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Bandai's Samurai Star Wars Figures Have Gotten Even Better

Bandai’s “Movie Realisation” Star Wars figures—which take the Empire and turn them into ancient samurai with flintlocks and katanas rather than blasters and lightsabers—are fantastic. But now the line’s got a few more additions that make it even cooler. Sandtroopers! Royal Guards! Boba Fett! Oh my. » 8/27/15 5:45pm Thursday 5:45pm

This Man Is About to Put a Robot in Your Pocket

What will it take for robots to become as common in our homes and daily lives as smartphones, TVs, and computers? Ask roboticist Tomotaka Takahashi. The famous Tokyo professor aims to be “the Steve Jobs of robotics,” by moving away from technical specs and emphasizing design, as well as pure bot charisma. » 8/27/15 1:32pm Thursday 1:32pm

Secret Origins Of The Japanese Superhero Show That Became Power Rangers

If you look at the picture above, you probably think of the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, costumed heroes who have been kicking their way across TV in different incarnations for nearly 20 years—but you’d be wrong. These are actually the Zyurangers, the stars of a Japanese TV series that inadvertently spawned a global… » 8/06/15 1:20pm 8/06/15 1:20pm

The Almost Perfect World War II Plot to Bomb Japan with Bats

Imagine: a quiet, tense night in the middle of wartime. A plane rips through the air above your city, rupturing the stillness. The bay doors open, and out whistles a bomb. It drops and drops. Everyone braces. But when it explodes, the city is filled not with the flash of impact, but with hundreds and hundreds of tiny,… » 8/05/15 4:00pm 8/05/15 4:00pm

The Strange Case Of The Doll Seller Who Desperately Wanted To Be A Spy

Velvalee Dickinson, a Stanford grad who’d worked in the financial industry, moved to New York City from San Francisco in 1937, where she soon opened a shop that sold collectible dolls. But by 1942, she’d added a third entry to her resume or at least she really, really tried to: spying on behalf of Japan. » 6/08/15 1:35pm 6/08/15 1:35pm