Pokemon ring, Sailor Moon stick are among top toys

by Tomohiro Osaki

Staff Writer

Takara Tomy’s Pokemon Mega Ring was declared best boys’ toy in this year’s Japan Toy Prize contest, it was announced Tuesday.

The top girls’ toy was a smartphone-type device called Puripasu, which can be used to network with game machines in video arcades.

Thirty-three other prizes honored products ahead of the International Tokyo Toy Show, which is set to kick off Thursday.

Pokemon Mega Ring is the latest in a series of gadgets associated with the long-running Pokemon anime series. It resembles a bracelet worn on the wrist of one of the show’s characters. Like Puripasu, the ring was lauded for its ability to network with games machines in video arcades; children can use it to control the monster characters they see on the screen.

Since its release on April 18, the ring has sold much faster than expected, shifting 160,000 units by the end of May, according to chief developer Takashi Oi.

He added that an annual figure of 1 million units was within reach.

“We hope (using this ring) kids will be able to feel closer to the monsters,” Oi said.

Proplica Moon Stick was declared best toy in the “high-target” toy category, or toys designed for young adults. The product is a carefully crafted life-size replica of the “magic stick” from the popular “Sailor Moon” anime series. The toy is made by Bandai Co. and was developed to mark the 20th anniversary of “Sailor Moon.”

The Proplica Moon Stick is on sale worldwide and primarily targets women in their 20s who manufacturers hope will want to revisit their childhoods by playing with one of Sailor Moon’s prized possessions.