1 Japanese Pregnant Doll
In the 18th and 19th centuries, sideshow carnivals known as misemono were a popular form of entertainment for the sophisticated residents of Edo (present-day Tokyo). The sideshows featured a myriad of educational and entertaining attractions designed to evoke a sense of wonder and to satisfy a deep curiosity for the mysteries of life. One popular attraction was the pregnant doll.
Although it is commonly believed that these dolls were created primarily to teach midwives how to deliver babies, evidence suggests they were also used for entertaining purposes.
2Tuttuki Bako Poking Box
This new interactive toy from Japan involves sticking your finger in a hole on the side of the box to interact with a virtual environment.
Found at Geek Stuff 4 U for a little bit over $48.
3Japanese Popping Edamame Keychain
Edamame are baby soybeans, picked before they blossom into adulthood, and boiled. Edamame are also delicious and fun to pop out of their pods. But say you want the fun of popping edamame, but you're not very hungry. Oh, then we have the keychain for you! Each Japanese Popping Edamame Keychain has three beans. The end beans are small and immature. The middle beans, however, have one of 12 random faces printed on them. Why? We don't know, but there is nothing like the smile they put on your face. And the beans are connected to some sort of elastic band, so they pop back in to be popped out again as many times as you want. It sounds silly, but trust us, these things are highly addictive. They are also a great way to keep your fingers busy during boring meetings and your mood positive - because no one can frown when the edamame smiles.
4H-Bouya Erotic USB Toy
Here's the weirdest toy, designed by Cube in Japan: the H-Bouya! The 'H' used in the name may also mean ‘erotic' in Japanese ('H' is pronounced “eechi” = erotic). So you can say this is the Erotic Boy! H-bouya is plugged into a USB port, and each time the keyboard's ‘H' key is hit, it turns red and its eyes blink!
5Japanese Shaving Baby
OK, this one definitely tops the list for the most disturbing toy of all times! The super hairy ‘Shave the Baby' doll was created with added bushy tufts of bright orange hair protruding from her ankles, armpits, and most disturbingly, her pubic region, and was designed with the intention of giving the owner of the doll the pleasure of shaving it off.
NOTE: our reader Natalie Keierleber wrote to us explaining that this is not really a toy, but an art object created in 1995 by Zbigniew Libera, consisting of a set of ten matching dolls in ten matching cardboard boxes.
6Sega Robot Cat
This is “Yume-Neko Venus,” or “Dream Cat Venus.” This Japanese toy is equipped with touch sensors that let it engage in such real-life feline behavior as purring, moving its legs when you rub its belly, and sleeping a lot. It could be cute if it weren't so damn creepy.
7Obama Action Toy
Barack Obama supporters can buy action man figures of the new US President, wielding a samurai sword and a Star Wars lightsaber, thanks to Japanese firm Gamu-Toys. The dolls, which are 1/6 in scale and stand roughly 12in in height, come with interchangeable heads and hands. The weapons are not included as part of the package, leaving the way clear for fans of Barack Obama to accessorise the President as they see fit.
8Bandai Floating Micro Toys
Here's another toy straight from Japan that's a little baffling. The toy is meant to just hang out in bottled water and float around. No, there really isn't a point to it. It comes in various colors in the shapes of jellyfish, squids and octopuses. The Bandai micro toys are available in Japan for $6. Of course those outside Japan will have issues getting them, which I'm sure is heartbreaking news for many of you.
9Koibito Art Toy
This funky fella caught my eye. It's the Koibito, created by the artist Yoskay Yamamoto, a vinyl figurine based on a painting from his ‘In Another Land' exhibit. Standing at 7 inches in height, the figurine exhibits Yamamoto's cross-cultural approach, combining American pop art with elements of Japanese mysticism. A quirky hybrid of toy and art, Yamamoto's anthropomorphic fish figurine derives its name from a Japanese double entendre - with ‘koibito' translating into ‘loved one,' or ‘koi bito' traslating into ‘carp person.'
10The Kaba Kick
Kaba Kick is a Russian Roulette for kids, well in this case a Japanese Roulette. The player points the gun at his or her own head and pulls the trigger. Instead of bullets, a pair of feet kick out from the barrel (which is shaped like a pink hippo). If the gun doesn't fire, the player earns points. I would surely like my kids playing this healthy game.