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  • Writer's pictureAaron Fonseca

Studio Ghibli Re-Releases Inverse Jenga Game Featuring Laputa's Robot Soldiers

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Studio Ghibli has re-released a fun family game featuring the robot soldiers from Laputa: Castle in the Sky.

Studio Ghibli's official online storefront, Donguri Sora, has restocked the "Castle in the Sky Character Puzzle" -- a children's game that is essentially a reverse version of Hasbro's popular tower-deconstruction game, Jenga. The game comes with six plastic robot soldier models, three cube-shaped stones and three (plastic) Laputian crystals that resemble the ones from the film. The aim is to create a tower from all the pieces before it collapses. As shown below, the robots come in a variety of poses, allowing the tower to be constructed in a number of different ways. Including tax, the game costs 3,630 yen (roughly US$24).

Studio Ghibli's Castle in the Sky Was Inspired by Gulliver's Travels

Based loosely on Jonathan Swift's classic novel Gulliver's TravelsCastle in the Sky was written and directed by Studio Ghibli co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. The film tells the story of two children named Pazu and Sheeta who embark on an adventure to find Laputa -- a mythical floating island that was once home to a technologically advanced civilization. The society's military arsenal included enormous robot guardians that protected the island from outside threats. After Pazu and Sheeta reach Laputa, they encounter the island's last functioning robot, who continues to watch over the plant and animal life that still thrives there.

While Laputa's robot soldiers are not nearly as iconic as characters like Totoro or Kiki, Ghibli has gone out of its way to honor their legacy. The Ghibli Museum showcases a statue of a Laputian Robot Soldier on the roof of its main building -- a colorful structure designed personally by Miyazaki, who also serves as the museum's executive director. Recently, Ghibli released a craftable miniature model of the museum, the completed version of which features a small but detailed replica of the famous robot statue.

Studio Ghibli continues to be one of Japan's leading creators in the realm of animated cinema. Its latest film, The Boy and the Heron (2023), collectively earned over $167.5 million at the worldwide box office. The film has been nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2024 Oscars, netting Miyazaki the title of most Oscar-nominated animated director of all time. He currently holds this honor alongside Pixars' Pete Docter (Inside Out, Soul), who has likewise earned four BAF nominations throughout his career.

Studio Ghibli has not yet announced if its Castle in the Sky Character Puzzle will ever hit shelves outside Japan. However, the studio's film library, which includes Castle in the Sky, is available to stream on Max.

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