14 Bizarre Japanese Toys

14 Bizarre Japanese Toys

No one does weird toys like Japan does weird toys… from presidential action figures to toilet training tigers, we’ve found the strangest and most bizarre Japanese toys ever.

Tuttuki Bako Finger Game Box

Japan certainly has a reputation for strange and interesting handheld games but we’ve never seen anything quite like the Tuttuki Bako Finger Game. Each stage features something you interact with by poking it. Stick your finger in the box and a digital representation appears on the screen mimicking your motions. From what we can tell the various stages of the game include terrorizing a tiny stick man, poking a girl in the face and flicking a tiny panda.

Hex Bug Robot Cockroaches

If you can buy soccer playing robot dogs, why not a skittish robotic cockroach? The Hex Bug emulates a roach with feelers or sensors that tell it when to change direction when it hits a wall. They also react to loud sounds by scurrying away in fear. We can only imagine that they also scatter when you turn on the light. To try to make bugs seem cute, the Hex Bugs are available in blue, pink, green, yellow and orange.

Gotochi Dissection Animals

Kids love little keychains of cute little animals, but we think anatomically correct diagrams of animals may cross a line. The Gotochi Dissection animals display a diagram of the muscles and organs inside of a variety of animals including fish, pigs, cows and even a panda. All the parts are labeled, in Japanese of course. We suppose they could be used as tiny “cheat sheets” in Japanese biology classes, but we can’t figure out any other possible reasons to want one.

Edamane Baby Soybean Keychain

Much like the sensation one gets from popping bubble wrap, there’s something satisfying about popping edamame from their pods. Rather than playing with your food, Japanese toy maker Bandai developed a toy that provides endless tactile enjoyment without wasting a single soybean. 3 soybeans to a pod, the middle one contains a surprise face. If playing with toy beans isn’t enough excitement, you can try to collect 12 characters or the illusive Edamame Fairy.

God Jesus Robot

Because literally everything in Japan is actually a robot… This strange all knowing Japanese toy debuted in the 80′s and answered your questions in a magic 8-ball style. God-Jesus robot only knows what the designers of this toy were thinking when they made it.

Lokuloku Pig Toy

We don’t know what kind of crazy new age japanese technology is involved in the Lokuloku, a squishable pig toy, but we’re absolutely mesmerized by this thing. No matter what you do to this toy it always bounces back and retains it shape… even after being completely flattened and turned into a puddle of gold goo.

Rocobo Electronic Pets

Sort of a evolution of the virtual pet on a screen, the Roboco is a pet with a screen for a face. Though we never would have guessed that after the Tamagotchi craze that Japan could create a handheld pet that’s even more annoying. Roboco mimics your emotions, so when you yell at it in frustration it yells back and throws a tantrum. Sure, it has other emotions, but we just don’t see ourselves doing anything other than yelling at it.

Japanese Look Alike Dolls

If you’re got a few thousand yen ($208) and a hefty case of narcissism then you might consider getting on of these Grand Chariot doppelganger figurines. Sure, it’s kind of cool to capture yourself forever in a plastic figure, but then again, it’s also kind of creepy (as shown by the models here).

Yujin Cell Phone Emoticon Toys

Texting may be out of control in the US, but at least we don’t have emoticon toys. These weird little characters display Japanese emoticons known as kaomiji. You don’t have to know Japanese to understand the expressions on their creepy little dolls… in fact American otaku probably already recognize most of these and even use them on a daily basis.

Kannichi Ryotsu

Kankichi Ryotsu stars in his own comic in Japan and despite his friendly appearance, he’s actually a lazy pervert who’s always getting himself into unsavory situations. Not surprisingly the accessories that come with the Ryotsu figure include things like handcuffs and a firearm, but he also has his very own Tamagotchi pet… because what adult police officer would be without one?

KOIBITO Carp Person

Inspired by the phrase “fish out of water” Japanese designer Yoskay Yamamoto created this strange pop art toy. The head of the toy resembles a koi or goldfish, but has a much more human body. Well to be technical, it has a fish body too. We’re actually not really sure what to make of this figure, but we do know that we’re a little creeped out by it.

Obama Figure

We know that it seems strange to include a President Obama action figure in a list of Japanese toys, but believe it or not this all American figure is made in Japan. Barak Obama apparently has inspired somewhat of a cult following in Japan so it’s really no surprise a toy tribute would spring up. The figure includes an American flag, a stool, several ties and a mic stand… katanas and lightsabers not included (we think).

Shimajiro Toilet Training Tiger

Maybe it’s us… maybe the way we approach potty training in the US is a bit conservative, but on the other hand Japan seems to have the weirdest approach we could possibly imagine, complete with animated poop and talking toilets. The Shimajiro videos feature an animated tiger struggling with potty training and his animated personified waste. The accompanying toy attaches to the toilet paper roll holder and yells out encouraging phrases while you go.

H-Bouya USB Toy

Of all the strange Japanese toys, this one may take the cake. We have to be careful not to type the letter H too often in this post because H-Bouya will call us perverts. You see, in Japan, “H” or “ecchi” stands for “hentai” which is the word for porn in Japanese. The innocent baby boy will blink whenever you type that forbidden letter because it implies that your intentions are less than pure. Uh-oh, how many was that?

Top photo by luisvilla

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61 thoughts on “14 Bizarre Japanese Toys

  1. Zyggy

    You can buy those “Hexbugs” at Radio Shack. I got a couple for my cats. They love them…until they kill them.

  2. Michelle

    Giant Robot carries the animal key chains. I bought horse ones two years ago as Christmas presents for my horse loving friends. I got mixed reactions at first, then everyone realized they were AWESOME!

  3. Neil M

    ‘Hentai’ is not ‘japanese for porn’. To japanese people it means roughly ‘pervert’, but to japanophiles in other countries it refers to a specific type of animated sexual cartoon.

    The ‘pervert’ connotation that the Japanese understand has a slight bias toward older men being perverts about younger women, but it can be use for any perversion.

    it’s typical for young male hentai fans in the US and other countries to think that the wide availability of this stuff in Japanese convenience stores means that it’s acceptable to most Japanese, but this is a mistake.

    The vast majority of Japanese women find it all quite repulsive, pretty much the same as western women do.

  4. Sunnyjpop

    Where do we get those Grand Chariot doppelganger figurines?
    Cant find any info online! need links!!!

  5. quintess

    You guys didn’t look too hard, eh? These are definitely on the mild side of weird Japanese shit. Really not a list I’d expect to see Yoskay gracing, his work has quite a bit more meaning to it the average silly keychain.

  6. Television Spy

    Before you all go nuts let me explain why these exist in the first place.

    In japan bizarre and weird is an actual selling point. There’s lots of products pushed out and only the truly insane and weird will really get sold in numbers.

    the price tag on some of these are expensive and it has to do with the fact that most Japanese families both parents work. Parents usually feeling guilty give their kids an allowance, this is the same in the US, but the amount given is much higher.

    So kids generally have a lot more spending money and they become consumers at a younger age. So they buy all sorts of knick knacks like these toys.

  7. Jamm!

    I can see the slogan now…

    Rocobo Electronic Pets-Because who the fuck needs a real friend

  8. wealin

    where the hell can i get one of those pigs? they’re sold out everywhere!

  9. max

    Hentai means strange, not porn. Also means “adult animation,” and thus implying strange.

    Ecchi means pervert or perverted.

    They use the word ポルノグラフィー, which is pornography, for porn.

    don’t ask me how I know all this :p

  10. bshock

    While I can’t speak to the genuine origin of the “koibito” toy, it doesn’t seem it was inspired so much by any phrase related to “fish out of water” as it is a pun on the word “koibito,” which means “lover.” The original spelling, 恋人,
    uses the characters “love” and “person.” However, the sound “koi” also means “carp,” as so many people know. This toy would be 鯉人,”carp person.”

  11. sj

    @bshock – while that’s very illuminating about the meanings of the words, the artist himself said the concept was inspired by the concept of “fish out of water”.

    “Koibito symbolizes the sense of alienation that I felt growing up in Cali… It’’s kind of like the phrase ” fish out of water”…. I felt and still feel like I don’t completely fit in my environment……both in Japan and the US……”

    http://www.oneinchpunch.net/2009/03/16/koibito-carp-person-designer-toy-by-japanese-artist-yoskay-yamamoto/

  12. JAPAN-wow

    regarding “hentai”:
    just “H” can (and often, does) refer to sex itself. like in women’s magazines, they often refer to sex as “H” (“Our first H,” “The Perfect H,” etc. are real titles to women’s interest stories in publications that are the japanese equivalent to Cosmo)
    it can also refer to lewd, sexually vulgar, etc.
    hentai, however, on its own literally just means strange. it’s adapted a sexual connotation in many cases in japan, and has become synonymous with pornography in the US.

  13. Antique Alan

    I am particularly fond of the President Barak Obama action figure. Is it inflatable and can one wash it after use?

    I think it is very thoughtful of the Japanese to include a stool. Given the pose he is adopting in this photograph, one assumes the stool shortly afterwards and is now hidden from view.

  14. Tanya

    I wish I knew where to buy the Shimajiro toilet training toy… anyone? That’s hilarious!!

  15. Ryua

    funny, my boyfriends little sister seems to have all of these toys, lmao.

    these toys are not really strange at all. they seem pretty mild to me lol….hell, i would probably be buying most of ‘em.

  16. Chloe

    I stared at the lokuloku pigs for a long time thinking “Why does that look familiar?” Slowly, my eyes drifted downwards to where my trio of golden pigs sat underneath my monitor. Oh! Hey!
    Yeah, those things are awesome, but I didn’t even realize they were Japanese; they are all over Asia, you can buy them on the street just about anywhere.

  17. Chicken

    My friend has a hex bug…and I have the pig in white, the pig is extremely addicting!

  18. Seriously Undone

    I reckon the finger box is the best. I mean how fuckin cool would it be to poke stuff in the head!

  19. mopo

    I have one of those piggies. I named it Splat-pig. It was pretty cool until it got dirty. Of course i can wash it, but I don’t have enough patience to wash it as often as i wash my clothes. (Those pigs get dirty REAL FAST!) :D

    I would still suggest buying one though, I guarantee it’s the cheapest of all the items.

  20. Papoj A.

    I agree with Ryua, pretty sure there’s still more out there in Japan…this list isn’t long enough. >:I

    @obama sucks : No one cares about your political views, jeez >_>…hey, if they made an action figure of you, I’d run over it too. :3

  21. CreditWindow

    That Obama toy is just plain weird! Personally I don’t like the idea of anyone giving him a weapon of any description – of mass-destruction or a simple sword!

  22. Kara

    Fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  23. Stasya

    Koibito! xDDD Cute wordplay. I guess it would be “鯉人。”

    恋人 in Japanese, means boyfriend/girlfriend/sweetheart/etc. Literally “love (koi) person (bito).”

    Koi can also mean koi fish/carp when written as 鯉. No, 鯉人 is not a real word, except for this. xD

  24. Emma

    I got a lokuloku in China when I was visiting my relatives! My brother and I each got one. They also come in different shapes and colors.

  25. CaptainoftheAnima

    Hentai doesn’t mean Porn in Japanese. In America, we use Hentai to mean animated porn, but in Japan, Hentai simply means “Pervert.” あなたは変態です!(Anata wa hentai desu!) simply means “You are a pervert!”

    The more you know! :D

  26. Janet

    Ok the Zombie Plant Grow Kit is made in the USA but who know that the Zombie Plant could really Play DEAD when you Touch it!!!

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