World Hobby Fair Winter 2015 Report
Yo-Kai Watch stage
The winter 2015 installment of Japan’s biggest kids-oriented game and hobby festival, the Next-Generation World Hobby Fair, was held at Chiba’s Makuhari Messe on January 24th and 25th.
One of the main attractions of the show was Yo-Kai Watch, a video game series that exploded in popularity last year. Numerous areas of the convention were dedicated to the game, including a special stage area and game demo section. The series’ huge popularity was reflected in the large numbers of children singing and dancing along to the series’ theme songs when performed live. Many exhibitors at the convention, including Bandai, Banpresto, Showa Note, and Ensky, had areas of their booths dedicated to Yo-Kai Watch toys and merchandise.
Nintendo’s Amiibo line of NFC-enabled toys designed to interact with the Wii U also kicked off another trend in games, with several exhibitors displaying similar toys. Bandai Namco Games presented a series of figures designed to work with Wii U title Kamen Rider Summonride; according to the booth representative, players can store their character’s progress on their figure and bring it to their friends’ houses or other locations to continue growing their own Rider.
Girl-oriented arcade games also made an impact at the convention. Aikatsu! (Bandai) and PriPara (Takara Tomy Arts) each had stage events that attracted large crowds, while Konami exhibited Otoka (Heart) Doll, due for official release this spring.
Banpresto’s Yo-Kai Watch crane game
Bandai’s Yo-Kai Pad
Bandai’s Yo-Kai Watch plastic model series
Bandai’s Jibanyan big plastic model
Bandai’s DX Yo-Kai Watch
Bandai’s Yo-Kai soft vinyl series
“Fujiko F. Fujio Characters Daishuugou! SF Dotabata Party” demos
“Fujiko F. Fujio Characters Daishuugou! SF Dotabata Party” limited edition merchandise
Bandai Namco Games’ Kamen Rider Summonride! demo area
Kamen Rider Summonride! figures containing NFC chips
Nintendo’s Pokemon battle corner
Banpresto’s Pokemon crane game Pikachu cushion
GungHo Online Entertainment’s Puzzle & Dragons Super Mario Bros. Edition booth
Bandai’s Aikatsu! Booth
Konami’s Otoka (Heart) Doll booth
Otoka (Heart) Doll gameplay
Bandai’s HGBF Beargguy F (Family)
Bandai’s HGBF Hi-v Gundam Vrabe
Nintendo’s Amiibo figures
Next-Generation World Hobby Fair Winter 2015