Want to know what toys Japanese kinds are going to be playing with this year? Then the World Hobby Fair is your place to go. Put on by toy and game businesses, the show gives kids the chance to play with all the newest stuff and gives the companies lots of feedback about what’s hot or not.
This year was dominated by Pokemon, Gundam, and Inazuma Eleven, with all three licenses being spread over a wide variety of merchandise and crossovers. Nintendo and Sony both had a substantial presence, setting up large booths and lots of demos and tournaments. Battling toys were getting a lot of attention, it seems kids want anything that lets them pit one toy against another in a brawl. Professional Yo-yo…ers?..ists? were drawing crowds teaching tricks and hosting shows. Girl-focused games like Pretty Rhythm, Tamagotchi, and Cooking Mama were bringing in lots of players too.
Our picks for the best of the show? The Taiko no Tatsujin game being demoed inside a giant snow globe, the very unusual pairing of feudal Japanese warlord Oda Nobunaga with Pokemon, and the Sony shrine featuring Playstation characters and selling good-luck charms.
Here are the pictures, scroll over for a description.