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TOKYO

Christmas in June for Tokyo

by Natasha Vik

Staff Writer

Who hasn’t been caught in the Christmas-gift shopping rush, and found themselves wishing they could have had private access to Santa’s workshop instead?

Substitute the North Pole for an increasingly warm Tokyo, and you might have the closest thing to a modern-day version: this weekend, Tokyo Big Sight will host the International Tokyo Toy Show (ITTS), the largest toy convention in the country. Annually, the event sees the biggest gathering of industry names, such as Mattel and Sega Toys, unveil upcoming products. Though it is a closed trading event for industry representatives during the week, ITTS opens its doors to the public on Saturday and Sunday.

Under this year’s theme of “EnterTOYment,” young visitors will be able to put new products to the test in designated play zones. Additionally, characters from popular kids’ shows such as Pretty Cure and Kamen Rider will be putting on stage shows, while the ever-popular Anpanman will be making an appearance for photo sessions. Past years have seen around 35,000 toys displayed, ranging from card games to plush toys and robots, assuring there’s something for everyone.

Taking a trip to the show might just score you extra brownie points with the kids, while getting your holiday shopping research done six months in advance.

The International Tokyo Toy Show takes place at Tokyo Big Sight (West Exhibition Hall) in Edo-ku, Tokyo, on June 15 and 16 (9 a.m.-5 p.m./4p.m.). Admission is free. For more information, visit www.toys.or.jp/toyshow.