Because players don't have to use their hands to play, the concept opens up all sorts of possibilities, Hayakawa said. For instance, it can be enjoyed by people with disabilities, and products like radio-controlled cars operated by brain waves could be developed in the future.
Ryo Kawai of Tenyo's sales department said the first version of the Jigazo Puzzle has been a big hit, with about 100,000 units sold since November. While the concept of custom-made puzzles has been around for a long time, the Jigazo Puzzle is "a new concept . . . people can do it even through a cell phone," Kawai said.
Meanwhile, the Japan Toy Association reported earlier this week that domestic toy sales came to ¥649.4 billion in fiscal 2009, down a mere 0.9 percent from the previous year, indicating the toy market remains firm. Ahead of the toy show, the association also announced this year's awards in seven categories — boys, girls, educational, character-driven, innovative, "high target" for adults, and universal.
The show will be open to the public on Saturday and Sunday. (The Japan Times)