Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Japanese Differences Part 2 - Toy Stores

Today as we were walking along in Tokyo, we came across a Toys R Us. While we try to stay clear American chain stores, how do you not pop into a toy store when you're with your kids in a foreign land. So in we went.

On the surface, the store seemed quite similar to any Toys R Us in Canada or the US. Toys in the front, Babies R Us in the back. Toys are toys, right?

And then I saw this:

They appear to be samurai costumes for babies and little kids. Very cool, I thought. And then I saw the price. The cheapest one was over $800; the most expensive, over $1,000!!

Throughout the rest of the store it was easy to tell which toys you wanted to buy. The areas were clearly labelled girls toys and boys toys.

Each of the main toy areas had a video running showing the toy in action, because of course your Lego Ninjago figures can do flips unassisted by a human hand. 

Even the check out had a video with its display. And these videos work. Eamon has never looked twice at Shopkins, but today he watched that video intently. Given the chance, he may have bought the character that looks like a chocolate bar.

The Star Wars section was a big draw with our family. 

How this compares to the merchandise at home, I have no idea since we left before the new movie was released. But I am pretty sure that you can't buy a samurai helmet for Darth Vader, even on-line (left hand side, third one down). Sadly, I didn't think to get a better photo of the other on-line options. I think I was stunned into inaction.

This was the best display in the shop in my view. It's a Lego spaceship with hologram action. I hope this works when I post the blog. It's quite captivating.

Another surprise, and this isn't really toy related, though it's in the toy shop, were the backpacks that were for sale. Of course, there were the kid friendly ones with the princesses and action heroes, but there were also the ones we see all the little school kids using. They are big and utilitarian. They are also expensive at over $300 each!!

We all enjoyed our stop at the toy store. Meaghan finally found a Rey action figure from Star Wars. Eamon wanted to buy one of everything, but settled for just one, finally. 

After seeing the kids in the store, I have to say, there probably aren't that many differences between the toys here and at home when you're a kid. Toys really are just toys.

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