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Reporting in from Japan! (With Photos from Japanese Toys R Us)

June 7, 2015

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As you may have noticed, it’s been a while since my last entry. Part of the reason for that is that I am currently in Japan. It’s not really a vacation so much as a working holiday, so in addition to meeting people and going places around here, I also have to keep up with my normal freelancing workload, which hasn’t left a lot of time for other things. But I have kept my eyes open for Star Wars-related items, and I’d like to talk a little bit about what I’ve seen.

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I was last in Japan exactly two years ago, when I took my son to Tokyo Disneyland and we tried out the then-brand-new Star Tours: The Adventures Continue” ride. When we visited the local Toys R Us at that point there was essentially no Star Wars merchandise at all, aside from a couple of LEGO sets and maybe a handful of very old figures on clearance. The difference between that and what I saw recently is incredible. At that same TRU there’s now an entire aisle dedicated to Star Wars, and I’d say it rivals our local store in terms of selection. In addition to a nice selection of Japanese exclusives, they also had a lot of Hasbro Black Series figures that I had never seen in person before, but unfortunately they were a little pricey.

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I’m convinced that this is due to The Force Awakens sparking renewed interest in Star Wars. I’ve even seen a couple of people (adults) wearing Star Wars t-shirts, which I can’t recall seeing before. I do think that they are mostly targeting adult collector types with these displays, rather than kids (who are more interested in the likes of Pokemon or Yo-Kai Watch than Star Wars). But it’s exciting to see stuff like this in stores again, and to get the chance to pick up some Japanese exclusive products. Stay tuned for more!

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