toys

Japanese designer creates collection of gorgeous perfume bottles based on Disney villains

While Disney princesses have seen their stock steadily rising for the past several years, it seems the villains from the renowned animation house are finally getting their due, such as with the upcoming Angelina Jolie film Maleficent. Perhaps this is connected to the recent crop of dark fairy tale reimaginings such as TV series Once Upon a Time and Grimm, and the opportunities for greater complexity presented by antagonists make them more compelling characters for adults to watch. Or, maybe after enough viewings, the characters we love to hate slowly metamorphose into the characters we simply love.

For the woman who is mature enough to appreciate the dark sophistication of these characters over the bubbly effervescence of their tales’ respective heroes and heroines, as well as enjoy a spritz of an enchanting scent, there’s no better way to store her fragrances than with a set of perfume bottles shaped like Disney villains.

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Apparently short on cash, Gundam takes a part-time job at 7-Eleven

With 35 years as Japan’s favorite mecha anime, the Gundam franchise has grown to include dozens of TV and direct-to-video animated series, manga comics, and video game adaptations. With such a long history, some of them are, of course, less successful than others. Certain fans shook their heads at V Gundam’s cast of middle schoolers. Others were baffled by G Gundam’s schoolgirl uniform-inspired robot designs. Even the TV series that started it all, 1979’s Mobile Suit Gundam, has more than its fair share of goofy villains of the week who come and go like so many Scooby Doo criminals.

But despite the franchise’s occasional detours into outright silliness, the 1988 theatrical release Char’s Counterattack enjoys almost universal acclaim, both for the gravitas of its story and the commensurate visuals. Which makes it all the more disheartening to see the robot piloted by the film’s hero apparently reduced to having to take a job at convenience store 7-Eleven.

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Japan’s infamous anti-piracy mascots given own line of figurines, pre-orders open now

For many years now people across the world have been treated to various informative public service announcements telling us to not record movies as we watch them in the theater. I recall once even being told that cinema piracy helps fund terrorism.

However, in Japan the NO MORE Eiga Dorobo (No More Movie Thief) campaign has transcended its original aim of copyright protection and has become a pop-culture phenomenon in its own right. The main characters Camera Otoko (Camera Man) or Patrol Lamp Otoko (Cherry Man) must have achieved their aim, as filming movies with bulky tape-loaded camcorders has seen a significant decline in recent years.

Now, having succeeded in their mission, it’s time for these guys to cash-in on their own popularity by selling little versions of themselves through Bandai’s online shopping site.

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Before video games and computers — Christmas presents for kids in Japan half a century ago

There’s really no denying that the way people live has changed enormously in the past 50 years. It wasn’t that long ago that we lived in a world without the Internet, computers, smart phones or even the simplest video games for that matter. Well, can you imagine what kids back then may have received as Christmas presents? Thanks to a post on DDN JAPAN , a Japanese information site that shares mainly music and film related art and other fun, subculturish tidbits from around the world, we can get a glimpse of what Japanese kids 50 years ago looked forward to getting on that special day of the year.

So, come and join us as we take a trip 50 years back in time and look at some ads for Christmas toys made in 1960s Japan. You may be surprised at how genuinely fun some of the toys from half a century ago look!

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Cute The Legend of Zelda plushies could be yours in time for Valentine’s Day

Is your cuddly toy collection lacking a little heroism? Is your troupe of Hello Kitties, freaky mushrooms and squeezable squid in need of a genuine princess? Well you’re in luck: a series of plushies featuring Princess Zelda, sword-brandishing Link and creepy wannabe elf Tingle from Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda series is due to go on sale early next year.

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Cute cat stands sacrifice themselves to hold up your smartphone

It’s about time cats did something for us. We’ve pampered them on the Internet and in convenience stores for years, and all they ever did in return was learn how to poop in the litter box.

Cats are finally giving back now with these cute but somewhat disturbing smartphone stands that depict various cat breeds heroically holding up your smartphone so it won’t topple over.

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Constipated cats, sticky blue poop and more: Japan’s 9 weirdest vending machine toys

Gachagacha or gachapon are vending machines that spit out little toys or other small items in a plastic egg. For a few bucks, you get not only a new anime figure or phone strap but also the thrill of submitting to the luck of the gachapon. Where I come from, you might find a similar machine dispensing stickers or candy in the front of a big box store, but there wasn’t much choice and the appeal wears off sometime before junior high. Here in Japan though, gachapon have an endless and ever-changing variety of contents, along with enthusiastic collectors of all ages. Entire stores exist simply to house hundreds of gachapon, and with all that variety, there’s sure to be some serious weirdness in there. This is Japan, after all.

We’ve scoured the Net to find nine of the most bizarre for your viewing pleasure.

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Evangelion? Cool. Katana? Cool. Evangelion and katana? Very cool!

Evangelion, known to its fans simply as Eva, has already earned itself a spot in history as one of Japan’s most popular anime ever. The franchise has such wide appeal that its characters have been used to promote everything from lingerie to cheeseburgers.

Now, Eva’s cast of teenage protagonists is helping to drum up interest in something a little more traditional than the high-tech robots they usually pilot with their newest promotional crossover, the Evangelion and Japanese Sword Exhibition.

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Akita musician and illustrator do everything they can to convince us their eel characters are actually dongs

Japan cranks out a huge number of corporate and regional mascot characters, and each one is required to be cute, right down to its name. Unfortunately, sometimes a moniker that sounds perfectly fine in Japanese doesn’t have quite the same inoffensive ring to it in English.

Of course, naming choices can have unfortunate implications for Japanese speakers as well, like with Akita Prefecture’s cute little garden eel character called Chinanabo. In Chinanabo’s case, however, there’s enough evidence to make us think his creators are in on the joke.

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New Crescent Moon Wand from Sailor Moon is as real as a toy gets

It wasn’t too long ago that we posted an article here on RocketNews24 cataloging the entire collection of Sailor Moon toys. Well, it looks like the people over at Proplica wish to add another item to the list. Fans of the Sailor Moon franchise are frothing at the mouth, hoping to get their hands on a real-life Moon Stick, more commonly referred to at the Crescent Moon Wand, Sailor Moon’s first attack item. This playful prop is being marketed toward adult toy collectors and comes packed with some pretty neat features.

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Niconico user makes cute, petable Pokémon with needle-felted plushies 【Videos】

This fall has people across the globe down with a case of Pokémon fever, ever since the release of Nintendo’s first 3-D Pokémon game set, X and Y. Thanks to one of the game’s brand-new features, Pokémon Amie, it’s possible to build greater bonds with our battling monsters than ever before, by petting, feeding, and playing games with them. Still, not even that comes close to the adorable magic of having an actual creature to cuddle.

Niconico Douga user, Tatsuno’otoshigo (meaning seahorse), filled that hole in her heart by crafting her own Pokémon plushies with needle felting! Her ever-expanding pokédex of wooly little monsters is the envy of many collectors. But it’s hard to say if she’d be willing to trade. Her videos reveal exactly how much love she puts into each and every pokémon.

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Bandai gets a head start on Christmas cakes

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.

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Long-distance kissing now one smooch closer with new silicone lips for your iPhone

Bandai, the third largest producer of toys in the world, has made a name for itself in Japan with a never-ending array of collectable capsule goods. From keychains to stationery to jewellery, and featuring popular characters like Hello Kitty and Gundam, a trip to the supermarket or shopping mall in Japan will inevitably have you passing one of these small machines, stacked up in rows of exciting possibility, enticing you to shell out that last 200 yen for the chance of a lucky score.

You might want to start saving your silver yen now because from mid-October, a new series of capsule toys will be hitting the market. The arrival of silicon lips, designed to sit on the home key on your smartphone, has got everyone talking in Japan.

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Show solidarity with fellow runny egg lovers with “over easy” smartphone case

How one prefers their fried eggs cooked is about as divisive an issue as whether Batman or Wolverine would win in a fight. Many a surprise anniversary breakfast in bed has no doubt ended in bitter tears due to fried eggs being prepared in the incorrect way.

But you can avoid this unnecessary situation and show solidarity with fellow runny egg lovers with this new “egg in a basket” iPhone 5 case. Just snap your iPhone inside and share the other half with your runny egg soul mate; then, by clicking the two halves together as a secret greeting, you can baffle and enrage all those cretinous fully cooked yolk lovers at the diner.

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2,000 figures ready for their close-ups at toy exhibition in Ikebukuro – and oh, admission is free!

Kaiyodo is one of Japan’s largest figure makers. Aside from being the manufacturer behind the Revoltech line that’s a hit with hardcore anime fans, over 130,000,000 of Kaiyodo’s Choco Eggs, toy animals, bugs, and tanks hidden inside an edible chocolate shell, have been sold, cementing the company’s spot in mainstream popular culture.

To celebrate its 30 years in the business, the Kaiyodo Figure World exhibition is being held in Tokyo’s Ikebukuro district. Roughly 2,000 figures are on display, admission is free, and as if that wasn’t enough, photography is completely unrestricted. Visitors are free to snap as many pictures of any figures they like.

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Tied to a desk but wish you were outdoors? Grab yourself a lawn-feel keyboard!

I’m sure most of us would rather be out in the fields with the sun on our face and the wind in our hair each day than shackled to a desk like a clone bred to serve the gods of the Cloud with their important databases and spreadsheets, but needs must and without hours of computer work our world would be on its knees in days. Thankfully, online “keyboard workshop” FILCO is bringing the outdoors to us with its new “Midori” lawn-type keyboard, which features a soft, turfy finish that will tickle your palms and wrists throughout the day, reminding you that life isn’t all pie charts and quarterly reviews.

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Rambo randomly rambles into stores in figure form, looks as cross as ever

In what has to be one of the most random, yet awesome, releases we’ve seen so far this month, Japanese toy and figure fanciers Kitan Club has recently launched a range of six key-chain figures based on… Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo. No, we’re not quite sure why either.

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Dragon Quest slime salt and pepper shakers ironically perfect for keeping your spices dry

Despite “dragon” being right there in the title, the Dragon Quest video game series doesn’t really have an iconic dragon. Japan’s most widely-loved role-playing franchise doesn’t feature a particularly popular protagonist either, as each installment features a new, mostly mute hero.

Instead, mascot duties fall to the weakest enemy in each of the games, the lowly slime. Because of its cuteness and the almost complete lack of threat it poses to the player, the slime has become a fan favorite, with a shape as instantly recognizable as a Coca Cola bottle.

The franchise’s numerous titles for home and handheld consoles allow gamers to get their fix from the sofa or on the train, but now there’s even a way to enjoy Dagon Quest at your kitchen table.

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Nothing quenches a thirst like delicious, foamy toilet water

Have you ever had one of those days in the middle of summer where just the 100-yard walk to the nearest convenience store and back has you panting and so parched you’d drink right out of the toilet bowl if it was closer than the sink? Well, we haven’t, cause that’s just gross and you should probably seek help if you’re drinking toilet water. Unless, that is, you’re drinking it out of this cute candy toilet!

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