Welcome to Toei Hero World!
Families and adult fans can now visit an indoor park dedicated solely to Toei Company’s vast history of tokusatsu hero characters. Toei Hero World Namco Action Museum (東映ヒーローワールド, Toei Hiiroowaarudo), located sixty plus minutes east of Tokyo in Makuhari New City Mihama ward Chiba at the massive Aeon Mall, is the first and only place on earth celebrating Toei’s hero shows and films. The park opened December 20, 2013 and features interactive heroes, Kamen Rider motorbikes, Super Sentai robots, five attractions and rides, a café, and Heroes Shop stocked with the latest collectibles.
Hero World focuses on Toei’s heroes from 1971 like Shotaro Ishinomori’s Kamen Rider Ichigo and Nigo (Kamen Riders 1 and 2) and other non-related Ishinomori characters from the present, including Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger and the 2012 reboot of Space Sheriff Gavan.
After arriving at the third floor of the mega mall — plus a forty-minute wait in line — our team checked in, receiving a promotional Bandai Kamen Rider Gaim trading card and an energy power bracelet which collects points at Hero Touch Link stations by placing it on light-and-sound activating readers. Big points are gained after completing the three attractions: Kamen Rider Den-O “Train of Time Denliner”, “Shocker Attack” bikes, and “Decisive Battle! Super Sentai Bazooka” game, which cost 300 to 500 yen per play.
Hero World houses over 100 different characters, some with interactive sound effects and lights. Kamen Rider W elevates into the air while others stoically pose in their grandeur. For metal hero fans there is an impressive museum room where you can look (but not touch) the electric Gavan, Gavan G, Sharivan, Shaider, Jiban, and Jiraiya costumes. The only downsides to this world are the travel distance and the insane crowds.
The most popular spot is the Shocker Attack bike station, which includes Kikaida’s Side Machine and the Kamen Rider Den-O Denliner train. Also free of charge and strictly for kids is the Heroes Base training center, located beneath the sky-high Super Sentai Jetman team. The costliest attraction at the park is the 500 yen per play Decisive Battle Super Sentai Bazooka shooter game, which includes a brief video appearance from King Dark, the nemesis of Kamen Rider X.
A wall near the exit chronicles the plethora of Toei heroes — including Ishinomori’s cute, lovable Robocon — with broadcast dates during their reign on television. Finally, you arrive at the tally station and Kyoryuger’s Kyoryu Red (on a video screen) tallies up your bracelet points, assessing your ability as a hero. After receiving the thumbs’ up from Kyoryu Red it’s time to journey back to the real world and enter the yen-swallowing Heroes Shop to purchase exclusive gifts for friends and family like cookies, mugs, shirts, towels or Shocker Combatman paraphernalia.
The energy power bracelet included with your ticket purchase allows a discounted re-entry to the park if you are brave enough for another mission through the large crowds and long lines. Undoubtedly this world will change with new entries over time including the latest Super Sentai series, TOQGER (烈車戦隊トッキュウジャー, Ressha Sentai Tokkyuujaa).
Toei Hero World, a co-production between video game arcade and amusement park company Namco and Toei Co. Ltd., is open 7 days a week from 9am to 10pm. Recommended for those who wish to commune with a world unlike any other!
Advance discount purchase tickets are available at Lawson convenience stores throughout Japan.
For more information check the Toei Hero World official site.
Edward L. Holland is the editor and founder of Monster Attack Team, a pro fanzine dedicated to Japanese monsters, heroes, music culture and its fans worldwide. monsterattackteam.com, facebook.com/MATfightmonsters