55 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Location: 5-217
Time: 3:00 - 4:30 PM

TOYS AS MEDIA: Bandai, Giant Robots, and Future Entertainment

A Cool Japan Panel Discussion

Katsuhiro Izumi, BANDAI, Chief Product Designer
Adam Newman, BANDAI, International Business Strategy
Ian Condry, MIT, Foreign Languages and Literatures/CMS

Bandai, one of Japan’s leading toy companies, faces challenges as an entertainment business in the midst of transition: China is now the center of manufacturing; Japan’s low birthrate means fewer children nationally; and overseas markets prove complex. Nevertheless, Bandai has been successful creating toys from Japan’s character businesses – animation, TV heroes, comic books – aimed at both children and adults. Ian Condry will discuss giant robot Gundam toys and their pivotal role in anime history; Katsuhiro Izumi will describe product design for the “expensive toys” market; and Adam Newman will comment on Bandai’s international strategies. In contrast to the variety of digital media now dominating headlines, this panel will examine toys, a media form that still depends on the physical package – its tangibility, sociability, and appeal.

Free and open to the public.

The Cool Japan research project explores the cultural connections, dangerous distortions, and critical potential of popular culture.

Sponsored by MIT Japan Program, Harvard’s E. O. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, the Harvard Asia Center, MIT Foreign Languages and Literatures, and Comparative Media Studies.

Official Website: http://web.mit.edu/fll/www/news/

Added by girl on October 24, 2006

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