Saturday, August 16, 2014

Fantastic Bandai Gundam Hakovision and Hello Kitty Mecha

Bandai Japan released some interesting toys this year and Hello Kitty and Gundam are both involved. Another release of Hatsune Miku Hakovision kits is coming this summer 2014 too.

Hakovision
Hakovision is a little display made out of a plastic background, a clear plastic sheet, and the cardboard box the toy comes in.  Very simple and minimalist.  You assemble the toy, scan the code on the side of the box, place your cellphone on top of the box, and then you get a projection mapping lightshow with techno soundtrack to bring it to life.

I ordered a box containing a Gundam and a Zaku projection mapping kit.
Closeup of the boxes.
Here is a disassembled box, the plastic backdrop with Gundam imprint, and the clear plastic reflective sheet to give the holographic type effects.
Box assembled with plastic sheet in place.
You place your cellphone on top after scanning the URL code to get a video on Youtube.  Do this in a dark room for the best results.  I don't think my phone was a bright as it should have been, but it was still cool.
Another projection mapping scene.  Lots of lights and colors and special effects happen.

A Hakovision commercial.


Hello Kitty Chogokin Mecha
This is the 40th Anniversary of Hello Kitty and Bandai has released Super Robot Mecha Kitty!  Hello Kitty pilots her own mecha like in Mazinger and a little Hello Kitty fits into the top of the mech that has rocket punch and can fly.  A pretty cool metal mecha figure that can do battle with the forces of evil.

Great Chogokin box.  You will not mistake it for another robot.  This is a Hello Kitty Giant Mech.
All the accessories and poses.
The mecha itself.  Nice sturdy metal Chogokin "Super Alloy" Kitty Mech.
Promotional Video


Other 2014 Hello Kitty Toys
Revoltech Hello Kitty with different faces and multiple points of articulation.  A very nice posable figure.  This is a very small sized Revoltech though.
Back of the box.
Hello Kitty Stackers.  These are little Kitties that you can stack into a pyramid or some other geometrical shape.  One of many different stacking toys branded by many different anime.
A Gundam based stacking toy with little ACGuy mechs.  Grabbed this on sale earlier in the year.

That's all for now!


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Late Summer Japanese Snack Attack

Well, after the first order from Candysan arrived some months ago I placed a couple of new orders to them for various types of snacks and foods.  Well, my packages arrived and I'll share some pics of the various items contained within.  I haven't even been able to eat my way through half of this yet, but they stay good for awhile.  Don't forget to eat your fruits and veggies!  I'm not heading to Japan anytime soon, and the types of products I order I cannot buy at the local Asian supermarkets.  The prices after shipping are similar or sometimes cheaper than buying the imported products in Canada.  I've also mixed a few items in that I found locally.
Big box of food.
Big box of food 2.
Box of food emptied out.
Box of food 2emptied out.
This is Nissin Chicken Ramen. I blogged about this previously here.  It is very tasty and very popular in Japan.
Thin potato sticks.  One is plain and one is chicken ramen flavour.  The chicken ramen one needed more seasoning as the taste was too subtle. I was hoping for more of the original Chicken Ramen flavour to come through.
These are Lays, Chinese Roast Pork flavour, brough back from China for me.  They taste like Chinese side meat with a nice hit of 5 spice.
These are Calbee Jagabee potato sticks.  They are like the crunchy fries you get sometimes when a french fry has been fried too long, but they are not crunchy hard.  These are the butter flavour and they are delicious!  The regular flavour is not quite as good.
Soy sauces flavoured Pretz.  Nice hit of soy sauce flavour with a crispy sharp crunch make it very snackable.
Sesame oil flavoured Nissin instant ramen out of Hong Kong.  Very tasty with lots of toppings included like egg, naruto, corn, green onions.
A shot of regular sized cup noodle, regular sized bowl noodle and the Sesame Nissin ramen for scale comparison.
This is a very tasty, type of instant coffee by UCC imported from Taiwan.
Deep fried beans.  They are a soft crunch, savory and sweet at the same time.
A kind of taffy-like ramune flavoured chewy candy.
Ramune flavour chewy candies with multiple layers to each candy ball.
Miso vegetable soup by Amano Foods.  Dehydrated and you just add hot water.  It is a high quality product that tastes quite good.
Miso soup with eggplant.  Just add hot water again.
Melon flavoured candy.  Very yummy.
Ramune flavoured gumballs.  I like ramune, and it is a popular Japanese summer flavour.
Pokemon candy balls that are shaped like pokeballs.  Look out for the shocker flavour!  Grape and cola flavours.
Pokemon gummies.
Instanr curry rice.  Add water and nuke for 5 minutes or less depending on your microwave.
Takoyaki flavoured corn puffs.
Slightly minty blackberry and citrus candies.
Chicken flavoured  mini-chips that are like Pringles.  Quite tasty and you get the spices that go into chicken seasoning.
Shrimp flavoured rice crackers.  I thought these were chips at first, but they are actually thin rice crackers.
Canned coffeee!!!! Put in fridge and drink when it is hot outside.
More canned coffee from a local Korean market.  About a buck for a little tin.
Curry cup noodle.
Regular soy flavoured cup noodle.  These are good as they have big dehydrated shrimp inside.
These Kaneeza crackers are very good.  These ones are lobster flavoured and go great with beer.  The cracker is very firm, has a great crunchy breaking point and also combines a cheese flavour.  Definitely good.
Finally, for a wrap-up, I was gifted with some Pretz from China.  They have some pretty good flavours there.  They also come in these nice gift packs.
These are Peking Duck and Shark Fin Soup flavours (no duck or shark, but the seasonings for these dishes).

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

Funny Airline Safety Videos and Custom Airliner Paint Jobs

This post isn't exactly about Japan, but is related to the process of getting there in the air, unless you're going by container ship or taking a really long swim.  Flying to your destination doesn't seem to be getting any more fun, unless you're going first class with a lucky upgrade or paying big bucks.  Some of the airlines are trying to make things a little more interesting and a little more fun, though.  Sit back and have a look at some funny safety videos, humorous clips, and some nifty paint jobs to make flying more fun.


Funny Airline Safety Videos
Here is a selection of funny safety videos you can watch without boarding an aircraft, but pay attention as it can save your life!

A Hobbit themed safety video from Air New Zealand.  They have been the airline to Middle-Earth for awhile.

Delta has a funny video to make you pay attention.  Look for the tribbles.

Bear Grylls teaches you airplane safety from the woods.

Cool April Fools Jokes from Westjet
Westjet has had some funny videos for April Fools.  My favorite is the child free cabin.

Child Free Cabin

Pets are now allowed in the cabin!

Awesome Airliner Paint Jobs
It seems like Japan and Taiwan have the lock on cool anime paint jobs for a few of their airlines.  Would always be more fun to fly in one of these.  The Eva Air is even themed on the inside with Hello Kitty food and accessories.

ANA Pokemon Airliners

Eva Air Hello Kitty Planes

Inside a Hello Kitty Plane

Westjet has a beautiful Disney plane with Wizard Mickey


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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August 2014 Special Events in Tokyo for Lawson, Final Fantasy, Doraemon, Pokemon, and Godzilla

This is another year where I kind of wish I was in Tokyo for the last half of August.  A few years ago I missed that awesome Tokusatsu Exhibit which probably hurts the most.  Anyhow, this August there are a few special anime related exhibitions / events going on.  Not all of them run for all of August but a few do.

6.6 meter high Godzilla Bust at Tokyo Midtown.  Image via Creative Commons license from Yusuke Umezawa.
Godzilla Meets Tokyo Midtown
On the back lawn over at this office / mall Tokyo Midtown complex is a 1/7 scale Godzilla that is (6.6 meters high) emerging from the grass.  It is a pretty impressive statue with tail and giant footprints.  There is a light show where it's spines glow and it breathes smoke every night.  The statue will be at the complex until August 21 to celebrate the release of the new movie in Japan.
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/events/2014/07/18/things-to-do/culture-entertainment-things-to-do/godzilla-midtown/#.U-E10mNMGCh

Final Fantasy Eorzea Cafe
At the Pasela Resorts Entertainment Complex in Akihabara, a Final Fantasy XIV Cafe is being run for August.  I blogged about the Honey Toast Cafe previously here.  You'll be able to dine on Final Fantasy themed food surrounded by props and other exhibits. 

Akihabara Attractions Guide

Hit the links for Photos.
https://www.radiokaikan.jp/press/?p=107414
http://venturebeat.com/2014/08/01/final-fantasy-xiv-promotion-goes-into-overdrive-cafe-festivals-and-two-new-player-grabbing-gambits/
http://kotaku.com/tokyos-new-final-fantasy-cafe-is-beautiful-1613179423/+brianashcraft

Pokemon the Movie Exhibit
This is taking place at the Roppongi Hills Sky Deck in the Mori Tower from July 19 to August 31.  There is an entrance fee, but the exhibit looks fairly interesting if you're into Pokemon.  The exhibit celebrates the release of the latest movie, Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction.  A cafe of some sort is also onsite where you can order pikachu themed food and desserts. 
http://amiamiblog.com/amiamiblog/2014/7/25/pokemon

Also, there is some kind of Pikachu festival running for part of the month down in Yokohama.
http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/07/29/pikachus-overrunning-yokohama-in-the-cutest-rodent-invasion-ever-%E3%80%90video%E3%80%91/

Doraemon Overrun Roppongi Hills
Also at Roppongi Hills is a celebration of Doraemon which has like 60 larger than life Ding Dongs in a mass display on the grounds until August 24.
 http://www.kirainet.com/english/66-doraemon-statues/

Attack on Titan Promotion at Lawson Convenience Stores
This isn't an exhibit, but an event that will be running at various Lawson konbini where special food and merchandise with an Attack on Titan them will be available.  Everything from pencil boards, figures, desserts, to cup noodles will available (not every store will have everything in all probability).  This runs through August.  Hit the link to see all the merchandise.
http://en.rocketnews24.com/2014/07/29/titans-attack-lawson-convenience-stores-bring-tons-of-anime-goodies-with-them/

Happy visiting!

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