Tempe, AZ and Tokyo, Japan –December 10, 2007- To find the best selling Japanese products for this holiday season, we consulted with the Yousei (elves) who dwell deep within the Rinkya warehouse where they spend their days packing and shipping Japanese goods to the rest of the world. Though this time of year is busy for them and early deadlines loom to make it before the 24th of December, they actually took some time out to give us the holiday picture.
“On a worldwide basis, ADVAN Racing Wheels, especially the models used in the motion picture, “Tokyo Drift”, are making a big impact. The crazy thing this year,” said the diminutive fellow in charge of the automotive bench, tapping the embers from his clay pipe, “is the run on Honda keys. Sometimes I think every motorcycle enthusiast in the world is getting a set of Honda Motorcycle Ape100 keys in his stocking.”
The three Yousei who work the toy desk didn't have a lot of time to consult with us. “Dolls are always big,” said one little fellow carefully packing a Super Dollfie. “Antique Hina dolls, and vintage Barbie fashions are pretty much a holiday staple. I suppose this year, the impact of the Takara
Blythe Dolls is the biggest surprise. Designed by Alison Katzman for Kenner in 1972, Blythe dolls were a failure until licensed to Takara
by Kenner's successor, Hasbro
. This year Blythe seems to be giving perennial favorite Barbie a run.”
“This also seems to be a big year for Batman,” chimed in another toy Yousei, carefully double boxing an Xbox. “Game systems and games are always big,” he continued, “with PS3, Xbox, and Nintendo
Wii all moving pretty well.”
Over at the music bench the music Yousei had one word for us. “Epiphone,” he said. “This year MIJ (manufactured in Japan) and CIJ
(crafted in Japan) Epiphone guitars are big.”
The group at the collectibles bench were especially busy, but one little fellow took a minute with us. “Anime cels,” he said, ”especially now that they have been replaced with digital technology, are escalating in price, and are rapidly becoming a high end gift. Original Transformer cels, I suppose in the wake of the movie, are really desirable. On the antique end, pottery of the Edo period, and Samurai armor, especially copper with the sea cucumber motif have seen a lot of action. On the popular end, Bleach
anime seems to be the big thing this year, Bleach doujinshi
are flying out of here. Studio Ghibli
is also making an impact. From what I've been seeing, their characters on Zippo lighters are going to be in a lot of stockings this year.”
Finally the cosplay
/fashion Yousei joined us for a coffee break. “Crazy as it seems, Bathing Ape clothing is making a real impact this year,” she said, sipping her green tea. “Jackets and shoes are really big. Of course it is very popular here in Japan, but worldwide, it's just beginning this holiday season to make a dent.”
“Meri Kurismasu and Happy Year of the Rat” says Rinkya CEO Heather Russell and the Rinkya Yousei.
Rinkya Inc is a leading service provider for Japan auctions, stores, and specialty websites. The company's U.S.A. headquarters are based in Tempe, Arizona, with offices and warehouses located in Tokyo for customers' inventory. Rinkya is on the Inc. Magazine 5,000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.A. and is currently featured in Dolls and Project Car Magazine.
The Japan branch has won several business awards from the Japanese Postal System and has been showcased in several Japanese business magazines.