Kamen Rider belt, Licca-chan doll top Japan toys

Translated by The Asahi Shimbun from the website of Anime Anime Japan Ltd.

The Kamen Rider action hero belt, Licca-chan doll and “One Piece” toys were given grand prizes at the fourth installment of the Nihon Omocha Taisho (Japan Toy Awards), the Japan Toy Association announced.

The awards ceremony was held June 14 at Tokyo International Forum.

The awards were established in 2008 to recognize outstanding toys produced in Japan.

Each year, the winners are announced before the annual International Tokyo Toy Show, which wrapped up on June 19 this year.

The Nihon Omocha Taisho has quickly taken root, promoting the toy fair and the Japanese toy industry. The awards have also attracted attention as an event that forecasts future trends in the industry.

The winners are selected from seven categories. This year, a total of 35 toys, including the grand prizes and four outstanding awards in each category, were given recognition.

One characteristic of this year’s event was that famous brands and characters proved their long-cherished popularity.

In the boys toy category, Bandai Co.’s Kamen Rider OOO action hero’s belt won the top prize. “Kamen Rider OOO” (pronounced ohs) is the latest in the long-running superhero series. The protagonist transforms into the masked crusader using the rider’s belt.

In the girls category, Tomy Co.’s “Licca-chan Baskin Robbins 31 Flavors Ice Cream Shop” won the grand prize.

Both toys were based on characters cherished by the parents of children for which the products were designed.

By the same token, two “Yubi-Con” models from Tomy’s TOMICA Preschool Series won the top prize in the universal design category, while Agatsuma Co.’s “Anpanman” toy tablet claimed the grand prize in the educational toy category.

The “One Piece” diorama series released by MegaHouse Corp. was awarded the grand prize in the character toy category.

Of note was “Ningen Gakki,” a small, vaguely human-shaped piece of equipment that uses human bodies to play musical notes, which won the top gong in the innovative toy category.

The musical toy was released by Tomy’s subsidiary T-Arts.

In the category for toys aimed at adults, Kawada Co.’s “Nanoblock Tokyo Sky Tree” won the top spot. The toy is modeled after the terrestrial digital broadcasting tower soaring 634 meters, which is slated to be completed later this year. There are many Tokyo Sky Tree-related toys, but this particular product is made of about 500 small block pieces. It can also be used as an interior decoration item when the tower is placed on an illuminating LED plate, sold separately.

Tomy was the most winning toy company in 2011, grabbing 10 awards, including three grand prizes and seven excellence awards. Bandai ranked second with the top prize in the boys toy category and four excellence awards in other categories. Sega Toys Co. did not win any grand prizes, but the company won five excellence awards.
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