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.