It is common knowledge that the Japanese have always loved their gadgets, both children and adults. They also have a tremendous flair for the unusual, and it’s an open secret that most of the unusual gadgets that they develop remain for domestic consumption only. As far as toys are concerned the Japanese toy companies have always been innovative, and look to develop toys which will, in a way, help to educate their children.
The Misemono Doll
The Misemono Doll was developed during the 18th and 19th centuries, and was regularly featured in the travelling carnivals of Japan during that time. The misemono doll was part of a presentation given to children at that time to help them understand the concept of pregnancy and giving birth. In effect the Misemeno Doll’s stomach could be opened to reveal a baby developing inside, and how it eventually would be born
The Popping Edamame
Anyone who has ever visited Japan will more than likely have tasted the Edamame, although they may not be aware of it. Edamames describe a type of baby soybeans that are grown only in Japan, and are always picked just before they blossom and become ripe. What makes the Edamame baby soy beans so popular in Japan is not only that, they taste so good, but also children of all ages love to go through the experience of popping them out of their pods.
An enterprising Japanese toy manufacturer came up with the idea of creating a toy version of the popping Edamame that works all year round. It goes without saying that the children can’t eat the beans that they pop, but instead the toy manufacturer has painted each bean with a happy face.
The Dream Cat Venus
The Japanese are not particularly well known for being animal lovers, but their love for gadgets can overcome that. That’s why they introduced the Dream Cat Venus, or
“Yume-Neko Venus,” to give it its local title. The Dream Cat Venus is a toy cat that not only is exceptionally lifelike but also comes equipped with very sophisticated touch sensors. That means when you stroke the artificial cat it will display all the attributes of feline behavior without any of the other issues involved in owning a cat, such as letting it in and out all day long, feeding it and taking it to the vet.
Automatic Action Figures
Although automatic action figures tend to be popular all over the world, the Japanese toy makers seem to go that bit further. A good example is the President Barack Obama automatic action figure, which is getting really popular. The Obama doll comes with different costumes so kids can dress him up as a samurai fighter or a Wild West cowboy or anything else that takes their fancy. And should Obama fail to win the next election, they can always whip off his hands, head and feet and exchange them with those of Mitt Romney.
The Tuttuki Bako Finger Game Box
One of the most obscure games that you will find only in Japan goes by the name of the Tuttuki Bako Finger Game Box. In this slightly unusual game, children of all ages play with a cube shaped box in which the insert the finger. As soon as they do so, a choice of several digital representations appears on a backdrop screen. Children take a lot of pleasure in watching the digital finger attack little objects that suddenly appear inside the cube. Go figure!
Contributed from Mike. He enjoys blogging about toys and games. Mike is also a regular electronic toys reviewer for several online publication. At the moment, Mike’s favourite toy is the Furby doll!