Do you know Doraemon was once yellow in colour and had ears?

Do you know Doraemon was once yellow in colour and had ears?

What is blue and white in colour with round hands and feet, and can grant all kinds of wishes?

Yes, it’s Xiao Ding Dang (小叮噹)!

More appropriately, his name is Doraemon (ドラえもん). Xiao Ding Dang is the nickname given to Doraemon in Asia by pirated translators.

Many of us grew up with the Doraemon manga and anime series. Originally illustrated by the manga writing team Fujiko Fujio, the series was adapted into a successful anime series and media franchise. The story revolves around a robotic cat named Doraemon, who travels back in time from the 22nd century to aid a pre-teen boy named Nobita Nobi (野比 のび太).

Admit it, when you were a kid, you probably long to own one of Doraemon’s gadgets. I did and I can certainly identify with poor Nobita sometime. Doraemon’s gadgets saved Nobita countless times.

Hi Doraemon!

Hi Doraemon!

Despite the changes in time, Doraemon remains one of the best-selling manga in the world, with over 100 million copies sold. The stories are simple and easily relatable. The characters are iconic and unforgettable. There is really nothing not to love about Doraemon.

I watched Doraemon when I was growing up in the 80s and 90s; my son now watches Doraemon as well. It is a cultural and entertainment icon which is truly timeless.

Back in 2010, a 100 Doraemon Secret Gadget Expo exhibition was held in Harbour City in Hong Kong. I attended the exhibition with my wife and son. Love it!

Now, the exhibition has been brought to City Square in Johor Bahru. When I knew about it, I must attend it (and I did)!

The 100 Doraemon Secret Gadgets Expo at Johor Bahru City Square

The 100 Doraemon Secret Gadgets Expo at Johor Bahru City Square

Getting there is actually quite simple via public transport. Take bus 170 from Kranji MRT station, right in front of the station. Another blogger, Gordonator has detailed travel instructions with photos on getting to City Square from Singapore.

I went during the Hari Raya weekend when traffic was at it’s peak. Nonetheless, it still took me under an hour to get there and the journey was relatively smooth. The walk from the Malaysian custom to City Square is linked and sheltered, making it safe and convenient. No additional traveling is required.

The exhibition is located on the ground floor of the mall. Admission is priced at RM25 (~S$10) for adults and RM15 (~S$6) for kids (4 to 12 years old).

The entrance to the exhibition

The entrance to the exhibition

What’s there to see?

The original yellow Doraemon

The original yellow Doraemon

Upon entering the exhibition, the first thing to greet you is a yellow Doraemon with ears. Do you know this how Doraemon looks like originally? His ears were bitten off by rats which scared him blue as a result. This explains Doraemon’s morbid fear of rats thereafter.

Next, there are 100 Doraemon figurines to take pictures with, each with a different gadget:

Doraemon everywhere!

Doraemon everywhere!

Cat in a bottle

Cat in a bottle

Barrel

Barrel

Pink purse and golden ring

Pink purse and golden ring

Milk bottle and old man

Milk bottle and old man

Olympic flame?

Olympic flame?

Umbrella and oil lamp

Umbrella and oil lamp

Purple cat and hair dryer

Purple cat and hair dryer

Pink octopus

Pink octopus

Postbox

Postbox

Memory bread

Memory bread

Devil's passport

Devil’s passport

Shape-changing leaf

Shape-changing leaf

Sword and sailor

Sword and sailor

Gun and name tag

Gun and name tag

Small red Doraemon and a bulldog

Small red Doraemon and a bulldog

Belt and potion

Belt and potion

Jungle book

Jungle book

Time device?

Time device?

Ink pot

Ink pot

Spectacles and hanky

Spectacles and hanky

The bamboo flyer - everyone knows this!

The bamboo flyer – everyone knows this!

How many gadgets can you identify? I overheard many visitors reminiscing about their favourite gadgets and what each of the gadget can presumedly do, reliving their childhood memories. Totally priceless.

The next few galleries featured iconic scenes and characters:

The time machine

The time machine

Iconic scene of Nobita getting married

Iconic scene of Nobita getting married

Pop out of the comic

Pop out of the comic

Takeshi

Takeshi “Gian” Gouda, the big bully, tormenting everyone with his bad singing

Shizuka Minamoto by a swing

Shizuka Minamoto by a swing

Suneo Honekawa

Suneo Honekawa

The yellow Doraemon

The yellow Doraemon

Turning blue in shock after losing his ears

Turning blue in shock after losing his ears

Nobita's classroom

Nobita’s classroom

Nobita's teacher

Nobita’s teacher

Doraemon artwork

Doraemon artwork

Another Doraemon artwork

Another Doraemon artwork

Gian again

Gian again

Gian's sister

Gian’s sister

Touching scene whereby Nobita traveled back into the past to meet his grandma when she passed away

Touching scene whereby Nobita traveled back into the past to meet his grandma when she passed away

Inside Nobita's room

Inside Nobita’s room

Up next, there are walls with props for visitors to take pictures and pose with:

100 Doraemon glasses

100 Doraemon glasses

Blogger Regina, looking at the man of her dream

Blogger Regina, looking at the man of her dream

Bling bling 100 Doraemon glasses

Bling bling 100 Doraemon glasses

Cupid's arrows

Cupid’s arrows

Look into the loop

Look into the loop

Talk box

Talk box

Shrink Ray

Shrink Ray

Pose with memory bread

Pose with memory bread

Kids playing with the 100 Doraemon glasses

Kids playing with the 100 Doraemon glasses

Pose like a pro

Pose like a pro

Bamboo-copter!

Bamboo-copter!

Souvenir stamps - you can buy a passbook at the reception to chop these

Souvenir stamps – you can buy a passbook at the reception to chop these

Right at the end, there is the Doraemon merchandise store for visitors to buy licensed Doraemon products as well as special 100 Doraemon merchandises:

Enter the gift shop

Enter the gift shop

Kids wear

Kids wear

Doraemon outfits for kids

Doraemon outfits for kids

Plushies

Plushies

Doraemon tidbits

Doraemon tidbits

Cashier

Cashier

For non-ticket holders, there is also a merchandise store on the 3rd floor which is open to public. If you like games of luck, there are booths littered around the mall which are open to public too:

Doraemon UFO catcher

Doraemon UFO catcher

Fancy winning a giant doriyaki?

Fancy winning a giant doriyaki?

Hook a duck game

Hook a duck game

Don’t miss the special Doraemon cafe on the 5th floor. Over there, you can buy Doraemon chocolate and snacks for gifts as well as enjoy some Doraemon-themed food. I recommend ordering the hot chocolate or cappuccino, just for the bragging rights:

Doraemon cafe

Doraemon cafe

Ordering counter

Ordering counter

Doraemon chocolate and doriyaki snacks

Doraemon chocolate and doriyaki snacks

Doraemon snacks and drinks

Doraemon snacks and drinks

Mudpie and little pancakes

Mudpie and little pancakes

I bought two slices of memory breads for Asher

I bought two slices of memory breads for Asher

Asher loved the breads

Asher loved the breads

If you are interested to visit the 100 Doraemon Secret Gadget Expo at Johor Bahru City Square, here are more details:

Date: 30 August 2014 to 4 January 2015
Time: 10am to 10pm
Venue: Johor Bahru City Square – Jalan Wong Ah Fook, Bandar Johor Bahru, 80000 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia

Ticket Price:
Adult: RM25
Kids (4 to 12 years old): RM15

**FREE Entry for senior citizen 60 years old and above, children 3 years old & below and below 90cm admitted with a paying companion & OKU with one paying companion.

For Official Information:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DoraemonMY
Website: http://www.100doraemon.com
Buy Ticket Online: http://www.myticket.asia/
Ticketing Hotline:
Malaysia: (603) 8080 8700
Singapore: (+65) 6492 1000