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After years of living in Japan, I’ve noticed that the island nation has quite a few merry misconceptions about what it means to have a Western Christmas celebrationReplacing Santa’s cookies with a strawberry-topped Christmas cake is just one of their many mix-ups, though at least they have the gift-giving part right.

Now, you might be wondering why it is that we’re posting about Christmas when it’s barely even October! As it turns out, Japanese parents hoping to surprise their kids with a sweet treat from Bandai have to start planning for the holidays NOW. The Premium Bandai online store has just opened up reservations for their 2013 line of character-themed Christmas cakes called Chara Deco Christmas. These cakes come with toys and other neat treats suited to young fans of everything from Kamen Rider to Pokemon.

For the first time Bandai has put together a full five-character line-up for their Chara Deco Christmas collection. They’ve got representatives from their most standard fare: Kamen Rider Gaim, the upcoming masked hero, Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger, the current installment of the Power Rangers’ precursor, and Doki Doki! Pretty Cure, the ever-popular magical girl squad. Adding a bit more variety to the mix, there is also a cake from Pokemon X and Y and one from the arcade-game-turned-anime, Aikatsu! slated for release. Each one is 15 cm (about 6 inches) in diameter and priced at 3,990 yen (US$41).

But you know, what really gets the kids going isn’t just the cakes and the subsequent sugar rush. Christmas for young ones is all about the presents, which is why these confectionaries come topped with exclusive toys! The Pokemon cake includes a miniature board game, with Pikachu as the spinner. The Aikatsu cake comes with a plastic doll and data card that can be used for power-ups in its affiliated arcade game, and the hero cakes all come with exclusive accessories that interact with the series’ various transformation toys (sold separately).

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But the holiday perks don’t end with just that, smartphone users who order one of the Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, or Pretty Cure cakes can download a free app from NEXTPETS, which allows them to take digital pictures, with the hero from their cake actually appearing in the frame. And then, to top it all off, children can call a special number for a personalized message from their favorite hero, provided someone with Internet access registers the cake’s serial number online and sets the content of the conversation in advance.

Now, as much as these cakes fail to capture the Western world’s image of Christmas, you have to admit that they’re pretty sweet, in all senses of the word! Understandably, the cakes won’t be shipped to their homes until December 17, but the toys that come with the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai Christmas cakes are in limited supply, so interested parties are encouraged to preorder as quickly as they can. As an avid fan of Kamen Rider and collector of cool toys, I might need to have a go at this, myself! Maybe I’ll have one of the Chara Deco Special Day cakes in the meantime…

Source: My Navi News (Japanese)
Images: Premium Bandai

▼ The Chara Deco Christmas cakes and all their extras, starting with Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger!

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▼ Doki Doki! Pretty Cure

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▼ Kamen Rider Gaim

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▼ Pokemon X and Y

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▼ Aikatsu!

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▼ The three hero cakes come in either vanilla or chocolate and are layered with pieces of peach and pineapple.

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▼ The Aikatsu! cake is layered with strawberry, raspberry, and sponge cake.

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▼ Chara Deco Surprise Picture lets you take a picture with your favorite hero!

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▼ And, the Hero’s & Heroine’s Dial gives you a personalized message from the characters themselves, including holiday wishes or birthday greetings.

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