>>> The News: JAY KAY!
By staff writer Amir Blumenfeld
February 23, 2005

The real news (for boring people)

The breakdown (for college people)

As Japan Goes Grey, Toymakers Design Dolls for the Elderly

TOKYO (AFP) – As Japan produces fewer children and more retirees, toymakers are designing new dolls designed not for the young but for the lonely elderly — companions which can sleep next to them and offer caring words they may never hear otherwise.

Awww…isn't that the cutest most fucking depressing thing you've heard all day? No? Stop watching The History Channel you boob.

Talking toys have become such a hit that some elderly people have embraced them as substitutes for the children who have grown old and deserted entire neighborhoods in the rapidly greying country.

“This one? This one's better then my own son!” *Squeezing toy* Robotic Japanese voice: “I'll never desert you…mama.”

The Yumel doll, which looks like a baby boy and has a vocabulary of 1,200 phrases, is billed as a “healing partner” for the elderly and goes on the market Thursday at a price of 8,500 yen (80 dollars).

The sad part is these dolls are programmed to ditch the elderly for more hip urban areas via random commands.

About 8,000 Yumel dolls, designed by toymaker Tomy with pillows and bedding maker Lofty, have already been sold in less than three months in limited marketing in sleeping sections of department stores.

What next, DIAPERS for old people? Now I've wrote everything.

“Toymakers are targeting senior citizens as the number of children is falling. We are also striving to attract them,” said Osamu Kiriseko, who headed the Yumel project.

“Just take a look at this line of adult pacifiers!” a deranged Kiriseko said, pointing to a rainbow.

Another toymaker, Bandai, in November 1999 launched the Primopuel doll which is meant to resemble a five-year-old boy who needs the same sort of attention, asking to be hugged and entertained.

All the responsibility of having a five-year-old and none of the love?! WHERE DO I SIGN UP.

The toy has proved a hit not only with children but with the elderly and more than one million dollars have been sold over the past five years.

Really? Over one million dollars have been sold? How much does a million dollars even cost? ‘Cause if I can get it on sale that would be fantastic.

On November 13, Bandai went to a Tokyo amusement park to celebrate the fifth “birthday” of Primopuel, inviting doll owners to pay homage at a nearby shrine in a ritual just like parents of real Japanese five-year-olds do that month.

How wonderfully morbid.

“There has been demand for dolls which can ‘heal' you but toys available on the market were mostly for daytime,” said Kiriseko.

“Dolls that can heal you” are what Japanese people call medicine. It's super weird.

“I thought that you need to enjoy the night together if you really hope to live with a doll.”


The 37-centimeter (15-inch) Yumel — deriving from the Japanese word “yume”, or “dream” — looks like a sleepy baby boy but is equipped with six sensors and an IC chip which keep track of the owner's sleeping time.

FINALLY! A doll that tracks how long old people sleep. What took them so long!! Hmm…this one says 14 days and counting. ….Grandpa?!… GRANDPA?!??!?

The doll can be programmed to “sleep” or “wake up” in accordance with the owner's pattern, saying “good morning” with open eyes at due time or inviting the elderly to sleep with the doll's eyelids drooping “I feel so good, g-o-o-d n-i-g-h-t,” the doll says before falling asleep if the owner pats it on the chest gently.

If the owner tugs on the dolls genitals the doll will say the same thing. Except he won't spell out good night. Not in English that is.

Or Yumel may ask, “Aren't you pushing yourself too hard?” when it judges the owner has been going to bed too irregularly or not spending enough time playing with it.


“If you lead an orderly life, Yumel will be in a good mood, singing songs or pleading with you to do something like buying him toys,” Kiriseko said.

A doll, that PLEADS with you to buy other toys for him?! Talk about a brilliant marketing scheme. That's like food that makes you hungrier. Hmm…that too is Japanese. Those Asians are so smart! ….GRANDPA?!?!?!