to your phone by giving it a proper set of clothes, like this school uniform from the hit anime Love Live.

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Disney fans go crazy for new character at Tokyo DisneySea

Disney fans go crazy for new character at Tokyo DisneySea

Tokyo DisneySea mascot Duffy the Bear has a brand new friend! And that means new character goods now on sale at the park, and of course hundreds of Disney fans eager to get their paws on them.

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Gundam water pistols turn squirt gun fights into galactic battles

Gundam water pistols turn squirt gun fights into galactic battles

At one point in the Gundam franchise, there’s a scene where cadets are shown training with the hit anime’s giant robots by shooting humongous paintballs at each other. Until today, you could have made the argument that it was the silliest use of guns in the hundreds of hours of animation that make up the complete saga.

But not anymore, because now there are Gundam water pistols.

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Smush your favorite One Piece characters

Smush your favorite One Piece characters

Luffy’s Gomu-gomu powers have gotten him into quite a few awkwardly shaped situations. Being made of rubber means that you can become pretty malleable when you’re in tight space, but does that make it any more comfortable? Well, Bandai’s latest line of gashapon toys delve into that idea, not just for Luffy, but for several other members of the Straw Hat crew. Presenting, the One Piece Hasamare Straps!

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Uruguayan soccer star can’t stop biting, but can open your beer with this crazy bottle opener

Uruguayan soccer star can’t stop biting, but can open your beer with this crazy bottle opener

The most distinctive aspect of soccer is that use of the hands is prohibited. But did you know players aren’t allowed to use their teeth either?

This minor detail of the rule book seems to have slipped the mind of Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, who currently stands accused of biting an opponent for the third time in his career during the country’s recent match against Italy at the World Cup. For his part, Suarez doesn’t seem to get what all the fuss is about, brushing off the incident with the declaration that “these things happen on the pitch.”

But it’s not just the 27-year-old striker who isn’t taking the incident seriously, as novelty goods manufacturers in China have apparently already started producing bottle openers that will help you crack open a cold one using Suarez’s now infamous teeth.

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Give your smartphone the rest it deserves with its very own Japanese futon

Give your smartphone the rest it deserves with its very own Japanese futon

Your smartphone has a busy day, what with being called on to make phone calls, take pictures, play strange fashion-based touchscreen games, and surf the Internet in order to access mankind’s greatest font of knowledge. Doesn’t it deserve some rest? And we don’t mean a short little nap while you’re eating dinner, but a good night’s sleep, snug and comfy inside a Japanese futon.

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A Dragon Quest slime glass draws near! What will you drink?

A Dragon Quest slime glass draws near! What will you drink?

Even though Dragon Quest has been one of Japan’s most popular video game franchises since its start in 1986, it doesn’t really have an iconic hero. Like many long-running role-playing game series, each installment brings in a fresh cast of characters, and despite the name, Dragon Quest doesn’t have an instantly recognizable recurring dragon, either.

Instead, the face of the franchise is the lowly slime, ordinarily the very first enemy the player encounters. The monster shows up in each and every Dragon Quest game, and now, it’s ready to show up in your kitchen, too, with this wobbling slime drinking glass.

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Life-size Thomas the Tank Engine begins running on Japanese railroad

Life-size Thomas the Tank Engine begins running on Japanese railroad

Japan is a country that loves its trains. For many rail enthusiasts, there’s nothing better than a getaway to one of the rural parts of the country to ride on and snap pictures of unique trains running through beautiful countryside scenery.

Some localities even drum up tourism by keeping old-fashioned steam locomotives in service, which are always a big draw. This summer, though, Shizuoka Prefecture’s Oigawa Line is going a step further by dressing up one of its trains as Thomas the Tank Engine.

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Bandai to release super-mega-retro-robot made up of Doraemon and friends

Bandai to release super-mega-retro-robot made up of Doraemon and friends

Some of Japan’s most famous characters created by legendary manga-ka Fujiko F Fujio have been turned into robots by Bandai, which can then be combined to create an even more epicly-super-cool robot of retro awesomeness!

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Valley of the 9,000 dolls: One man’s incredible collection

Valley of the 9,000 dolls: One man’s incredible collection

For the parents of the world who refuse to let their children play with gender non-confirming toys, Jian Yang from Singapore should serve as a warning to what may happen if you don’t let kids be kids. The 30-something professional wasn’t allowed to have a doll growing up, but started collecting them when he got older and is now the proud owner of roughly 9,000 dolls.

While he hasn’t gone as far as some doll enthusiasts to sate their obsession, he has spent at least US$350,000 in the last 20 years on his ever-growing collection. Click below to see pictures of Yang’s enormous stash and to learn more about what drives this self-described “toy nerd” to buy this many dolls!

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Another sensible purchase: Replica Mega Man arm cannon can be yours for just $80!

Another sensible purchase: Replica Mega Man arm cannon can be yours for just $80!

“Eat solar bullets, evil robots!”

You’re never too old for awesome toys, and the folks over at ThinkGeek are working on your next nerdy purchase as we speak: a perfect replica of platform shooter hero Mega Man’s arm cannon. Guaranteed to make you feel temporarily invincible, frighten your cat and annoy your partner!

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Hello Kitty’s workload about to get even heavier with the introduction of Battleship Kitty

Hello Kitty’s workload about to get even heavier with the introduction of Battleship Kitty

Hello Kitty’s lengthy list of endorsement contracts must be a source of constant pressure for her. The success of products as diverse as contact lenses, melons, and even fire extinguishers riding on her marketing appeal must be an enormous weight on the shoulder’s of Japan’s favorite feline.

Now, Kitty-chan’s about to add an enormous weight to her head, as part of a new tie-up with the city of Kure in Hiroshima Prefecture.

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