But stay with me here….
The box arrived at my home and my kids and I opened it quizzically because I still was not sure what was going to be inside. At that point, the only thing I knew about Yo-Kai Watch was that it was huge in Japan. In fact, it is so huge, tickets for the Yo-Kai Watch movie outsold Star Wars: The Force Awakens, even though they both opened the same day.
Then the weirdest thing happened, as I pulled toys out of the box, my kids started talking excitedly. Even though I was clueless, they definitely knew what they were. And I had no idea they knew anything about Yo-Kai Watch. What’s weirder is that my kids are homeschooled because we travel a lot, so I know just about everything that goes on in our home. It turns out, there was some kind of Yo-Kai Watch experience happening in my house and I had no clue.
While I pulled the toys out of the box, my 11-year-old explained to me the Yo-Kai Watch story. Nate, a boy about my son’s age, found a ball (capsule) that held a Yo-Kai Whisper, and this Whisper gave Nate a Yo-Kai watch. Now, from what I understand, and again, I’m going on what an 11-year-old told me as a 4-year-old shouted various information into my ear, there are good Yo-Kai and bad Yo-Kai. The bad Yo-Kai haunts people (not in a scary way) and wreaks havoc. The watch Nate possesses helps him figure out and even see these mischievous ghosts. And I’m not sure they are ghosts either. Nate also enlists the help of his friends as they stop the Yo-Kai from doing damage. Most of the time, after Nate stops the bad Yo-Kai from making someone’s life miserable, they become friends and the Yo-Kai helps Nate whenever he needs them.
I held a Yo-Kai Watch party, in which we watched videos and handed out Yo-Kai Watch toys as a prize. The kids laughed out loud throughout the show and found scenes where Nate and the Yo-Kai discuss passing gas and pooping to be over-the-top hilarious. There is even a Yo-Kai called “Cheepsqueek” that has a face like a butt and it… ahem… causes people to stink. Supposedly he just has really bad breath. Anyway, the kids loved the show. They laughed at all the jokes and the crazy characters and enjoyed the dancing at the end of the show. They even joined in and mimicked the dance moves the Yo-Kai performed.
Still with me? Good, because now I will try to explain the toys.
We opened the toys up, and I found myself staring at something that resembled an oversized watch without hands or numbers and several small discs. While I was clueless about the purpose of the toys, my kids knew exactly what to do with them. Even my 4-year-old, upon opening the package, was able to put various disks inside the watch to fight whatever “crimes” are being committed by an unseen Yo-Kai. He likes to put the disks inside the watch and push a button, causing the watch to make a noise, of which I am not entirely sure what it means or says, and then my son will yell into the watch, “Repeat! Repeat!” My 4-year-old got the biggest kick out of the watch and enjoys wearing it around. And although it doesn’t tell the time, he likes to pretend that it does.
So where have my kids gotten their Yo-Kai info? Besides Youtube and commercials, Yo-Kai Watch has a huge Manga like series that is found at our local library. Turns out my kids have been reading them.
My feeling is that these toys are going to be a big hit for a long time to come. They are HUGE in Japan and judging from the reception my kids and those at the party gave them, the love will transfer to American audiences. This review probably doesn’t quite do the toys and show the justice, because quite frankly, I don’t get them. But my kids do. Especially the 4-year-old. Maybe after playing with him some more and investigating strange occurrences around the house with the Yo-Kai watch, I’ll figure out what the heck I’m supposed to do with these toys.
There is also an app you can use along with the watch. The disks and the watch can team up with an ipad, phone, etc for more playing options. My 9-year-old daughter prefers this playful route.
If your kids are asking for the Yo Kai Watch toys but they don’t make sense to you, just go with it. These are toys that fuel the imagination.