Tuesday, February 21, 2006

"Earthquake! Look out!"

Yes, it's another toy commercial! I can't get enough, and really -- who doesn't love toy commercials?

Each Cube World has a motion sensor and buttons that let you play with the stick person living in the cube. The really cool feature is that you can connect cubes and let the stick people interact with each other. Apparently, they can cross the Cube World boundaries by their own volition. Could have been a nice setup for teaching kids a wholesome message of world peace, if it weren't for the constant fighting (as featured in the commercial). I know I'm not kidding anyone, of course fighting is fun!

I bet that if you connect enough of these together, they'll develop a hive mind and start disobeying you and ultimately take over the world. Well, one can only hope.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Pixel Chix

I'm fascinated by toy commercials; they're happy and funny, and of course the only interesting commercials out there. Now I think I need one of these Pixel Chix toys, and apparently a friend with his/her own Pixel Chix to play with.

Look! A crystal LCD embedded in a toy house! It's genius.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Cyril Takayama

I've discovered some excellent Japanese magicians thanks to the internet. One example is the Yamagami brothers (山上兄弟) who currently hold the Guinness world record for youngest magicians. The age thing is kind of gimmicky, but they're just so cute and great at what they do that you can't help but adore them. (In contrast, there's an extremely gimmicky magician who insists on pretending to be French, manhandling the language in the process: "Torés biaan!") My favourite so far is probably Fujii Akira, a skilled magician with a very amusing and entertaining act, who works almost exclusively with playing cards.

However, my latest discovery in japanese magic is Cyril Takayama, who strictly speaking is an American of japanese descent, born and raised in Hollywood. Despite only being Japanese on his father's side, his Japanese is perfect, which apparently made him eligible to appear on several japanese TV shows, where he goes by the nickname Zero (セロ), since Cyril is probably the least pronounceable name ever. His image is somewhere between David Blaine and David Copperfield, and he does a good job of adapting his tricks to the japanese audience by conjuring up food out of thin air. (I don't know about you, but at least I get the impression that japanese TV shows are always about food.)

Luckily for you, dear reader, a lot of his tricks are available for easy watching on YouTube, a service you might recognize since I use it myself to post videos here. The following is a list of clips I found, from which I've excluded one or two repetitions of the same trick.

That's all folks!