Robot Fish, Smart Pets And Customized Toyota Star At 2012 Tokyo Toy Show
Tokyo's International Toy Show is always awaited with great anticipation because the toys unveiled at this annual event are usually the most technologically advanced. This year was no exception. During the three-day extravaganza that took place from June 14-June 17th, 141 Japanese companies unveiled over 35,000 new products that ranged from old-fashioned puzzles to smart pets and even, a three-seater car. Here, is a small sample of what you can expect at your toy stores in the near future.
Robotic Clown Fish
These realistic looking clown robotic fish swimming around inside an aquarium look just like the real deal except for the fact that the only care they require is an occasional battery change and a smartphone app to get them going. Unveiled by toymaker Takara Tomy, they are the perfect way to appease the persistent 'pet' requests faced by animal-challenged parents.
For those looking for a slightly more interactive pet experience, there were numerous robot dogs - All controlled by smart phone apps of course. Some like the 'I-SODOG sang and danced on demand, while others even told stories.
However, the one that impressed the judges the most and earned the Innovative Toy of the Year award was one revealed by toy maker Bandai. The Smartpet looks just like any other robot dog except for one thing - Instead of a face, it had a space built-in for an iPhone. As soon as the iPhone face is fitted, it comes to life bearing an expression that reflects how well it is being taken care of by the owner. In addition to its over 100 cute expressions, the smart dog can sneeze, move around and perform numerous tricks via Facetime or when commanded by the infamous Siri.
This cute doll, another creation by Takara Tomy, would be great to take along for annual doctor check ups or for budding nurses. That's because like most of us, it also sheds some genuine tears when vaccinated by owner.
Cocolo Teddy Bear
With a vocabulary of 600 words this cute brown 'robot' bear introduced by toy manufacturer Cube, is a great way to teach young kids how to speak. The only catch? It has to first be hooked up to an iPhone. In order to make it more palatable to parents, the company is also marketing it as a hands-free device for the smartphone.
Mazinger Z, a Deluxe Soul of Chogokin
Of course, no toy show can be complete without a super robot - If the images of this deluxe version of Mazinger Z can be trusted, this one outshines every model currently available. Not only is it a foot tall, but it also, comes with removable armor plates giving fans a rare insight into its amazing mechanics and frame. The icing on the cake is that it comes with its own display case that is decorated with LED's allowing fans to show off the robot in style. However, the masterpiece which currently can only be ordered online, does not come cheap, costing a cool $450 USD - And that does not include shipping!
For those not familiar with this Japanese phenomenon, the Mazinger Z (also known as Tranzor Z in the US) is a fictional super robot that stars in an anime and manga series bearing same name. In the story, the robot was created by brilliant professor Juzou Kabuto from a new (fictional) material called Japanium to fight off some evil super robots. While the original anime series came to an end in 1974, it has been recently resurrected and is as popular in Japan, as it was the first time around.
Camette - A Toyota For Kids
If you are wondering why a car company would unveil a concept model at a toy show, you are not the only one. According to Toyota the two models of the Camette were created to "convey the joy and dreams of motor vehicles to current and future drivers."
The life-size vehicle is big enough to accommodate a young driver at the wheel and two adults in the rear seat making for a cozy bonding experience for the entire family. And, if you are expecting the inside to resemble your 'Power Wheels' think again. The Camette is just like any luxury Toyota, complete with comfortable seats, an instrument cluster, adjustable seats, gas pedal, steering wheel and of course, brakes.
To make it a fun experience, the car incorporates some 'toy-like' features such as removable panels that allow young owners to change colors and customize their vehicles to suit their individual tastes. The car also comes in two retro designs - The Camette Sora, a mini car for those that like to stick to freeways and the Camette Daichi, a sporty vehicle for those that enjoy more rugged terrain.
However, before you rush out to get your 'drivers' license, bear in mind that the car is not road legal and can only be driven on non-public areas like go-kart tracks. What's even sadder is that company has no plans to put either models in production, so it will just have be something we all dream about - At least for now!
Resources: gizmag.com, jasgeorgia.wordpress.com, insideline.com,dailymail.co.uk, designyourtrust.com