Deepening integrations of technology and toys, driven by human craving for everything weird and wonderful, came on display at the International Tokyo Toy Show, which kicked off this week for a four-day run through June 12.
A toy train or plarail Shinkansen (bottom) equipped a camera shows off the view from its cockpit to a tablet (L) during a demonstration by Japan's toy company Takara Tomy at the International Tokyo Toy Show in Tokyo on June 10, 2016.
Japan’s largest toy trade show, the International Tokyo Toy Show is an annual four-day event that celebrates the newest innovations in games, plush toys, figurines, trading cards, dolls, and all manner of other goods dedicated to the spirit of fun.
Bandai Co's virtual pet toy Tamagotchi x mix.
While conventions of this nature are typically open only to industry insiders and press, the Tokyo Toy Show welcomes the public on its weekend dates, with fun things to see for children and adults alike. Showcasing the newest in toy trends, big names like Bandai and Nintendo have massive displays to show off their latest innovations, while smaller vendors set up shop on the showroom floor, putting some of the event’s most unique offerings on display.
Bandai Co's 1/72 scale plastic model of the Millennium Falcon from "Star Wars" is displayed at the International Tokyo Toy Show in Tokyo, Japan June 9, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
The show is a prime place to see how technology and play are converging. Highlights from the 2015 event included the introduction of colorful, child-friendly smartwatches, teddy bears capable of holding conversations, and dueling RC robots. For those who get a kick out of more traditional fun, plenty of conventional toys are also on exhibit, including beautifully designed plush toys, puzzles and board games.
Sega Toys' Art Aquarium Prisrium F18.
You'll be able to find familiar faces at the Tokyo Toy Show, too. Japan happens to be the land of characters and fandom, so if you’re interested in anime or video games, this is the convention for you. You'll find toys dedicated to Pikachu and other beloved Poké-friends, Gundam, One Piece and many, many more as you wander the convention halls. Yurukyara, or Japanese regional mascots, have also gained a significant footing in the toy industry, so you may also catch your favorite mascot caught up in the excitement.
Takara Tomy's figures of Kylo Ren and Storm Troopers from "Star Wars".
Takara Tomy's remote control BB-8 from "Star Wars".
The event started in 1962, and has been growing year after year under many different names and guises. It’s currently held at Tokyo Big Sight in Odaiba each June, with the 2016 Tokyo Toy Show scheduled for June 9 to 12. You can find the Tokyo Toy Show official site here (Japanese only), and you can find some basic information in English below.
Takara Tomy's Smapon communication toys.
Folcart co's Godzilla Solar Mascots.
Takara Tomy's clock robot "Baku Shotaro" which can crack jokes, is seen at the International Tokyo Toy Show.