Middle Aged Japanese Men and Their Toy Belt.

As Japan has fewer and fewer children, toy companies there have discovered an alternative market: adults who are nostalgic for their childhood toys (in this case: a very geek-chic belt!)

Major toymaker Bandai recently launched adult-size reproductions of an action hero belt worn on the 1970s megahit Kamen Rider ("Masked Rider") TV series.The new belt sells for about 30,000 yen, the equivalent of $270.

Kawauchi said it would give hard-working middle-aged men an opportunity to spend money on themselves by buying the leather belt, which flashes with LED lights.

As the former boys have acquired not only purchasing power but also girth, the belt stretches 44 inches, about double the size of the children's version that first came out in 1971.Bandai sold a staggering 3.8 million of the original Kamen Rider belts, letting a generation of Japanese boys shout out "Transform!" and spin their arms around to become cyborg heroes with blinking belts.


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