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Update from Japan: June 6, 2012

June 6, 2012

As I mentioned in my last post, my family and I are in Japan for most of this month. The last time I came to Japan was a couple of years ago when I went to Tokyo on business. That time I got a number of Jabba items, including the New Era Jabba the Hutt fitted cap (a favorite of mine), the Max Rebo Band Kubrick figures, a mail-away set of Jabba-themed Pepsi bottle toppers, and even the Attakus Slave Leia statue. This time, however, I haven’t had any luck. In fact, these froggies that I saw at a local gift shop are the closest thing to Jabba I’ve seen all week. 😦 They’re cute though, huh?

This time we went to Osaka instead of Tokyo, and while I did visit “Den Den Town” (an electronics district similar to Tokyo’s Akihabara) I didn’t find much of interest from a Jabba collector’s perspective. In fact, the amount of Star Wars stuff in general was less than I had remembered in previous years. I think the lack of any major motion pictures in the franchise is starting to take effect. If you look hard enough, there are still some speciality toy shops that have Star Wars toys and things, but they don’t seem to be doing much of a business. And I went to two or three Toys R Us stores and found basically nothing Star Wars-related whatsoever, with the exception of some LEGO sets. No Star Wars toys of any kind, which is a little sad. While there are still a fair number of hardcore Star Wars collectors in Japan, they are all around my age. Japanese kids just don’t seem to like Star Wars (or even the Clone Wars) — everything in the “boys’ toys” section of the stores seems to be related to Pokemon, Kaijuu (monsters like Godzilla) or Tokusatsu (special effects-driven movies and shows with heroes like Ultraman or the Power Rangers). However, I do have one surprise for readers of this site that I hope to be able to post about in a few days. Stay tuned.

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