Radar Screen

Back to Contents of Issue: March 2002

CoolJapanese Toys, Kids Web Japan ...,

CoolJapanese Toys, www.cooljapanesetoys.com
After reading the 'Robots R Us' feature in last month's issue, it seems like the world has forgotten about the action figures and robot toys which started it all. While high-tech Aibo and his pals take the limelight, there is still a legion of followers who crave low-tech robots of the plastic and rubbery kind.

Since 1997, CoolJapaneseToys has offered the latest news, gossip and pictures to satisfy any toy enthusiast. At the site, users can exchange information and opinions on the value of items, or read up on the latest characters and their scheduled appearances onscreen.

For a site such as CoolJapaneseToys, its ultimate purpose is to help those looking for vintage or hard-to-find items through its toy shop and toy database. Remember the super-cool 'Gundam' or the egg-headed 'Ultraman' you used to buzz round the schoolyard? Or perhaps the scaly green 'Godzilla' that got under everyone's feet? Now you know where to go to relive those Wonder Years.

Kids Web Japan, http://jin.jcic.or.jp/kidsweb/index.html
Kids Web Japan is a site devoted to a little cultural sharing. Managed by the Japan Center for Intercultural Communications, it introduces Japan to schoolchildren age 10 to 14 in the hope of deepening their understanding. What sets this site apart from the numerous similar offerings is its multilingual kid-friendly interface, cute, typically Japanese graphics and interactive learning.

For example, there are a number of virtual Japanese culture pages which use Shockwave graphics to teach ikebana, shape a bonsai tree, or try a spot of judo amongst other activities. Pulling off the osotogari leg sweep on a computer opponent with the strategic click of a mouse button is surprisingly entertaining. From folk legends to cooking and simple greetings, Kids Web Japan is full of interesting facts and a great way for children to enjoy Japanese culture without setting foot on these shores.

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