Tokyo Toy Show 1994
On June 4th and June 5th, the Tokyo Toy Show was open to the public, and was held in the large convention center in Makuhari Messe. There were around 170 exhibitors, made up of big toy companies (as Bandai, Tomy, Takara), computer game companies (as NEC, Sega, Konami, SNK), and other smaller companies. The doors opened at 9:00 and closed at 17:00. [I didn't stay until the end, so I don't know for sure.] This show was to show off the new toys and goods that these companies were going to put out (and also the current line of goods).
There were three large event stages where they ran many different kinds of shows.
On June 4th:
On June 5th:
Also several of the large companies had set up stages in their own booths and held some special events. On June 4th, Sega had Kasahara Hiroko. On June 5th, Sega had Hayashibara Megumi and CLAMP, Kadokawa had Shiina Hekiru, NEC had Inoue Kikuko, Araki Kae, and Shiina Hekiru, Konami had Kouda Mariko.
Since Inoue Kikuko was going to be at NEC for the new game Startling Odyssey II, we (some of the members of the osakana ML) decided to go to the Tokyo Toy Show. Although Kikuko's event was scheduled to start at 14:00, we wanted to be there when the doors opened, as we expected that it was going to be very crowded. So we set up to meet in Tokyo Station at 7:00, because there was an express train that left at 7:11. Everyone managed to show up on time, except for one person, and we headed toward Makuhari (about 30 minutes by express).
Mr. I (of u-tokyo.ac.jp) had printed out some badges for the osakana ML, so we all wore name badges on the train. The badges had our name, mail address, Inoue Kikuko's name, and the osakana ML name on it. Since the train was mostly full of people going to the toy show anyway, we didn't stand out too much. As usual there was a minor exchange of videos, tapes, pictures, etc. (^_^;)
We arrived at Makuhari Messe before 8:00, and we went to line up. We were shocked to see that there were already thousands of people! We thought that our chances of seeing Inoue Kikuko were gone. The line started moving as it got closer to 9:00, but it moved very slowly. By the time we got close enough to see the entrance, there were people holding up signs saying that Hayashibara Megumi and CLAMP tickets were all gone. I think we finally got in at around 9:20. We ran to the NEC booth (in section 2) and went to get the questionnaires, which were numbered and acted as tickets. I got number 208. (;_;)
Only the first 100 were allowed to see the event. I found out later that the first 100 tickets had been passed out in less than 5 minutes.
We were all pretty disappointed, and when we went off to an open space to rest, we saw some other people from some Internet MLs. Some of them had gotten numbers below 100.
Since we didn't have anything to do until Inoue Kikuko's event, we decided to split up and go look around. We were all going to meet at 12:00 again.
There was some event with Okamoto Maya and Matsushita Miyuki (signing I think), but there were already too many people and we couldn't get numbers.
It was around 10:00. Some people went off right away. They probably knew where they wanted to go. Since the rest of us had never been to this Toy Show before, we didn't know where to go. Then Mr. Y (of teu.ac.jp) came back with a Marmalade Boy poster. Mr. K (of fujitsu.co.jp) came and said that he saw big Chacha at the Takara booth. [big Chacha = a girl who was dressed up as Chacha, the princess] So we just decided to walk around the entire show.
We rushed to Seika Note to find the Marmalade Boy poster. But there weren't any left. (;_;) They only had a Kaku Ranger poster, so I grabbed one of them. Then we walked toward section 3. We just looked around and didn't go into any of the booths.
+---------------------------------------------------------+ | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 | | | | KSS Amada Tomy | | Konami Kadokawa | | Namco | | Sega NEC Takara Bandai | | Pony C. | | | +---------------------------------------------------------+ Makuhari Messe Convention CenterWhen we got to section 4, we went to the huge Takara booth. I wanted to see Chacha. There were lots of Chacha, Bow, and other girls' toys. There was even a Bow show (someone in a Bow costume - Bow is a dog). But big Chacha wasn't there. (;_;) Then at the main table they were passing out a stack of pamphlets. So we lined up to get them. They had two different sets of stickers, one for boys and one for girls. The Takara person was going to give me the boys' stickers, but I asked for the girls' stickers. The boys' one has some robots and other uninteresting things. The girls' set had some Chacha stickers. (^_^;)
Right across from the Takara booth, there was a Pony Canyon booth, and they had signs of Montana Jones. We thought they might have some Inoue Kikuko stuff (as she sings the image song for Montana Jones, and she will have a new CD coming out 6/17). But we were disappointed as they didn't have anything.
Then we walked through sections 5 and 6. There wasn't anything interesting so we didn't go into any booths.
Section 7 was huge, and that's where Bandai was. Bandai had the largest booth. (Sega was second largest.) There was a huge line to get into the Banpresto part of the Bandai booth. They had some UFO catcher machines and other small events (drawings, games, etc) set up. We didn't want to wait in line, so we just went into the Bandai part. There were LOTS of Sailor Moon goods. Also LOTS of people (mostly little girls with their parents). They had displayed all of the Sailor Moon toys that were currently on sale (rod, compact, dolls, etc). They also had some dolls (plastic/rubber? that you build) that were going to be on sale soon. Mr. K took some pictures. (^_^)
There were also lots of Dragonball Z, Ultraman, etc toys in the Bandai booth. I got a shitajiki with a picture of all of the Ultraman dolls on it. (Very nice!) Then when we left the Bandai booth, we discovered that we had gone in from the exit. There was a large line of people waiting to go into the booth from the correct entrance.
Then we headed back on the north side. We didn't think that there was anything else left to see. But in section 6, Mr. T (of meidensha.co.jp) disappeared into one of the medium sized booths. We followed him and found out that it was Amada. They had lots of jigsaw puzzles for Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, Slam Dunk, etc. Also they had their PP cards on display. (Sailor Moon, Dragonball Z, GS Mikami, Slam Dunk, Shoot) They even had one bag of Chacha cards! The prism card of big Chacha (magical princess) was on display. Supposedly it will go on sale later in June.
After leaving Amada, there weren't any other booths of interest until sections 2 and 1. Since it was around 11 and we thought that the bento places would get crowded later, we decided to eat. The fried chicken bento was 800 yen.
Back in section 2, we saw that KSS has a small booth. Namco and Capcom had larger booths and there were lots of people looking at (and also playing) the new games. We didn't go into any of these booths.
In section 1, we saw the large Konami booth, which was completely full of people. It was impossible to go in. All of these people were just sitting/standing and waiting for the Kouda Mariko event, which was scheduled to start at 14:30. Konami was not passing out tickets, so the people had to wait for 5.5 hours. But there were several hundred people.
(Eventually this event got cancelled as the people there caused too much trouble.)
Next to the Konami booth was the Sega booth, which was larger than the Konami one. The Hayashibara Megumi event had started at 11:00, so it was very crowded. But Sega had roped off the area so people without tickets couldn't get in. I did catch a glimpse of the stage as we walked by. But it was too far to see or hear anything.
Then I heard someone say, "Doi-san!" and I turned to see Ito-san (yuki@...). He joined us as we returned to the NEC booth, which was next to the Sega booth. We went into the NEC booth once again, to check out the layout and decide on the strategy for the Inoue Kikuko event. At the event stage, there was some other event going on, and we saw the section roped off. The NEC people were pushing the people along who stopped to watch behind the ropes. But we noticed that it was possible to stand along the sides, by the Dragonball Z games, and get a decent view of the stage. So we decided that we should come back into the NEC booth later and wait along the sides. Then we left the NEC booth and went to the resting area on the south side of the NEC booth. This became our headquarters, as we just waited.
At around noon, the people who had gone off on their own had come back. We all just sat around and rested. Some people went off to see some of the nearby booths. In general the Toy Show was getting more crowded in the afternoon. It was also very hot.
I saw someone eating ice cream, so I rushed to buy some. I got in line in front of the ice cream freezer, but the person in front of me bought the last two ice cream cones! (;_;)
At the NEC booth, they started limiting the number of people who could get in, as it was getting very crowded. So people lined up just to get into the booth. There were many people who lined up, just because there was a line, even though they didn't know what they were lining up for.
+----------------------------+ | GS Mikami + DBZ| |3x3 Eyes + +---| | + + | |-----------+ + main| | + stage| | + | |----------+ +--------| |Sailor + | |Moon + | | + | |----------+ | | Ray Force +------| | + | |-----+ + | | + + | | Debut + +------| | stage + | +----------------------------+ NEC booth
Then I walked around the NEC booth and saw some cute girl singing a song for the game Debut. She wasn't one of the voice actresses. I think she was just an image girl or something. Then some AV girl came and they talked. Debut is one of those slightly ecchi games. But the voice actresses for the major characters are Kasahara Hiroko, Tominaga Miina, and Kanai Mika. The voice actresses for the minor characters are Shimamoto Sumi, Mitsuishi Kotono, Amano Yuri, Minaguchi Yuko, Hidaka Noriko, Kawamura Maria, and Sakuma Rei. I just ended up getting two posters of Debut.
I found out later that Sakurai Tomo (former Lemon Angel, currently the voice actress for Marin-chan in Chacha) was also there. But I couldn't recognize her anyway..
At the Technos Japan and Compile booths, they had small stages where they ran competitions and gave away prizes. There were big lines for those. At Sega, they had some of their large arcade games, but the lines were too long so I couldn't play them.
Then I returned to our headquarters and just waited. I heard from Mr. N (of sharp.co.jp) that the anime variety show had Kamiya Akira and Yajima Akiko. Damn, I missed it. (;_;)
At around 13:00, I went around to look again. It was like swimming in a sea of people. As I was going around the NEC booth, Mr. I (of kanagawa-u.ac.jp) came up and asked me if I had seen Mr. M (of toshiba.co.jp). Mr. M had an extra ticket for the Inoue Kikuko event! So we went to look for Mr. M. We found where he was resting, and I got the number 87 ticket!! \(^_^)/
Then I quickly filled out the questionnaire and handed it in at the NEC booth. They were going to have drawings for prizes with these questionnaires.
I returned to my friends and showed them the ticket. They were shocked. Then they all said that I had to write the event report..
Since it was getting closer to the time of the event, the other people who didn't have tickets all went to get into the NEC booth. Those with tickets had to line up at 13:30. So Mr. I [number 65], Mr. K (of yamaha.co.jp) [number 66], Mr. F (of titech.ac.jp) [number 97], Mr. M [number 96], and I [number 87] waited and then got in line in order.
Then several minutes before 14:00, they let the first 50 people into the NEC booth. A couple minutes later, the let the rest of us in. They had roped off the area in front of the stage, and the 100 people sat on the floor. We were crammed together very tightly, and we were only about 3 or 4 meters from the stage.
The report for the Startling Odyssey II event (featuring Inoue Kikuko) is available separately.
After the event (around 15:00), everyone was feeling a little dazed. Then we left the NEC booth to recover, as it was very crowded and very hot. Later we found out that Araki Kae and Shiina Hekiru were in the NEC booth for another game event. I wanted to see Araki Kae. If we had stayed in the NEC booth, we could have seen them. (;_;)
At 16:00 they posted the winners of the prizes (Inoue Kikuko prizes). We went to look at the list and saw number 210. We thought that one of us had won. But we had 208, 209, 211, and 212! 210 wasn't one of us!
Then we left the Tokyo Toy Show.
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