With COVID-19 shutting down countries across the world, billions of us are looking for new ways to stay entertained at home.
For most of us, a couple of weeks into the lockdown have already past, and you’ve probably seen all the movies on your watchlist, read the books on your reading list, and perhaps started baking cakes. Now what?
If you’re starting to feel bored, we’re here to help. We have picked out our favorite Japanese toys to keep your brain active while staying inside.
1. Nintendo Switch
Millions of people already love the Switch, but with global coronavirus lockdowns, it has lead to even more people turning to the Nintendo Switch to stave off boredom. This caused them to fly off the shelves (much like toilet paper) that it is nearly impossible to get your hands on one.
There’s also the Animal Crossing effect, which has sold more copies than any other Nintendo Switch game within the first week in Japan and the UK. Animal Crossing New Horizons has been called “The best way to spend quarantine,” and has been embraced by celebrities from rappers to the biggest influencers.
If you still haven’t got your hands on a Switch, don’t fret. We still have the standard and lite version of the Switch in stock, but be prepared to pay a little extra than retail price.
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Before smartphones and the Nintendo Switch, the popular device to fit in your pocket was a Tamagotchi. These little plastic eggs were always bleeping, reminding you to feed and care for your adorable virtual pet.
Now, Bandai (the biggest Japanese toymaker) is coming back with a whole new generation of Tamagotchi by working with some of the biggest names in the toy industry, including Pokemon and Evangelion.
For a generation used to playing games on iPads or smartphones, the Tamagotchi is the perfect device to get them playing with a different toy. It has a screen, but everything is controllable by pressing one of the three buttons.
Starting at a reasonable price of around $15, this is the perfect toy to capture your attention and keep you returning to it. Which Tamagotchi version will you get?
Gundam has got to be one of the top anime franchises of all time. Since premiering in 1979, there have been so many spin-offs, games, and of course, loads of toys. These model kit toys have become so popular among mecha fans and enthusiasts alike that it has its world championships.
Whether your a fan of Gundam or love building models, this is the activity for you to do. If you’re new to Gunpla, you may wonder what the difference is between all the various grades, but we have you covered with our Essential Guide To All Gunpla Kit Types blog.
Although we have used the term toy to include Gunpla on our list, we would like to clarify that you don’t play with these kits. Instead, you put effort and time into building and making them look good. Gunpla is a great way to relax and display your creation on a shelf for others to see.
As some models need tools such as hobby knives and modeling cement, we recommend an adult accompany children at all times.
4. Ghibli Jigsaw Puzzles
Puzzles not only keep your mind active, but they also ensure time flies. There’s no better way to stay entertained for hours on end than with gigantic Ghibli jigsaw, Licensed by the official Studio Ghibli Store; there are loads of your favorite iconic Ghibli scenes and movie posters to choose from in our collection.
These include My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service, and many more.
And if Ghibli isn’t your thing, ZenPlus also has Rilakkuma, Beyblade, One Piece, and classic Japanese landscape puzzles. Whether you’re a Japanese character lover or an art fan, we are sure that these Japanese jigsaws will provide you with a real challenge.
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We’ve talked about Nanoblock a while back in our What are Nanoblocks? Blog post, but in case you missed it, here’s a quick rundown. Nanoblock is a micro-sized building block, much smaller than lego with the smallest block measuring 4mm x 4mm. With smaller blocks, it makes it possible to create detailed models.
Each model comes with detailed instructions to build your 3D model, and most models can be completed within an hour or two. It is seriously addictive fun; after finishing your first model, you’ll be itching to build more.
Nanoblock has a series for everyone from Pokemon and dinosaurs to advance sets. Whether you are an aspiring designer, architect, or anyone that loves building delicate models, then this is a perfect treat for you. Due to the tiny blocks, Nanoblock is not recommended for ages below 12 years old.
Which Nanoblock series will you choose?
6. Paper Theater
These sleek papercraft kits allow you to assemble your favorite scenes from your favorite anime, there may be some patience needed, but in the end, it will all be worth it.
These unique Paper Theater kits from Japan are ideal for every paper craft enthusiast looking for something fun to do during the lockdown. Best of all, there are so many iconic scenes and characters to choose from San-X, Star Wars, Dragon Ball, MHA, and many more.
Each diorama contains six layers of depth that will make the action scenes come to life. These kits are intricate to assemble and will take a few hours to complete, but your desk/shelf will look even better once completed.
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If your life in lockdown is revolving around binging TV shows and eating cheese, it might be a good time to try out a new hobby.
We’re sure you’ve seen this famous Japanese traditional toy before. Today’s kendama has one point at the end and three attached cups to catch the ball on. The ball is connected by a 40-centimeter piece of string.
The game is played by tossing the ball up and attempting to catch it on the point or in one of the cups. Although it sounds simple, it takes a lot of time to get good at the simple techniques. And if you want to start entering the pro league, you’ll need years of experience. The skills by the guys in the video below will blow your mind.
Learning new skills can flex your creativity, and there’s something really fulfilling about getting better at something. This is the perfect time to pick up a kendama to keep you busy and motivated during these uncertain times.
We hope you enjoyed reading our Top 7 toys to help you get through the lockdown and found something that takes your fancy. Stay safe.
How are you spending your time at home? Did we miss your favorite Japanese toy on this list? Let us know on our social media below.
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