"And thirty-five years later, you're still alone, with nothing but robots for company..."
Just kidding. This ad for the brand new GX-45 Mazinger Z "Soul of Chogokin" isn't quite up to par with the insanity of Popy's vintage Seventies commercials, but I'm glad to see they're still cranking them out. Note the smooth demographic shift from ten year olds to forty year olds -- kids these days far prefer video games to physical toys. (It's hard to imagine a child busting out a pair of special Chogokin gloves to avoid soiling their Mazinger.)
Tamashii Nation 2008 kicked off last night at Akiba Square UDX with a gala reception for media and Bandai employees. It's open to the public through Sunday, but I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview. (Alas, I missed Go Nagai's opening remarks by minutes.)
Photos abound on the web (robot toy maniacs should try here, here, and here for starters), but the really fascinating thing about the show wasn't the announcement of new releases but rather Bandai's attempt to position their Saint Seiya, S.I.C., and Chogokin collector lines as "lifestyle goods" rather than toys. In addition to three showrooms housing new products, the main floor featured a series of faux rooms designed to show toy-freaks how they can best display their treasures.
Meet your new overlords: the mascot characters of the newly-founded Bandai Collectors Division.
The Gundam-equipped office. Note the wine rack.
An Evangelion-festooned study room. Is that a copy of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" on the desk...?
Bandai executives explained that this diorama portrays the moment Patrick Macias was born.
Even Jasper Morrison agrees: there isn't a living room that doesn't benefit from a $1000, two-foot high illuminated statue of a Kamen Rider.
If your child's room doesn't look like this, you have failed as a parent.