Toy Fair 2015: Gashapon a Time – Bandai and Banpresto Bring Back Memories

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Back in the mid-80’s and up to about 1994 or so, I was OBSESSED with Gasahpon and Shogukan figures thanks to a few shops in Chinatown that stocked them and the prices being so inexpensive. I partially blame Cracker Jacks for exposing me to fun toys in a box of candy when I was a kid, then over time getting rid of those toys in favor of lousy paper goodies far less expensive to produce. I guess I was unconsciously looking for a substitute one fine summer day when, while waiting at a checkout line at a large Asian market I saw that colorful anime art on those small boxes and picked up four or five of them at under a dollar each.

Soon thereafter, a friend told me about a shop in the area that had what seemed like hundreds of figures for sale from too many manga and anime and I was introduced to higher end, higher quality figures from Bandai and Banpresto. The combination of low to reasonably acceptable price points and the variety of different types of figures lured me in deeper and soon, I was snapping up anywhere between five to ten Shogukan figures a week or every other week. Continue reading

The Toys of Summer: Tamagotchi Friends: Bandai Brings The Digital Pet Back Into The Social Age

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Tamagotchi Friends In package 1Okay, yesterday some of you found out Hello Kitty is actually a five-year old English girl and today, I;m telling you you know she’d probably be wanting one of Bandai’s Tamagotchi Friends as a gift from either her non-cat parents or other non-animal acquaintances.

Bandai has brought back the portable digital pet experience as a relatively inexpensive and much more connected collectible than the previous version from the late 90’s that sold who knows how many millions of units and inspired far too many clones to count. I won’t reveal exactly how many of those original Tamagotchi I actually owned, but all I’ll say is I got my first two from a friend whose wife was obsessed with them and he finally convinced here that twenty was a good number to stop at… Continue reading