Somehow, the toymakers of the world developed a bizarrely cute robot cat, and Japan didn’t get it first. However, as you can see in the commercial above, they got it right. Now called “Hello! Woonyan,” because it’s a law that every Japanese cartoon kitty has to be of the Hello species, the cat interacts beautifully with a kid who stares at it intently.
By contrast, here’s the U.S. commercial:
Feels a bit like every toy commercial aimed at girls ever made, right? This, on the other hand…
…is like nothing I’ve ever seen outside of some very strange dreams. (Do Nerdist writers dream of electric cats? We do.)
Hello! Woonyan/Zoomer Kitty can follow objects (and people) with its eyes and body, has cheek sensors that can detect pettings, will meow “Three Blind Mice” if you push the button on its back…and changes eye colors based on mood, with some shades significantly more frightening than others. Takara Tomy is now taking preorders for the Japanese market; here at home, the mechanical feline appears to have infiltrated every major retail chain.
What it won’t do is need a litterbox…yet. Look, in a world where Baby Uh-Oh dolls exist, and Tamagotchis made you clean up their crap, it’s only a matter of time.
Is this mechanical moggy a godsend to the allergic, or a Meow Mix-up? And is the name Woonyan an improvement over Zoomer? [We were rooting for “Kitty McCatface,” but neither nation went for it.]
Tell us the first thing you’d do with this RoboCat in comments below.