Archive for September, 2014


Sep30

Pilot FriXion Ball pens at TOMODACHI

2014 at 11:17 am by admin | Comments Off

ArticleFrixionPen

TOMODACHI often carries a wide variety of stationery and pens, and one of our newest products is the Pilot FriXion Ball retractable gel pen! A variation on the popular Pilot FriXion line of pens, the FriXion Ball pen takes advantage of thermo-sensitive inks to create an easy-to-use gel pen that can be erased with the specialized rubber tip at the end of the pen. Not only that, unlike other FriXion pens, the FriXion Ball is retractable, simply by pushing on the clip! A special trick is that since the pen uses thermo-sensitive gel ink, you can make any erased text reappear by chilling the writing to under 14 degrees Fahrenheit; just put the paper in your freezer, and watch the writing reappear! These cool erasable pens are available at TOMODACHI, at both our Rosedale Shopping Center location as well as our Mall of America store, and are available in a wide variety of colors.

Sep29

Robot cheerleaders show off new communication tech

2014 at 01:05 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleRobotCheerleader

Japanese robotics lab and company Murata has uploaded a video showing off their new innovations and technology in a fun way: through the use of miniature robotic cheerleaders! These 6″ tall cheerleaders, based off of Murata’s previous works with vehicle robots like the Murata Girl unicycle bot, ride atop of a specially designed ball that allows the robot to perform precise movements and turns. While adorable, the Murata cheerleaders’ dance is also meant to educate as well as entertain. The video shows off new developments in Murata’s robots, including the use of ultrasound microphones and infrared sensors, which is shared to the other cheerleaders through a Wi-Fi connection. This allows each cheerleader to not only know her own position, but the position of all the other members of the group in real time. This technology is used in the video to maintain the squad’s formation as they dance and light up, but Murata says this new tech can be implemented in the real world, such as in groups of rescue team robots and in disaster-hit areas, as well as in everyday tech like glasses, watches, and even cars.

Sep29

New life-size Pikachu plush features classic design

2014 at 12:51 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticlePikachuPlush1

With the new Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire video games releasing worldwide in late October, the Pokémon Company and Japanese clothing chain Beams have teamed up in the creation of a brand new, official life-sized collectible plush of Pikachu, the iconic electric rat from Nintendo’s hit franchise! The plush figure, which is set to retail in November, is perfectly accurate with its 1′4″ height from the franchise, and is even built to replicate its 13.2 lb weight given in the video games.

ArticlePikachuPlush2

On top of that, the design of the plush is based on the original Pikachu art, where the Pokémon was depicted as chubbier and stubbier than how its current incarnation looks. All these factors make this new Pikachu plush the perfect collectible for enthusiasts of the original games as well as Pokémon fans as a whole! The plush will retail for around $170 in November, and comes with its own specially designed tote bag to carry the large plush around.

Sep26

LA to host first Hello Kitty Museum

2014 at 03:24 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleHelloKittyMuseum

With the first-ever Hello Kitty Con coming to Los Angeles, California on October 30th, Los Angeles is getting ready to celebrate the icon’s 40th anniversary in a big way with the opening of the first ever Hello Kitty museum exhibition in the United States! The exhibit will be titled ‘Hello! Exploring the Supercute World of Hello Kitty’, and will he hosted by the Japanese American Nation Museum starting on October 11th. The exhibit will cover the 40-year history of Hello Kitty, featuring original merchandise and modern artwork with the famous character. The exhibit will also be the host for a number of events like workshops and panels, letting fans get to know Hello Kitty even better. The exhibit will be open until April 26th, 2015, and is set to coincide with this fall’s Hello Kitty Con at the Museum of Contemporary Art in downtown Los Angeles, making the city a must-stop location for Hello Kitty fans everywhere!

Sep25

Facebook planes to spread Wi-Fi worldwide

2014 at 03:03 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleFacebookDrone

Internet social website Facebook recently detailed its plans to spread Wi-Fi internet connectivity worldwide through the use of large-scale drones. These plans come as a result of a merger with self-sustaining drone company Ascenta, whom had previously been experimenting with prototypes for large solar-powered drones. Facebook plans to use these drones, flying constantly at 60,000 to 90,000 feet above the surface, to bring Internet connectivity to people all across the world, especially in remote and unconnected countries and areas. The drones, which will be roughly the size of large jumbo jets like the 747, will be solar-powered and could potentially stay self-sustained and airborne for years at a time!




In order to announce the upcoming project, along with their partnership with Ascenta and telecommunications companies, a short video was released by Facebook earlier this year that hints at future prospects of the project, as well as giving us our first look at a prototype of the craft. Facebook has announced their plans to begin testing these vehicles in US airspace by 2015, with worldwide deployment in three to five years. While details on this project are slim, people across the world can look forward to constant access to the internet and integral services if these drones take flight!

Sep25

Big Hero 6 new trailer released

2014 at 01:02 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleBigHero6

Disney and Marvel’s newest upcoming animated movie, “Big Hero 6″, has been gearing up for its fall release in theaters with special trailers, online videos, and figure promotion at events like San Diego Comic-Con. Now, with the movie’s release just over a month away, Disney has released a new trailer, showing off some of the action from the movie as well as detailing some important plot points.



The trailer details some back story between the protagonist, Hiro Hamada, along with his squishy robot Baymax. The trailer also shows off some of the action scenes featuring the two characters and their team of crime fighters, the titular Big Hero 6. The movie is scheduled to debut in theaters on November 7th, 2014, and is sure to deliver on tons of comic book styled action and humor.

Sep24

Hot Toys reveals new Star Wars figures

2014 at 02:36 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleHotToysSolo1

With Star Wars: Episode VII coming to theaters in late 2015, excitement over the Star Wars franchise has been high, with a variety of companies announcing new merchandise based on the original STar to coincide with the film’s release. Hong Kong based figure company Hot Toys has unveiled the first two figures in their upcoming Star Wars line of 1/6th scale figures: the unforgettable smuggler duo, Han Solo and Chewbacca!

ArticleHotToysSolo2

Hot Toys recently acquired the rights to produce Star Wars merchandise earlier this summer, and these two figures are the pioneers of their new 1/6th and 1/4th lines. With an unprecedented attention to detail, both figures capture every last detail, from Harrison Ford’s young likeness from the original 1977 film, to even recreating Chewbacca’s thick hairy coat with a realistic brown fabric! Both figures are scheduled to include their own set of accessories; Chewbacca will come with his Wookie bowcaster and satchel, while Han Solo will feature swappable hands, laser pistol, and even blaster rifle and Stormtrooper belt with select retailers.

ArticleHotToysSolo3

Han will stand at 12″ tall, with Chewbacca towering over him at 14″ tall. While no release dates or prices are yet announced for these two figures, they are scheduled to release in the first half of 2015. Hot Toys will also continue to produce other characters from the Star Wars universe, so keep your eyes open for more news!

Sep24

Nintendo celebrates 125th anniversary

2014 at 11:56 am by admin | Comments Off

ArticleNintendoAnniversary1

Nintendo has become one of the most popular household names in video gaming, with numerous popular franchises like Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Donkey Kong, Pokemon, Metroid, and more releasing over the past couple of decades. The international gaming company has now reached a new milestone as it celebrates its 125th anniversary this week! This marks the original creation of the Nintendo Koppai company, which was created in September 1889 as a playing card company. Producing popular Hanafuda cards for several decades, Nintendo began expanding its brand name into several other business ventures in 1956, before working on toy development with the Ultra Hand in 1966 and laser gun toys in 1973.

ArticleNintendoAnniversary2

The company came into the emerging video game industry around the same time, creating light gun arcade games like Wild Gunman along with home consoles like the Color TV-Game in 1977. Nintendo hit the international spotlight with the release of the Donkey Kong arcade system in 1981, featuring Jumpman as the protagonist, whom would eventually be renamed as Mario. After producing several Game and Watch handheld games through the late 1970s and early 1980s, Nintendo launched the Family Computer, or Famicom for short, in 1983, introducing video gaming to households with games like Super Mario Bros., Duck Hunt, and other gaming franchises. The Famicom was renamed to the Nintendo Entertainment System, or NES, when it was released overseas, and the company has remained one of the largest names in video gaming to this day. The company has since revived and reinvented the video game industry several times over, with consoles like the Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Wii, and 3DS continuing to take risks and find new ways to entertain and inspire players worldwide.

ArticleNintendoAnniversary3

As Nintendo celebrates its 125th anniversary this week, video game enthusiasts and Nintendo fans have a lot to look forward to from the company. With games like Mario Kart 8, Super Smash Bros, Pokemon, and the new upcoming Legend of Zelda game in 2015, as well as the New 3DS handheld console releasing in Japan and NA later this year, Nintendo shows no signs of slowing down even after a decade of business. Let’s see where the next 125 years takes Nintendo and video gaming in general!

ArticleNintendoAnniversary4

Sep24

Octopus robot takes a swim in open ocean

2014 at 11:52 am by admin | Comments Off

ArticleOctopusRobot

Greek researchers have been at work developing a robotic octopus for over a year, and have finally shown off a new prototype of their underwater robot! The newest upgrade to the robot, initially revealed in May 2013, allows it to swim nearly twice as fast as its predecessor for almost half the energy. These improvements are thanks to a flexible webbing added to the robot’s arms that mimics the webbing seen in real-life octopi and squids. The robot has been shown to not only be able to swim on its own in a controlled environment, but also walk with a simulated crawling motion as well as carry objects mid-swim. The robot is even fully self-contained, and can operate in the open ocean without the assistance of any external machinery! Researchers hope to continue to improve on the robot, and use it to one day observe sea life in its natural habitat undisturbed. Check out the robot in action in the video below!

Sep22

Video game museum finds home in Texas

2014 at 02:41 pm by admin | Comments Off

ArticleVideogameMuseum1

The Videogame History Museum has been one of the most well-received booths at conventions and events that it has visited over the past couple of years, featuring a wide collection of classic video gaming memorabilia, tidbits, consoles that began over 25 years ago. Now, after traveling across the United States for over three years, the Videogame History Museum will finally have its first static home in Frisco, Texas!

ArticleVideogameMuseum2

Located 25 miles from the Dallas / Fort Worth area, the Videogame History Museum will be hosted in the Frisco Discovery Center, and will focus on not only preserving games for future generations of gamers and fans to enjoy, the non-profit museum also wants to focus on educating visitors about the history of the videogame industry. The exhibit also hopes to one day host workshops to teach students the mechanics and science behind the construction of video games and arcade machines. The exhibit, while still in development stages, is currently slated to open up this coming April.

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