Monday, January 26

Japanese Toys : Trapped in the World of Mickey

A 'UFO Catcher' Toy in Japan Japanese people, especially teenage girls and young women not only have a fascination with all things pink, fluffy and cute but a craving for all things Disney. Since the Disneyland theme park opened in 1983, hordes of people have been going there. A 13 year old girl told me once that she had been there 22 times and still wanted to go back again. The success of the park has spurred the opening of another park called 'Disney Sea' and just last year, an ostentatious looking hotel. Theme parks and souvenir shops "おみやげ" go hand in hand in the land of shopping in Japan. No one can escape the abundance of Mickeys, Stitches and Poo-sans(Winnie the Pooh's name in Japan) just waiting to suck in your hard earned cash. And because the market is predominantly Japanese, you can also buy ear wax cleaners in any Disney character.

The Disney influence is not just limited to the parks. "UFO Catchers" in game centers offer a chance to grab a Disney toy, that is if you can. A 100 yen try usually leads to 500 yen!

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