Nanoblock

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Nanoblock
Nanoblock logo.jpeg
TypeConstruction set
CompanyKawada
CountryJapan
Availability2008–present
Official website

Nanoblock (Japanese: ナノブロック, Hepburn: Nanoburokku) is a line of construction toys manufactured by Kawada, a toy company based in Tokyo, Japan.

History[edit]

Nanoblock was first introduced into the Japanese market in 2008 by Kawada.[1][2] Nanoblock is distributed overseas by local companies, including Schylling in the United States and Mark's Europe in France, Benelux and Portugal. In 2012, imports of Nanoblock reached 31 countries.[2][3]

In 2010, Nanoblock won an Outstanding Performance Award in the High Target category at the Japan Toy Awards for the deluxe edition set based on Neuschwanstein Castle.[4] The following year, Nanoblock won the Grand Prize in the High Target category at the 2011 Japan Toy Awards for their model of the Tokyo Skytree.[5] In 2012, Nanoblock won the Brand License Award at the 2012 Licensing of the Year Awards.[2]

Sets[edit]

The Nanoblock range includes original designs and licensed sets. Kawada is currently releasing four original series. The Miniature collection series features miniatures designs of animals, musical instruments and Christmas themes. All sets contain around 80-150 pieces.[6][7] The Sights to See series includes designs of world landmarks and notable buildings with sets ranging in size from 200-600 bricks.[7][8] The Advanced Hobby series also features notable buildings and landmarks but on a larger scale. The sets in the series are all over 2000 pieces.[7][9] The largest set is Neuschwanstein Castle deluxe edition, with 5,800 pieces.[9] The fourth series is aimed at girls with themes including weddings and birthdays.[10]

Kawada has created sets based on various licenses including The Adventures of Tintin, Pokémon, Shaun the Sheep and Sanrio characters including Cinnamoroll, Hello Kitty, KeroKeroKeroppi and My Melody.[6][8][9][11] A series of sets based on Disney characters is sold exclusively at the Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea theme parks.[12] In 2013 it was announced Kawada would produce two sets based on Capcom's Mega Man video game franchise as part of the series' 25th anniversary.[13] In 2015, four sets based on characters from the video game franchise Street Fighter were released.[14][15] The four characters produced were Ryu, Chun-Li, Guile and Dhalsim.[15] Also in 2015, camera giant Nikon partnered with Kawada to recreate its Nikon F camera in a set.[16]

Design[edit]

Nanoblocks are similar in design to a Lego brick but smaller, with the smallest brick being 4 mm × 4 mm × 5 mm. The bricks are ​18 the size of Kawada's Diablock line of bricks.[17][18] The underside of the bricks are different from Lego bricks because they use a dividing flange, known as the double-ridged backing system, instead of the tube system that Lego employs.[1] The bricks are made using ABS plastic and there are eleven different types, the biggest being an 8×2 brick and the smallest a single stud brick.[1]

Nanoblock sets typically include spare pieces.[19]

Reception[edit]

Wired described Nanoblock as an affordable alternative to Lego, but noted the small pieces were easily lost.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "What are Nanoblock?". Nanoblock UK. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  2. ^ a b c "History". Kawada Co. Ltd. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  3. ^ "Contacts". Kawada Co. Ltd. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  4. ^ "Japan Toy Awards 2010". The Japan Toy Association. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  5. ^ "Japan Toy Awards 2011". The Japan Toy Association. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  6. ^ a b "Mini Collection". Kawada Co. Ltd. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  7. ^ a b c "Products". Nanoblock UK. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  8. ^ a b "Sights to See". Kawada Co. Ltd. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  9. ^ a b c "Advanced Hobby". Kawada Co. Ltd. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  10. ^ "Girls Gift". Kawada Co. Ltd. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  11. ^ "Shaun the Sheep Shaun". Kawada Co. Ltd. 2014-07-19. Archived from the original on 2014-11-22. Retrieved 2014-11-22.
  12. ^ "Tokyo Disney Resort (TDR) Series". Nanoblock Fan Page. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  13. ^ Whitehead, Thomas (2013-07-30). "Super Cute Mega Man Nanoblock Sets Emerge in Japan". Nintendo Life. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  14. ^ "Limited editions to keep you ahead of the game". The Japan Times. 2015-03-27. Archived from the original on 2015-04-24. Retrieved 2015-04-24.
  15. ^ a b "Mini Collection". Kawada Co. Ltd. Archived from the original on 2015-04-24. Retrieved 2015-04-24.
  16. ^ Mogg, Trevor (2015-10-23). "Nikon fans, you can now build a Nikon SLR camera entirely out of Nanoblocks". Digital Trends. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  17. ^ Strietelmeier, Julie (2013-05-21). "Nanoblock micro-sized building blocks review". The Gadgeteer. Archived from the original on 2014-02-15. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  18. ^ "About". Kawada Co. Ltd. Retrieved 2014-02-15.
  19. ^ a b Williams, Jenny (2011-11-08). "Nanoblocks: An Alternative to Large, Expensive Building Sets". WIRED. Retrieved 2018-05-14.

External links[edit]