Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Force Awakens in Japan; Star Wars toys at Toys R Us in Tokyo

Well, the Force fever has caught up with me.  After viewing countless Facebook posts of Force Awakens commercials, I decided to check out if the people here are as Star Wars crazy as us Americans are.   I'm almost certain that the English and Aussies are, in fact, most of the Imperials speak with a British/Australian accent anyway.  As for Far Easterners... Darth Vader is wearing what looks to be a samurai helmet and the Trade Federation baddies do speak with a Chinglish accent.  In any event, the movie is more than three months away so it wouldn't surprise me if the Japanese are reserving their Star Wars love for later.

 If I recall correctly, for the Phantom Menace, the toys were released only a few weeks before the movie came out.  Flashback to April 1999: Dad, Uncle Jim and I run into a bunch of unopened Phantom Menace figure shipping boxes at Super Walmart in Kissimmee, Florida.  The Kenner boxes were marked "Do not put on floor until two weeks after the X date" (two weeks after the then-present date).  Well, of course we opened them and carried out as many Jar Jar Binks and Darth Mauls we could carry in our arms.  Even the checkout scanners were reading "Do Not Sell" when we tried to pay for the figures. The long line of customers behind us and apathy-toward-her-job attitude of the cashier allowed us to get out of the store with the figures.

This time around it is different; we can see what type of vehicle Rey is flying and the various locales of the movie from the playsets for sale, three months before its release.  This is what I saw today at the Toys R Us's in the Tokyo area.  As demonstrated by Toys R Us, the Japanese are having the Force Awakened after all. 

Rey, Finn, Poe and Kylo Ren displays.
Many of the goods had Hasbro packaging, so I assume they are the same in the States, such as the deluxe figures above.
These sets kick the asses of the sets we had as kids.  We had to use the megaphone piece as a laser gun.
 There were many new Lego sets.
Perfect. Jango's head comes off.
More Lego sets.
New stormtroopers are in the house!
Some really large figures by Hasbro.
Mostly characters from the original trilogy.
Bandai models.  Pretty cool.  Perhaps you can't find these guys in the States.
I'd try getting the Boba Fett helmet, but they are blind-bag packaged.
I think these mini-replica helmets are Japan-only.  I learned a lot about the Force Awakened locales from the Hasbro Micro Machine playsets under the mini-helmets.
I'll get Boba in the near future.
These die-cast figures and vehicles are Japan-only, produced by Tomy.
These guys were around 50 bucks.
Pretty cool line of Star War vehicle drones.
A hodge podge of collectibles.
More cool stuff.

I'll probably get a few die-cast Force Awakened vehicles for my desk.  3 and 3/4 inch figures, the staple of my Star Wars collection as a kid, teen and young adult, were mysteriously absent from the assortment of goods I saw today.  Perhaps they will be released later here?   Regardless, I was pleasantly surprised that the Force is strong with the Japanese.  I can only surmise from what I saw at Toys R Us today that we will get lots of Star Wars promotional items such as Pepsi bottle caps, stickers with candy and gatcha gatcha toys in the future.  I can't wait.  Thanks for the read, and may the Force be with you.

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