christmas presents for children in japan 2021
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Best 2021 Christmas Gifts for Children in Japan

Halloween is over, the leaves are changing color, and it’s getting colder, which can only mean it’s that time of year again — the holiday season!

If you’re wondering what are popular gifts for children in Japan for 2021, you’ve come to the right place. I like shopping, maybe too much (my daughter thinks staying home with me instead of going to daycare means we’re going shopping… I’ve created a monster!), and while thinking about what to get my daughter, I started wondering what were popular gifts for kids this year in Japan. In North America, there are always news segments and articles about the “hottest toys for Christmas”, so perhaps there would be something similar in Japan as well?

Sure enough, after a quick Google search, I found a Japanese article on the PR TIMES that shares the results of a poll given to retailers asking which toys they think will be popular Christmas gifts in 2021. I didn’t know what most of these toys were by just looking at the name, so I looked them up on Amazon Japan and the results were quite interesting — some of the toys even seem like something grown-ups would like to have as well! (No, not me of course, no no… I don’t buy cute toys for my daughter because I secretly like them…)

Here is a look at the best toys for the Christmas season and my humble opinion about them. Note that I’m not a toy expert and I never got whatever was the hottest toy for Christmas when I was growing up!

🎁🎄2021 Ranking of the Hottest Toys in Japan for Christmas🎄🎁

 

Developmental Toys for Toddlers

 

First Place: ピッ!と注文 サッとお届け! アンパンマンの宅配便

Recommended Age Range: 3-5 years

As you probably know, Anpanman is a Japanese cartoon character that is hugely popular with children in Japan. Even my daughter was obsessed with him, despite having never seen the show. (As far as I know.)

With the pandemic and everyone turning more to online shopping, perhaps it’s no surprise that the first place prize for developmental toys for toddlers went to this Anpanman delivery truck, complete with all the boxes and products as well as a machine with a touch screen that lets your little one scan items and credit cards. I feel like this is something my 2-year-old would really enjoy, especially since she loves a toy scanner and credit card machine I got her from Daiso.

Second Place: トミカ くみかえアクション!キャリアカー&カーゴジェットセット


Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up 

This looks like a really fun toy that’s perfect for little ones who enjoy pretending to be a mechanic or enjoy fixing or putting together things. The airplane contains the truck and children can use the toy drill to take the truck out and put it, as well as the airplane, together.

My daughter loves to pretend to work on the wheels of her Anpanman car so I think she would like this but at the moment I can see her losing the screws. Maybe by the time she’s three she’ll be better at storing small things?

Third Place: きかんしゃトーマス ころころアドベンチャー

Recommended Age Range: 2 to 6 years

This Thomas the Tank Engine toy has eight different switches that help your little one move Thomas around in various ways. The great thing about this toy is that as your child gets older, they’re able to use the toy in new and advanced ways so it’s something that they will likely not get bored with.

My daughter loves Thomas so I believe this would be a fun gift for her that would help develop her imagination, coordination, and critical thinking skills.

Other Runner-ups

くるんとポン!おしゃべりフレーバー♪アンパンマンのソフトクリームやさん

Recommended Age Range: 3 to 6 years

With this cute toy ice cream maker, your child can choose from five different kinds of flavors featuring Anpanman characters. There are two different modes: the first one allows your child to make their own ice cream while the other has your child make the ice cream that Anpanman orders.

アンパンマン 光でひけちゃう!育脳キーボード

Recommended Age Range: 3 to 6 years

This Anpanman keyboard has three steps to help your child learn how to play a song on their own. First, it plays the song so they can listen. Next, there’s an easy lesson for them so they can understand the rhythm. Lastly, it’s time for them to play by pressing the keys that light up. There are 14 songs that include Anpanman songs, Japanese songs for children, and some popular English tunes such as Jingle Bells. You can also change the sound from that of a piano to a trumpet, violin, or bell.

My husband said this is his favorite toy out of all the ones in this category and wants to get it for our daughter. We’re thinking of putting her in piano lessons but want to see if she has any interest, and since she loves Anpanman, this would be a great way to find out.

パウ・パトロール パウっと出動!パウパトローラー

 

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

Like many children, my daughter loves Paw Patrol and would likely be delighted to get this Paw Patroller toy. The Paw Patroller can be opened to reveal a ramp that the Paw Patrol cars can race down. (I believe that the cars are sold separately.)

たっぷりキーでカタカタ楽しい!アンパンマンおしゃべりパソコン

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up 

This is a perfect gift for little ones interested in technology or are always trying to go on your laptop. They can learn about numbers, greetings, colors, and music through short stories, music, and games.

光る!まわる!カラフルライトできみはスター!おうちでアンパンマンカラオケ

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

If your little one likes to sing, then they’ll probably love this karaoke machine. It comes with not only two mics but one of them lights up, giving the room the feel of actual karaoke! There are also 15 songs that your child can sing.

As my daughter really enjoys singing and Anpanman, she would be thrilled with this karaoke machine!

Educational Toys for Toddlers and Children

 

First Place:  カメラもIN!マウスできせかえ!すみっコぐらしパソコン プレミアムプラス

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

This toy laptop is perfect for any Sumikko Gurashi fan. It is filled with 110 applications and 183 different things to do that involve programming, mathematics, English, writing, games, music, and more.

Second Place: アンパンマン にほんご えいご 二語文も!あそぼう!しゃべろう!ことばずかんPremium

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

This is something that I had considered getting my daughter for her second birthday (yes, even though the recommended age range is from 3 and up). It’s an electronic book that allows children to learn different words in both English and Japanese by touching an object on the page with a pen (there’s a total of 2800 words!). It seems really fun and educational, and from what I’ve seen it goes on sale on Amazon Japan quite often.

Third Place: ポケモン ピカッとアカデミー マウスでゲットパソコン

Recommended Age: 4 years and up

For a Pokemon-loving young child, this might just be the perfect gift. Similar to the other laptops introduced in this article, children can learn various things such as how to use a computer, basic programming, mathematics, and English. And since this is a Pokemon laptop, they can also play Pokemon-themed games and capture Pokemon as well.

Other Runner-ups

すみっコぐらし もっと遊んで学べちゃう!すみっコパッド

Recommended Age Range: 5 years and up

This Sumikko Gurashi tablet allows children to learn kanji from grades 1 to 6, mathematics, five different foreign languages (English, German, Korean, Chinese and French), science, and basic programming. There are Sumikko Gurashi-themed games for your child to enjoy as well!

小学館の図鑑NEOPadDX

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

If your child devours books, the NEOPadDX is a great alternative to buying hardcopies that take up space or taking out books from the library as it’s packed with books, games, and a camera. I can see this being very useful for keeping little ones entertained during long trips, too!

鬼滅の刃 全集中パッド

Recommended Age Range: 5 years and up

This Kimetsu no Yaiba tablet comes in two colors/characters — green (Tanjiro) and pink (Nezuko). Children can learn kanji, basic programming, English, music, they can play games, use the camera to take pictures and then decorate it, and much more.

ころがスイッチドラえもん  DXキット-スーパー空気砲スイッチ-

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

If you’re looking for something to promote your child’s critical thinking and they’re a fan of Doraemon, this toy is a great option. Children build a course using switches but need to think carefully about how to do it for the ball to successfully make it to the goal. There’s some trial and error involved, but you can’t learn without making a few mistakes!

ピタゴラスBASIC 知育いっぱい!ボールコースターDX/

Recommended Age Range: 1.5 to 6 years

This is another toy I was considering getting my daughter. It allows children to be creative and also hone their motor and critical thinking skills by using magnetic shapes to build various paths for a ball to go through. The magnets also seem a bit easier to use than Legos.

 

Children’s Television and Cartoon Characters

 

First Place:  変身ベルトDXリバイスドライバー

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

Kamen Rider is one of the most (if not the most) popular superheroes for Japanese boys, so it’s no wonder that this henshin or transformation belt made it to the top of the list in this category. This belt in particular is a special set celebrating 50 years of Kamen Rider, which may make it a collectible someday!

Second Place: ポケモン図鑑 スマホロトム+(プラス)

Recommended Age Range: 4 years and up

If your child wants your smartphone all the time, maybe give them this one. It’s not exactly a smartphone but it sure looks like one and allows them to play fun Pokemon games on it, like going on missions, battling, capturing Pokemon, and taking pictures. Similar to Pokemon Go, it encourages kids to be active. Children have to move their bodies in order to do certain things such as dodge, jump, turn, and balance.

I can see this being quite fun for adults, too!

Third Place: すみっコぐらし すみっコスマートウォッチ

Recommended Age Range: 5 years and up

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that they have smartwatches for kids now, especially a Sumikko Gurashi one. This smartwatch can take pictures (which kids can decorate), record videos, count footsteps, tell fortunes (?), and allow kids to play games. Similar to Pokemon Go, kids can also walk around and look for Sumikko Gurashi.

Other Runner-ups

ドラえもん 空とぶドラえもん

Recommended Age Range: 10 years and up

If your child likes Doraemon, then they might enjoy this remote-controlled flying Doraemon toy. (It reminds me a bit of Sky Dancers from back in the 90s, which were recalled for injuring children but … surely this is safe…?)

鬼滅の刃POD

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

This Kimetsu no Yaiba POD is like a mini-smartphone that is packed with 40 different applications. Kids can take photos with the characters, play games, and learn subjects like math and English. As it’s quite small, it’s very portable and easy to take anywhere! (Just hope that they don’t lose it…!)

新幹線変形ロボ シンカリオンZ シンカリオンZ ドクターイエロー

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

I had to ask my husband if he’s seen this before because I thought it was pretty fun — a shinkansen that turns into a giant fighting robot! Honestly, I don’t understand these things very much so I turned to my mecca-loving husband who provided me with this comment: “Cool. I like it!”

He also pointed out that if you buy the E5 Hayabusa shinkansen robot, you can join the two to create one massive robot.

鬼滅の刃 DX日輪刀 ~煉獄杏寿郎~

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

Considering the popularity of the Kimetsu no Yaiba movie, it’s a given that Rengoku’s sword would be a hot toy this season. This one lights up, makes sounds and “speaks” like Rengoku, and has different play modes.

PUI PUI モルカー はしる! ポテト/シロモ/テディ

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

I’ve seen this on Netflix but I’m fairly confused by the entire thing and my child is not a fan. However, if your little one likes this show, then getting them one of these figures, complete with a road map they can drive along, is bound to bring a smile to their face.

 

Dolls and Toys for Playing House

 

First Place:  ゆめいろリカちゃん カラフルチェンジ

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

Rika-chan (Licca-chan) is the Japanese equivalent to Barbie, but much more “kawaii” (of course), with a round face and large eyes. This particular Rika-chan doll allows kids to change the color of her hair. It kind of reminds me of Hollywood Hair Barbie from the 90s!

Second Place: わんにゃんレントゲン! リカちゃん動物病院

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

This is another Rika-chan toy, but this time it’s an accessory for a veterinary clinic. (The Rika-chan doll is sold separately.) There are a lot of small pieces so it’s probably not the best toy for toddlers but older kids will likely have tons of fun “examining” all the pets.

Third Place: シルバニアファミリー 赤い屋根の大きなお家


Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

Other Runner-ups

Sylvania Family is hugely popular in Japan, especially considering the utter cuteness of the tiny woodland characters. There are smaller houses but this one has more than enough room for a large Sylvania Family to reside (and your child to play).

シルバニアファミリー お城のゆめいろゆうえんち

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

Staying in a house all day can be boring for your child’s Sylvania Family dolls, so how about you treat them to some time at an amusement park? I love how colorful everything is!

シルバニアファミリー おしゃれにスタイリング!ビューティーヘアサロン

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

This beauty salon is the perfect place for Sylvania Family dolls to be pampered and get some much-needed TLC.

すみっコぐらし キッチンセット

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

If your child enjoys pretending to cook, then this little Sumikko Gurashi-themed kitchen set might just be the perfect present for them. It’s small so it doesn’t take up very much room but is made of wood so it’s sturdy.

だっこしてネルン シリーズ

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

This doll is perfect for kids who want a little baby animal to take care of and tuck in at night. The doll can laugh, yawn, close its eyes and then fall asleep, so it’s quite life-like. My daughter would absolutely love this!

ポケットメルちゃん ドール メルちゃん

Recommended Age Range: 3 to 8 years

Meru-chan is a popular doll in Japan and the perfect one to introduce your child to if they’re interested in pretending to take care of a baby. It also comes with a hairbrush, and as my daughter is obsessed with brushing my hair, I think she would enjoy this doll quite a lot!

 

Arts and Crafts

 

First Place:  ラブネイル ネイルスタンパー すみっコぐらしDXセット

Recommended Age Range: 8 years and up

Okay, will this fit giant adult fingers because it’s super cute?! This little device stamps adorable Sumikko Gurashi designs onto your child’s nails. There are six different kinds of stamps and kids can do their nails around 120 times. So if your child whines like mine does when they see your (or Mom’s) nails from the salon and wants their own manicure, then get them this.

Second Place: フェルティミシン 鬼滅の刃

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

This item is perfect for children who enjoy creating things and are interested in sewing. They can make seven different Kimetsu no Yaiba-themed items, such as a pouch or hair accessories, using the enclosed felt. It’s also safe for kids as there’s a cover over the needle. There are additional sets for sale as well if your child wants to make more things.

Third Place: マスクにプリント!マスクック

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

This is a fun toy that allows kids to decorate their masks with different stickers and patterns. I wonder if adult-sized masks would work too…?

Other Runner-ups

アクアビーズ DX キャリーバッグ

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

Kids can create different images and patterns using the aqua beads in this set, and then seal the beads together using only water! Much safer than the ironing method. It comes with a whopping 3200 beads in 48 different colors!

アクアビーズ すみっコぐらし スペシャルセット

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

This is similar to the previously mentioned aqua beads set, except it’s Sumikko Gurashi-themed!

パーラービーズ ポケットモンスター クリスタルケースセット

Recommended Age Range: 5 years and up

Unlike the previous two bead art sets in this list, this Pokemon-themed set requires an iron to fuse the beads together. It is cheaper, though!

リカちゃん パシャッとめちゃばえ メイクパクト

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

This is an adorable, compact-sized Rika-chan toy that allows kids to take pictures of themselves and decorate it with makeup, stickers, frames, etc. They can also play different games.

ねじハピ すみっコぐらし メガDIYセット

Recommended Age Range: 6 to 12 years

Kids who enjoy building and decorating things will likely have a lot of fun with Sumikko Gurashi house. It comes with a toy drill that kids can use to put the house together, and then they can decorate the house using the paint roller.

 

Vehicles and Animals

 

First Place:  トミカ ぐるっと変形!DXポリスステーション

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

This looks like a fun toy for kids who like cars, especially police cars. It seems like this police station can change from a boring old station to a super cool blue one when the cars need to be dispatched. The toy also has 50 different sounds and voices.

Second Place: プラレール 人気のあそびがギュッ!プラレールベストセレクションセット

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

Kids in Japan love trains so it’s no surprise a toy train would make it into the top three of this category. This one allows kids to make various kinds of layouts and is stated by the manufacturer as being the ideal first train set for kids.

Third Place: ココさかだちして

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

If your child is always asking for a dog, perhaps you can compromise by getting them one of these by Sega? Coco follows 24 different commands and is able to do things such as sing, dance, sleep, walk, and… do a handstand? I could see my daughter having fun with this. (But for how long is the question…)

Other Runner-ups

いっしょにワントレ1・2・3!ミニチュアシュナウザー

Recommended Age Range: 10 years and up

This is another toy dog that follows commands, but unlike the Sega one, which responds to voices, this one responds to clapping. It can also only do three things, which may be why Coco made it into the top three and this one didn’t.

アニア どうぶつあつまれ!ガチャっとコロコロツリー

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

Have a kid who always wants a capsule toy? Then this toy is perfect for them as it’s a capsule machine filled with jungle animals. After turning the knob, a capsule will roll down the tree and your child can have fun opening it up and seeing what animal is inside.

サウンド&ライト ニッサンパラメディック救急車

Recommended Age Range: 3 years and up

If your child likes ambulances, then this might be the toy for them! It comes with sound and LED lighting. The back door also opens and closes, so your child can put the stretcher with the patient inside.

1/12 R/C スプラッシュローバー

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

This remote-controlled car is so durable that your child can have it run through water and over rocky surfaces, so you don’t have to worry about it getting ruined easily! I imagine adults will enjoy playing with it, too.

Gドライブエコプラス ハマーH3

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

Similar to the previous remote-controlled car, this one is also waterproof and can drive through and over different surfaces. Apparently, it’s so durable that an adult can sit on top of it without it breaking. (Of course, you can’t actually ride on it!) It can also run for up to 200 minutes when it’s in power-saving mode.

 

Games and Puzzles

 

First Place:  大逆転人生ゲーム

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

Have you played LIFE? This is basically the same thing, but in Japanese and a twist!

Second Place: 桃太郎電鉄 ~昭和 平成 令和も定番!~ボードゲーム

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

This board game is based on a video game and is like a mix of Mario Party and Monopoly. Players build assets by buying companies, property, etc., and the wealthiest person wins. It takes quite a bit of time to play (about four hours) but according to my husband, it’s quite fun and we’re thinking about getting it for ourselves! (A probably can’t join us for a while, though.)

Third Place: マリオカート レーシング デラックス

Recommended Age Range: 5 years and up

This is a fun way for kids to play Mario Cart off the screen. Kids use buttons and levers to try to beat their opponents throughout the course.

Other Runner-ups

野球盤 3Dエース スタンダード

Recommended Age Range: 5 years and up

Baseball is huge in Japan and if your kid loves baseball as much as the rest of the nation does, this might just be the ideal gift for them. There are 9 different ways the ball can be pitched as well as both left-handed and right-handed batters.

ボンバランス

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

This is a game that’s similar to Jenga, except that you’re on a time limit. If the timer goes off before you’re able to successfully move a block, the timer will go off and the base of the tower will explode!

鬼滅の刃 禰豆子危機一発

Recommended Age Range: 4 years and up 

I remember playing this game a lot, but with a pirate instead of Nezuko. To be honest, I don’t know how I feel about having my child stab Nezuko until she pops out of the barrel but to each their own. Also, wouldn’t it make more sense for her to be in the basket that Tanjiro carries? It wouldn’t have been that hard to change the color of the barrel to green but anyway…

ドミノランド 129ピース

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

Dominos are ageless and this colorful set with a tower makes it all the more fun.

ドンジャラ 鬼滅の刃2

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

Donjara is like a Japanese version of mahjong but for kids. This Kimetsu no Yaiba version has the characters on the tiles as well as the money.

 

Miscellaneous

 

First Place:  ぷにるんず

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

This is so cute! If your child wants a virtual pet, this would be a great gift. By putting their finger inside the toy, they can touch and interact in various ways with their little virtual pet. It comes in three different colors: purple, pink, and blue.

Second Place: Tamagotchi Smart

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

This is a huge upgrade from the Tamagochi I grew up with! For one, it’s wearable. Next, the screen and the Tamagotchi is in color. And the best thing is that you can interact with the Tamagochi, such as pet it, by touching the screen or talking to it.

Third Place: ∞プチプチAIR

Recommended Age Range: 8 years and up

This toy is perfect for those who love popping bubble wrap as it allows them to pop it over and over and over again. And it’s something that isn’t only limited to kids!

Other Runner-ups

トーキングフィギュア IT’SーA ME,MARIO!

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

As the name suggests, this is a talking Mario toy that says different phrases if you move his hands or legs, or press the M on his hat.

ナノブロック 東京駅丸の内駅舎 デラックスエディション

Recommended Age Range: 12 years and up

This Nanoblock set of Tokyo Station is another gift idea for those who like to build things. It’s incredibly detailed with 3130 pieces and I imagine a welcome challenge for those who like Nanoblocks.

Homestar(ホームスター)

Recommended Age Range: 15 years and up

This planetarium really caught my eye. It projects 60,000 stars, of which 10,000 are supposed to seem more realistic by twinkling, as well as meteors and the Milky Way. There are also sounds of nature, such as the sea and river. As my daughter really likes space, I feel like she would like watching this with me.

縦横無尽!ガンガンタンク レーザーバトルセット

 

Recommended Age Range: 6 years and up

This is a set of remote-controlled tanks, so it’s a great way to play alongside your child. The tanks also have lasers on them, because how else can you battle each other? (Not to mention everything is much better with lasers.)

LaQ マスター 青龍

Recommended Age Range: 10 years and up

If your child enjoys puzzles and building play models, they might enjoy being challenged when it comes to putting together this dragon/robot.


 Is there anything on the list you’re interested in for your child or even for yourself? Or perhaps something that surprised you? Let me know in the comments!

If you’re interested in browsing other Christmas gifts in Japan according to age, check out this page on Amazon Japan.

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