Yo-Kai Watch: The Newest Craze You Didn’t Know Was a Thing
Growing up as a pretty nerdy kid and raising my own nerds-in-training, I considered myself pretty hip to new toy and entertainment trends. Or so I thought. When Hasbro offered to send my kids and I some stuff to introduce us to Yo-Kai Watch, my first thought was, “What is Yo-Kai Watch?!”
Yo-Kai Watch is a cartoon from Japan which follows a boy named Nate, who learns that there are spirits – the Yo-Kai – mingling with the mortal world, influencing emotions and social interactions. With the guidance of a sort of ghostly butler named Whisper, Nate learns how to use a powerful watch, which has a lens that allows him to detect and interact with various Yo-Kai, to fight off troublesome Yo-Kai.
When I opened the box with my kids (Two of the three Things, that is. My teenager wanted no part in this.) I realized that neither of them knew what Yo-Kai Watch was, either. Inside the box was a treasure trove of all things Yo-Kai Watch: posters, a DVD with the first four episodes of Yo-Kai Watch, a bunch of Yo-Kai Medal discs, three Yo-Kai watches, and some binders to use for organizing and collecting the medals. This was super fun because we were all experiencing something new together! The kids immediately called dibs on their favorite posters and up onto their walls they went.
As a whole, Americans can be pretty behind-the-curve when it comes to world-wide trends and that seemed to be the case with Yo-Kai Watch. But just like that (imagine me snapping my fingers), Yo-Kai Watch is everywhere out here! What wasn’t even a blip on our collective radar, here in northern California even a week ago has suddenly changed! Now, seemingly overnight, there are big displays of toys in our local Target and there are even themed Nintendo 3DS XL bundles!
The toys are actually super fun to play with, with your kids! When you press the side button on the watch, the top dome flips open and you can slide a Yo-Kai Medal disc into the watch and the introduction to that particular Yo-Kai is announced to the entire room.
I tried to organize a viewing party with my kids and their friends but, unfortunately, their friends were all out of town, so the viewing party consisted of myself and two of my kids, who sat in near silence with goofy smiles on their faces through most of the episodes, with the exception of some deep belly laughs at some delightfully immature humor. When a Yo-Kai was on the screen that we had a corresponding Medal for, the three of us would fire up our watches with and our living room would come alive with the screaming announcement of the Yo-Kai that was on the screen.
My youngest in particular has taken a liking to the show and the toys. She even wants to go back to the store this weekend and spend her allowance on more medals so she can run around the house playing Yo-Kai Watch. Blanket forts were built by the kids and the giggles and squeals of them playing Yo-Kai Watch with each other echoed throughout the house.
This isn’t just me talking things up because Hasbro asked me to write about the franchise! In case you need some perspective on how big of a phenomenon Yo-Kai Watch is, consider this:
When the Yo-Kai Watch movie opened in Japan the same weekend as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Yo-Kai Watch movie won at the box office!Click to tweet
If you have kids up to around 10 years of age, you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with this latest craze that’s finally made its way over to us.
Pro tip: It’s also fun to sneak up behind your wife when she isn’t aware you’re there, pop in one of the discs and let the Yo-Kai sounds make her jump!
Watch the First Episode!
Curious to learn more about Yo-Kai Watch? I thought so.
Yo-kai Watch website: http://www.yo-kai-world.com/
Disclosure (So the FCC doesn’t kick my door in): I was compensated both financially and in product by Hasbro for the #YokaiWatch campaign. All opinions mentioned above and below are 100% my own.