Okay so I’m going to get a little nostalgic here so bear with me. I don’t know what happened to the toy market in America, but it is awful. I see new toys on the shelf every holiday season and think to myself “Would I even WANT this for Christmas?!” I must say we had the best toys and I think Japan has noticed and is making bank on them!
I went to MG Plaza recently and they have rearranged the store. I noticed a lot of toys that I grew up with for sale and the characters splashed on towels, keychains, notebooks, pencils an anything else you could think of.
Some of you may not remember the Yum Yums but I do. I think the toy came out first and then they had some cartoon afterward. (I actually didn’t know about the cartoon until looking for the toy commercial on YouTube with no luck). I actually had the Peppermint Kitty. All of the toys have a scent on their tummy.
And now along with the toys you can get yum yum notebooks, folders pencils, pillows, towels….etc!
An even more popular toy in the 80s (and one of my favorites) was the popple. I had a few of them but my favorite being the large pink one (pictured). Popples also came out with a cartoon after the toys.
If you don’t know what a Popple is, check out the commercial below. Heck, even if you DO check it out. I remember going to the toy store looking for one! (BTW the price for these Popples at ¥4200 is astronomical! That’s about $50 USD! (Maybe more)
Popples and Yum Yums are just a few examples of old cartoons reviving to a Hello Kitty status in Japan. I’ve also seen Raggety Ann and Andy! I forget which character it was, but I noticed one of my Japanese friends had a keychain or something of an old 80s toy. When I inquired if they knew what it was they just responded with “I just got it because it is cute.” Touché Japan, touché. Mattel must be making a killing. I just imagine them in a conference room deciding what to do with all these toys from the 80s and how they can still make a profit on them. “Send it to Japan, hell… they’ll buy anything cute or weird.”
It’s a shame they don’t sell (and advertise) these as new products in the States (without having to go to Spencer’s Gifts or Newbury Comics) so that American children can have access to toys worth asking Santa for!