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Toys Targeted For Adults!!!

Date Posted: 1998-02-07

It all started with G.I. Joe. The original action figure (Not doll!) for boys with a myriad of accessories & weapons has spawned a multi-million dollar empire where the toys originally targeted for children are being swept off the shelves by baby boomers & generation Xers (Myself included). While I remember buying Star Wars, G.I. Joe & He-Man action figures for my little brother in the 70's & 80's, the popularity didn't take off until Spawn creator Todd McFarlane entered the scene with his highly detailed line of action figure based on his popular comic series. Now you can find all sorts of action figures from Casper to Captain Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager (Ironically the most sought after action figures are usually female characters, since so few of them are packaged per box.) from the ubiquitous Batman to the kooky cast from The Nightmare Before Christmas (Which is incredibly popular in Japan) from Beta Ray Bill to General Colin Powell.

Of course many Hollywood movies also include the inevitable toy tie-ins. Being in Japan gives you an opportunity to pick up cool toys for yourself, family or friends before they are showcased to the rest of the world. My picks for unique toys are the robots from Neon Genesis Evangelion, the current incarnation of Ultraman (Or any of the kazillion characters associated with that never-ending show), Godzilla figures (With the new movie coming out, they may make quite a collector's item in a couple of years) or even Pocket Monsters (Attention Kids: the cartoon series is being exported to the States, so be the envy of all the kids in your neighborhood and get Mom or Dad to pick you up a pocket full o' monsters---hmm catchy phrase).

A unique line of toys only found in Japan are Real Action Heroes from Medicom Toys. These highly detailed 12" action figures include such recognizable characters such as the Alien, Predator, Freddy Kruger, Judge Dredd, plus several colorful Japanese heroes such as the giant robots: Mazinger, GettaRobot, Gaiking and the original Masked Rider including his friends and villains. Of course these are a little pricey running from 9,800 to 12,800 a piece, but are well worth it.

Do remember that you don't have to spend tons of money for some neat toys. For 200 you can pick up highly detailed figures from Godzilla to Ultraman bundled in plastic eggs in the old style bubble gum machines located inside Toys "R" Us or just about any toy store.

Did You Know: That an original mint condition G.I. Joe action figure is valued at thousands of dollars?

Where To Get The Cool Stuff: Most of the action figures are available from Toys "R" Us at Navel Kadena. The Real Action Heroes are available through mail order, just pick up a Hobby Japan magazine at any Book Box (It's best to have a Japanese friend assist you since most of the stores do not have English speaking staff members)

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