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Toyota Supra Super GT
Photo credit: Motor1
Unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon, the Toyota Supra Super GT GR Racing concept is what the production model should look like, but instead, this vehicle previews the automaker’s GT500-class race car for the 2020 Super GT racing series. This exciting racing series takes place mainly in Japan, with one race in Thailand. It’s split into GT500 and GT300 classes, with the former featuring vehicles similar to German DTM cars. One thing you may not know is that the engine is required to be a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder. This model will enter competition next year and replace the current Lexus LC racer. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

Groove X Lovot Robotic Pet Robot

Japan-based company Groove X says its Lovot robot, which comes with cartoon eyes and fuzzy arms, is designed to “nurture people’s capacity to love” by demanding the affection of its owner. This is made possible with a host of sensors that respond to human touch. When the robot wants to be cuddled, it waves its arms in the air, and will follow behind its owner on wheels. Or, it even falls asleep in the owner’s arms if offered a cuddle. A a head-mounted video camera is used to recognize the face of its owner and avoid collisions. One caveat: it’ll set you back a cool $5,500 for a pair. Read more for a video and pictures of Lovot straight from CES 2019.

Video Game Console Mod Japan Law

Photo credit: Controller Chaos
Thinking about a video game console mod or possibly altering save files? It’s now illegal in Japan and both are punishable by up to five years in prison as well as fines up to 5 million yen ($46,000). Japan’s Association of Copyright for Computer Software states that modding games and consoles violate the country’s Unfair Competition Prevention Law. Peripheral maker Cyber Gadget immediately stopped selling its Save Editor data tool, which enabled gamers to use cheats and patch codes, immediately on its Japanese website. Read more for another video and additional information.

Toyota Sera Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale

For those who’ve never heard of this vehicle, the Toyota Sera (EXY10) is basically a 3-door 2+2 hatchback coupe manufactured by Toyota from 1990 to 1996. It was released with a single 1.5 L (1496 cc) inline 4 5E-FHE engine configuration and body style, with optional configurations for its transmission, brakes, cold climate and sound-system. A total of 15,941 were built between February 1990 and December 1995, with 15,852 units registered in Japan. A 1990 model is heading to the 2019 Barrett-Jaclson Scottsdale, and according to the auction house, this is one of the first Seras to be built and the first one to be imported to the U.S. under the federal 25-year importation law. Read more for another video and additional information.

Backpackers Closet Giant Backpack
Are you a professional eSports gamer and have been looking for a backpack large enough for all of your gear or a high-powered Intel / AMD desktop machine, complete with monitor? If so, then look no further than “Backpacker’s Closet” by Japanese design studio CWF. It measures 100 cm in length and 68 cm in width while offering a maximum holding capacity of 180 liters (48 gallons). The shoulder straps feature extra padding and an additional middle strap to reduce stress on the wearer’s back and shoulders. Read more for additional pictures and information.

Nissan Skyline R32 HKS Zero-R

The Nissan Skyline R32 HKS Zero-R is one of the world’s rarest production cars, as only 10 exist. This pristine specimen is located in Brunei and what sets it apart from the standard model is a two-seat configuration, with the rear-end reserved for the fuel cell, along with a bevy of HKS parts, including dual exhausts as well as aero parts. Read more for a video of the original commercial that was aired during the time of its release, additional pictures and information.

Studio Ghibli Theme Park
No, this isn’t an exclusive opportunity for a billionaire or lottery winner, but rather a real Studio Ghibli theme park that’s set to open in 2022, built on the Aichi Commemorative Park in Nagakute City, Japan. The attractions will be based on popular animated movies like ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ and ‘Spirited Away,’ while the main gate resembles the buildings from ‘Howl’s Moving Castle’. Currently, a basic plan of the park has been released, showcasing a few of the rides, attractions, and forest trails. It will be themed after the iconic, European-style brick buildings seen in many Ghibli movies, as well as include statues of boars, spiders, and other creatures. The local government says that the park will be built at the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park in Nagakute city. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.

Product Packaging Art Sculptures

Photo credit: Twitter via Bored Panda
A Japanese artist who goes by “02ESyRaez4VhR2l” on Twitter specializes in transforming product packaging, like Pringles cans, into anime-inspired sculptures, and has gained quite the following on the social media service. On a related note, did you know that the consistent saddle shape of Pringles chips are mathematically known as a hyperbolic paraboloid? That’s right, their designers allegedly used supercomputers to ensure that the chips’ aerodynamics would keep them in place during packaging. They were originally known as “Pringles Newfangled Potato Chips”, but other snack manufacturers objected, saying they failed to meet the definition of a potato “chip”. So, the FDA ruled in 1975 that Pringles could only use the word “chip” in their product name within the following phrase: “potato chips made from dried potatoes”. Read more for more examples of product packaging turned art.

Japanese Cafe Robots Paralyzed

Yes, a high-tech cafe staffed by robot waiters controlled remotely by paralyzed people has opened in Tokyo, Japan. The pop-up shop employs total of 10 people with a variety of conditions that restrict their movement, and they help control robots in the Dawn Ver cafe, earning 1,000 yen per hour – the standard waiting staff pay rate in Japan. These OriHime-D robots used in the cafe were developed by Japanese start-up Ory, who originally designed them to be used in the homes of people with severe mobility issues. Operators can instruct them to move, observe, speak with customers and carry objects by simply moving their eyes. Read more for two more videos and additional information.

Beauty and the Beast Tokyo Disneyland
The Enchanted Tale of “Beauty and the Beast” attraction is currently being built in Tokyo Disneyland as part of a large-scale development plan bringing new attractions, entertainment, shopping and dining to the park in spring 2020. Beauty and the Beast Castle, the centerpiece of this area, will tower nearly 98-feet above the surrounding area. The Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast will invite guests to step into the animated film aboard ride vehicles that dance in rhythm to the film’s music, filled with next-generation animatronics. Read more for a sneak peek video, additional pictures and information.