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Browsing Posts tagged toys

Whoa it’s almost April

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I’ve been putting off writing a blog for a while since I’ve mainly just been lazy, but partially also because I’ve been busy.  Working full time and going to school three times a week has left less time for publishing complaints and stupid pictures onto the internet.  But since I realize it’s been quite a while since my past post, and I don’t want to go several months with no updates to this crappy website, I’m just sitting down for 10 minutes to crank out a quickie.  Ew.

Topic 1: JAPAN
Hey you might not know this, but Japan got super mega knocked with a disaster trifecta earlier this month!  Of course you know this, I was just being sarcastic.  So yeah in case you were unaware of my current whereabouts, I am back in the United States and have been since the end of summer.  If you’re one of the four creepers who read this site, you already knew that.  But there apparently are still several people who didn’t know where I was, and so they assumed I was still in Japan.  Imagine that!  Someone not keeping their eye on my every move around the planet!  So once the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear stuff came about I had more than one person contact me all like “hey Anthony where are you I hope you’re not dead” etc.  Thank you for your concern, but yeah St. Louis county didn’t get too much damage from the earthquake that hit Japan.  No seriously, it’s nice that you did ask where I was.  I don’t really know what to say about the Japanese disasters other than it’s a horrible thing and I’m glad that no one I know (that I have heard about, either directly or indirectly) has been injured or anything.  While the area that I lived in (Chiba/Toyko) wasn’t in the tsunami area, they still got (are getting?) a ton of earthquakes and the nuclear problem is pretty widespread although possibly a bit blown out of proportion.  I hope.  Times are still tough in Japan but I hope that things will all get back to normal sometime soon.

Topic 2: WEATHER
It’s finally feeling like spring here, even though a week ago it was actually snowing where I live.  Strange midwest weather.  I’m definitely happy that things are getting nicer outside, with the only drawback being that I must have developed some pretty wicked allergies having been away from the area for so long.  Getting some random allergy attacks is pretty weird although not really a problem as much as they’re just annoying.  Still not sure if it’s actually pollen, mold or something, or if I am being secretly poisoned with nuts in all of my food by a squad of ninjas.  I hope it’s seasonal allergies.

Oh no I’m getting distracted by the interwebs.  Weather must have been too boring a topic!  Onward we march.

Topic 3: SUMMER TRAVEL
This summer I’ll hopefully be able to get some traveling in, with the family and also on my own.  Where should I go?  I’m thinking primarily within the US for now but international isn’t out of the picture just yet.  My youngest brother turns 21 in a few weeks so maybe we’ll go take a Vegas trip after the spring semester is over.  I also wouldn’t mind hitting up LA or New York or something, and a drive out to Indiana at some point is probably called for too.

Topic 4: OTHER
OK so I’m not really going to have many other topics during this brief mindbarf onto the WordPress page.  Last week I was actually all raring to write a detailed complaint post about the idiot lady in front of me in the checkout line at Target, who pretty much held up my evening by a whole 10 minutes, but then I got distracted and found something better to do.  Like eat dinner.  It would have been a very classic NR7000-esque post, but unfortunately the fire is gone and I probably won’t be writing about that subject ever.  It did make me think about how much I’ve grown to dislike shopping in real stores and how important Amazon Prime has become.  Speaking of, I got a pretty sweet remote control helicopter a while back and I don’t even care if you’re snickering to yourself right now about me getting another toy.  It is pretty awesome and on an even deeper level I think I’m just amazed at how far toy technology has come since I was a kid.  I mean for $25 I have a freaking helicopter!  It can hover and fly around the room and land on the top of my cheese ball barrel.  You pretty much have to see one for yourself to beleive it.

That’s enough for now.  A whole 15 minutes of me rambling.

Boss of the Race

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Mario Kart x Boss Coffee

I like Boss coffee. I like Mario Kart. Thus I also like the current promotional item on top of cans of Boss coffee, these little Mario Kart pull-back friction toy cars. They’re in a little container on the top of the coffee can in convenience stores.

マリオカート x ボスコーヒー

Pop pop pop pop

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Headed into Tokyo for the first time in a long while today. The International Tokyo Toy Show (link) was going on, so I decided to check it out. It was being held at Big Sight over in Odaiba, which is only about an hour away from Goi; much closer than I would have thought. I also am really enjoying the Pasmo/Suica situation these days. Since you can use either of the train pass IC cards to ride almost any kind of public transportation in the Tokyo area, you don’t have to worry about different tickets for different train lines. For instance, I rode JR to Shin Kiba, then transferred to the Rinkai Line to head into Odaiba. Changing lines just took a quick touch with my cell phone through each ticket gate, taking pretty much zero time. Technology is sweet.

Unfortunately, the Toy Show was quite a disappointment. I guess for some reason I was expecting a huge event with sweet toys and robots all over the place, in addition to video games. I was really hoping for something like Tokyo Game Show only with toys. But yeah, at first glance it looked a lot like a regular big convention. Then you notice that there are little kids everywhere. That’s always a bad sign. So yeah, pretty much the entire show was some pretty weak displays of new toys. Bandai and Takara Tomy combined took up at least 40% of the show I’d say, and they did indeed have some sweet stuff on show. However, the rest of the booths at this show seemed to be either weird foreign toy companies trying to show off their crappy products, or Japanese companies that sold some kind of Anpanman licensed product. While it was cool to see the few interesting toys they had, it was definitely not the spectacular toy-o-rama I was hoping for.

One thing worth mentioning is the sweet not-so-high-profile toys that Bandai always makes. Sure they have the normal Kamen Rider, sentai, Digimon stuff, but they also must have a few different departments that make the stranger stuff. One that seemed so retarded yet genius at the same time is this one. Please look at the picture and see if you can guess what it is:

Any idea?

∞プチプチGuess it? So yeah, this thing is called the Mugen Puchi-Puchi, which can be roughly translated as “Infinite Pop-Pop.” OK, so translating into pop-pop sounds way sketch. But “puchi puchi” is the sound for popping. As in the sound that you make when you are bored and popping bubble wrap. Yeah, Bandai has made an electronic bubble-wrap toy. It’s of course not real bubble-wrap, but a little keychain with bubble buttons on it. You press the button just like real bubble-wrap, and it makes that familiar sound. This is probably the stupidest idea for a toy ever, right? Yes, but it’s also so stupid that it will sell billions. I think I’ll be buying tons of these for people’s Christmas presents this year. Seriously, how addictive will this be? Bored? Let’s pop some bubble-wrap. And even funnier is that apparently ever 100 pops, it will make either a fart noise or a “sexy voice.” What better excuse to sit and pop 100 bubbles at a time!

This thing is coming out in September for like 8 or 900 yen. It comes in 5 different colors and kids and old people everywhere (in Japan) will rejoice in the fact that they can spend hours popping fake bubble-wrap whenever and wherever they want.

Nothing else super sweet to report from the Toy Show. I did, on the walk back, check out a building that has a La Rochelle Bistro Cafe owned by Iron Chef Sakai. It’s apparently a lunch buffet restaurant, and for pretty cheap. It was closed today but at some point I definitely want to try out a Sakai Viking.

Oh, and as if the Toy Show couldn’t have gotten any worse, guess what showed up.

Stacked

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I can’t really think of any American toys that I have been really impressed with since perhaps the glory days of the double-barreled Nerf Ballzooka or the Lite-Brite. I quickly grew up from those toys and into the realm of Japanese robot toys and video games, a stage from which I have not yet managed to fully grow out of. Regardless, I was in Toys R Us at LaLaPort this past weekend, which brings us to today’s blog topic. I saw an American toy import, which, without even looking at the price, was immediately noticeable as ridiculous. No, wait, that’s being a bit too nice. This “toy” is pure crap, and to buy it would mean that either you or your kid is either a moron or just an asshole. Maybe both of you.

Here you go folks; behold:
not toy of the year for innovation
I couldn’t believe it either. This play set is pretty much what it looks like. A bunch of (12) plastic cups that you stack into a pyramid really fast. Oh man! You can tell this kid is doing it really fast because you can see the motion lines! But the fun’s not over yet! Then you get to unstack them!

Isn’t this the kind of game that poor kids play when they’re home alone? Or what hobos do with empty cans of Ice House? Well poor kids and hobos won’t be playing this new NEON and X-TREME (asshole) version of stack-the-cups, because it costs 5000 yen*! That’s right, almost 50 dollars for a bunch of plastic cups that you could get at the grocery store for a fraction of the cost. Oh but wait, you also get the STACK MAT, which is a flat surface on which to do your extreme stacking. It has an extreme timer built into it, so you know how long it takes for you to stack these extreme cups. It’s a really good thing they include this extreme mat, because it would be impossible to stack or time your extreme skillzz without it (cough*table and a watch*cough). You also get a DVD, which shows you how to stack the cups. I’m willing to bet most kids with an IQ of over 10 would be able to figure that out on their own. Then again, kids who are playing with this Speed Stacks set might not necessarily meet that prereq.

I was so intrigued by the idiocy that created and marketed this product that I sought them out on the web. They indeed have a website, and unsurprisingly you are greeted by some extreme music and a video with a bunch of kids stacking up plastic cups really fast. This is also apparently “The all-new sport of speed and skill.” I’m looking forward to seeing this on ESPN, aren’t you?

*To be fair, I checked and in the US this game is apparently only $30. That doesn’t make this any less assholish.

Bootlegs, bootlegs

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I bought some Kamen Rider Ryuki toys from eBay the other week. They were super cheap, and from Hong Kong. You know what that means: cheap knockoffs! I pretty much figured so; there’s no way you could get the official Bandai stuff for so cheap. Anyways, they’re actually really poorly done knockoffs (the worse kind), so I might just throw them away or something.

That’s OK though, it was expected. HOWEVER, the unexpected (and most hilarious) part of this eBay purchase was actually the seller’s name. I didn’t know it until the package arrived, but check out this guy’s name! Hahaha! And you thought you got picked on in school.

Bandai Museum

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This is where I went today, with Mikey and Ari. For a dork like me, it was awesome. Had the “Character World” exhibition, where they had models and cases full of toys from all the Ultraman, Kamen Rider, Mazinger robot, and Super Sentai shows. Oh man it was awesome. Actually since it’s Bandai’s museum, the main thing they had on display was toys (as opposed to real props, etc), but it was still great. They had the 1:1 scale, die-cast metal Faiz Gear, which was cool to see. You could buy it for 31300 yen ($300) if you really wanted it, but I definitely passed. If I was a billionaire, I would have picked up a few though. Also, at the Sentai part of the display, where they had clips and toys from every Sentai (Power Ranger) show since the 70’s, it was interesting to see a shelf of robot toys where I had every single one of back home. Embarrassing and awesome at the same time. Kinda.

Afterwards, explored the Matsudo area with Ari and Mikey. A lot more to do there than I would have thought. Like Funabashi city, it’s pretty generic of Japanese cities, but it was cool for a change of pace. Had some awesome miso ramen, found a cheap arcade, and met up with Elida (who lives there). She’s been here for a few months but we never got around to meeting up.

That was my day, pretty laid back and fun. Bandai Museum is awesome. Tomorrow I might be going to the Tokyo Motor Show (car convention) at Makuhari Messe.

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