Too Early for Halloween

red robot
Originally uploaded by macduff.

The last time I checked the calendar, which was about 5 minutes ago, there were still at least 30 days to go before 'trick or treat' time arrives in its full glory - at least in the US.

I really wonder how many kids will be dressed up in some type of robot or SF costume come Halloween evening. Here in Japan, the holiday isn't celebrated in the same way - it's just an excuse to put out different decorations, and have special themed sales at some of the stores and restaurants.

Of course robots are a popular topic of discussion here, but other than the major exhibits that catch all the press attention - like the recent Expo in Nagoya, there really isn't as much focus on robots in Japan as you might think.

Last year's best selling toy world-wide was the Robosapien, and it would have been reasonable to assume that the Japanese would buy a ton of them. Surprisingly, that didn't happen. The Robosapien did gather some attention, and was highly visibile in the toy and department stores, but it just didn't strike a chord with the Japanese public the way it did in the US and Europe.

Around our neighborhood, just outside of Tokyo, the kids, usually the boys, will pretend to be Gundam or some other robot-like character when they play. But I have yet to see any of them try to mimic a real 'robot' in the same way that seems to becoming popular in the US.


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