International Tokyo Toy Show 2013 by Steven Neo

Greetings from Tokyo! Summer rainy season has arrived in Tokyo and it feels a lot like the humid and wet weather back in Singapore. But no rain can deter me from attending the International Tokyo Toy Show to check out the latest innovations and technologies in toys and entertainment.

The 1st thing that I spotted upon arriving at the show was a huge bun that is shaped like the face of Anpanman, who is the leading character of a Japanese picture book series written by Takashi Yanase. This Anpanman set the tone for the entire toy show: a collection of fun and innovative toys that re-defines play time.

I love this colorful and easy-to-use Anpanman Digital Camera which features moveable camera lens and huge handles with a center hollow frame to allow kids to frame the scene before taking their pictures. Here’s a YouTube video of the 1st edition of the camera:

Apptivity Monkey is a perfect marriage of smartphone applications and fun dolls for kids. Install the smartphone application for iPhone or iPhone Touch, place the device in the center of the doll, and let the kids interact with the Apptivity Monkey via the device screen or the activity buttons located on the doll. Check out the demo for the Apptivity Monkey:

I love these simple interactive books where kids can interact with the books to learn about a range of subjects, such as simple phrases and musical instruments.

Megahouse, a Japanese toy company that is famous for producing anime figurines, has released the “Tap Me” tablet that is specially designed for kids. It runs on Android 4.0, and features over 30 pre-installed educational applications and games, parental controls to limit the usage time on these devices, and a durable silicon cover which comes in a variety of colors. Check out the product demo:


Bandai has released its new version of Tamagotchi, the popular handheld digital pet device that was first released in 1996. The latest edition, Tamagotchi P, features new games, activities, and different personalities for the digital pets.

LINE, the popular instant messaging application, has managed to gather a large fan base for its adorable icons. Demand for these icons is so high that Takara Tomy is releasing a series of toys to capitalize on their popularity.

I had a great day at the International Tokyo Toy Show where I was inspired by the numerous innovative and fun toys on display. These great toy designs is a gentle reminder that designers and developers should always design their products and services from the customer’s perspective, and to adopt an effective and simple design that maximizes the customer’s enjoyment.

What do you think of the International Tokyo Toy Show? Do you have other great events to recommend for us to participate? Do share with us your recommendations in the comments below and we might just do a special report based on your recommendations!

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