A List of the Most Famous Asian Toys to Make it in the West


Nobody in either place can argue that often times American culture and Asian culture as a whole are very different, often time's worlds apart in their likes and dislikes. However, it is when something makes it big in both cultures that something is either really cool, or very, very strange and bizarre. Some of the more normal things that are popular in both cultures are traditional Chinese kites and Chinese fans, which many people bring home as souvenirs after a trip to China and have largely been adopted as fairly common place in America and western society as a whole. Also popular in both cultures is karaoke, which of course many people do as a hobby and was created in the small island nation of Japan where it is perhaps even more popular than in America. However, the more interesting imports from Asia that are famous and popular in both places are the things that nobody seems to fully understand, where something is lost in translation.

One of these things that certainly was previously popular but did not make much sense to the average Westerner was the Pokemon. These creatures were part of an all out media assault and there were all kinds of Pokemon related things everywhere for a time in the late nineties and early 2000s. The bizarre little animals known as Pokemon often started out as cute little things, then changed, or evolved in the language of the kids who played it, into scary fire breathing monsters who performed all kinds of strange attacks on each other. There allegedly was some kind of game that went with these cards where the creatures would attack each other and do all kinds of things but nobody really seemed to know how to play it. Soon into their American invasion though these little cards became almost a religion and black markets appeared at recess times across the nation where they would be swapped amongst gaggles of elementary school aged kids, of course demonstrating the strength of the free market system.

Also popular at one point where these little toy things called Tamagachi pets. These were not really pets of course, because that would be far too simple, but were stored on a hand held Game Boy type thing and were just a big blob on the screen. Apparently the goal was to take care of your blob, feed it and take it outside and force it to exercise, so that it did not become too large a blob and die from being out of shape and smelly. Once your Tamagachi pet died it seems that things just started all over again in a rather pointless cycle. Of course because this was not manly enough later there were Tamagachi fighters that you were supposed to train and battle with your friends, but the shoddily made little things did not fit together like they were supposed to for the fights to actually happen. Not only did they encourage slacking off of school work and only working out, the only activity the fighters could perform, but they did not even do that right, excellent work toy company.

Finally, one more thing popular in both Asian culture and Western culture was the beanie baby. These little bean filled babies became a craze all over the world and had parents running all over their state trying to get their kid the latest one.

American and Asian cultures are vastly dissimilar but it can be great, and truly mystifying and bizarre, when something is popular in both.

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