Japan sees best toy sales in a decade thanks to Yo Kai Watch

The Japan Toy Association has revealed a nine per cent increase in toy sales for fiscal 2014, driven by sales of toys inspired by the hit video game franchise
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The Japanese toy market is celebrating its best sales in a decade for fiscal 2014, thanks to a surge in demand for the hit franchise Yo Kai Watch.

The Japan Toy Association has revealed that the annual size of the Japanese toy market reached 736.7 billion (Yen) in 2014, an increase of nine percent on the previous year.

The largest contributing factor to the increase, the group explained, has been from the demand for Yo Kai Watch, a hit videogame franchise.

“[The brand] has become a social phenomenon,” said Fumiaki Ibuki, a member of the Japan Toy Association. “Its toys sold explosively as core products.”

The association has revealed that sales of character toys for boys – based on the Yo Kai Watch series – have grown by 78.6 per cent, largely due to its popularity in the region.

A popular video game that debuted in 2013, Yo Kai Watch has seen related animated series, films and a manga prove popular across Japan.

Meanwhile, Disney’s Frozen has also helped push toy sales in the Japanese market, as well as higher sales in low-tech toy categories such as Kinetic Sand, reports the Japan Times.

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