Tokyo toy show enthralls kids

Updated 15 June 2013
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Tokyo toy show enthralls kids

TOKYO: A toy helicopter created from cannibalized smartphones was among the main attractions at a huge toy show in Tokyo yesterday, where producers were targeting the young and the young-at-heart.
The motor that makes a telephone vibrate provides the power for the rotor blades on the Nano-Falcon, which its makers say is the world’s smallest radio-controlled helicopter.
The 6.5-centimeter machine weighs just 11 grams, has a range of just five meters and can fly for five minutes, but its makers say they are feeding the fantasies of adults who never really grew up.
“Japan’s ageing population made us think of developing a toy targeting adults,” said Naoki Nakagawa, head of sales at maker CCP.
“Ten or twenty years ago, helicopter-toys could cost a lot of money. Those who couldn’t afford it at the time can now make their childhood dream come true at a reasonable price.”
The mini machine retails at around 4,700 yen ($ 50), a price company spokeswoman Kiyoko Hayasaki said came from its use of bits of mobile phones.
“We were able to set the price at this relatively cheap level because we took some key parts from stocks that are widely available in the market for smartphones,” she said.
Elsewhere at the exhibition, toymakers were showcasing tablet computers specifically for small children.
“Children like to emulate what adults do, and a survey said 90 percent of tablet computer users let their children use their tablets,” said Yuki Itagaki, a spokeswoman for MegaHouse, a subsidiary of major Japanese toy maker Bandai Namco Holdings.
MegaHouse’s “tap me” is a tablet specifically developed for use by children aged between four and eight, with built-in parental controls, including a timer that limits use.
“When the timer reaches the set time, the tablet shows a sleeping face instead of turning off,” Itagaki said. “Children can’t bring tablets to their parents and say ‘hey, the power is off. Turn it on please.’“
Despite its price tag of 20,790 yen ($ 219), MegaHouse aims to sell 100,000 “tap me” in the coming 12 months.
US toy maker Mattel was showing off its Apptivity Monkey, a fluffy monkey designed to hold Apple’s iPhone — and protect it from over-enthusiastic toddlers, who can press buttons on the creature’s limbs to create music.
Japan’s Takara Tomy has a stand for the iPhone that dances along to the music it is playing.
“We hope adults with a sense of fun like this product,” said Tsubasa Tominaga of the company’s new products team.
The International Tokyo Toy Show runs until tomorrow at Tokyo Big Sight in the Japanese capital’s bay area.


Hollywood star Will Smith brings down curtain on Russia World Cup

Updated 15 July 2018
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Hollywood star Will Smith brings down curtain on Russia World Cup

  • Smith performed at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium

MOSCOW: Hollywood actor and singer Will Smith performed the soccer World Cup’s official song “Live It Up” in the tournament’s closing ceremony in Moscow on Sunday.
As Smith performed at Moscow’s Luzhniki stadium, giant screens laid out on the pitch showed images of soccer players and the colors of the Croatian and French flags — the two teams who face each other in the final.
Smith was joined on stage by Nicky Jam, a US-born singer with Puerto Rican roots, and by Era Istrefi, a pop singer who describes herself as Albanian Kosovar. Both artists had featured with Smith on the “Live It Up” single.
In the final sequence of the ceremony, Russian opera singer Aida Garifullina performed Russian folk song “Kalinka” accompanied by bagpipes, a children’s choir, and a percussion section.
That section featured a guest performer: Brazilian soccer star and past World Cup winner Ronaldinho, who for a few bars of the song hammered out the rhythm on an African drum.
The performances were a prelude to France and Croatia’s players taking to the pitch to begin their final match, in front of a packed crowd at the 80,000-seat stadium.