…learn to charge your devices • …eat instant ramen • …get addicted to those coin-gobbling, impossible-to-win claw machines • …learn to drive a train • …drink tea • …start your … Continue Reading In Japan, You’re Never Too Young To…
If you don’t have someone on your list who would kill for one of these, you need new friends. These Lego kits for building your very own Japanese town populated … Continue Reading Japanese Lego Town Kits
DENIAL ANGER BARGAINING DEPRESSION ACCEPTANCE • How you doing, friend? (I won’t ask about your hair if you don’t ask about mine ><;;) I hope you’re hanging in there, and … Continue Reading Japanese Capsule Toys Explain the Five Stages of Quarantine Hair Grief
• I hope your own quarantining is filled with small joys every day. If you’d like more fun bits & pieces, join me here! Scroll down & subscribeヽ(*＾ω＾*)ﾉ • And … Continue Reading Gachapon animals ask their mirrors the most burning quarantine questions
Sticking to the straight and narrow has never been cuter, thanks to these adorable kittycat gacha-gacha toys, and the vending machine that dispenses them on the Yanaka Ginza shopping street. … Continue Reading Move Over, Monkeys! See-no Evil, Hear-no-Evil, Speak-no-Evil Cats Are Here
These days, everyone wants “experiences,” not “stuff,” so how about digging into your Santa sack for presents that deliver #youllneverguesswhatwedids that could only come from (where else?)…Japan! This year, give … Continue Reading Top Ten Crazy Holiday Gifts From Japan 2018
Finally! A series of shiba inu gachagacha toys made by an artist who understands that these devilish dogs are not just unbearably adorable, they come packed with a level of … Continue Reading The Shiba Inu Vending Machine
Move over Angry Ghost Cats and Drunken Pets! The Fox Wedding vending machine takes tiny collectible toy obsession to a whole new level. Take my coin purse, foxen! Take all … Continue Reading The Fox Wedding Vending Machine
In the I-totally-don’t-need-this-but-am-strangely-compelled-to-buy-it-anyway category, these square fruit balloons are a quirky modern take on kami fusen, a cheap, Meiji-era toy. Of course, in true ultra-Japanese style, they’re made of paper! If … Continue Reading Square Fruit Balloons
When I first saw this gachapon machine filled with little plastic champagne towers, I thought WAT? Who needs a set of miniature, light-up, host club furniture? I mean, even though … Continue Reading The Host Club Vending Machine
Strolling through the toy aisles of Yodobashi camera one rainy day (as one does), I was stopped in my tracks by this. Disney goes pocchari! Mocchi-mocchi Pooh! Not to be outdone … Continue Reading Inexplicable Toy Trends Of Japan
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that my sympathy runs deep for the poor toy designers who have to churn out new adorable stuffies when all the … Continue Reading Uncuddly Stuffies
I thought I’d reached the highest level of gacha-gacha nirvana when I discovered the Angry Cat Ghost vending machine last year, but yesterday walking through what I’d previously thought of as the ninth-circle-of-hell Shinagawa station, … Continue Reading The Angry Fox Ghost Vending Machine
Thank me now, because I’m about to deliver you from all your holiday shopping woes. I finally found a gift that’s perfect for EVERYONE! But wait, why would anyone want a 4″ bendable plastic … Continue Reading The Best One-Size-Fits-All Gift EVER
Lately in Japan there’s been an explosion of vending machines selling little characters that perch on the side of your glass, so you never have to drink alone. But none of … Continue Reading Help, There’s A Hamster In My Drink!
Walking through Shinjuku station today, I discovered I had a burning need for angry cat ghosts. Fortunately, there was a bank of gacha-gacha vending machines smack in the middle of … Continue Reading The Angry Cat Ghost Vending Machine
Once you’ve exhausted all the cute animals, blown through the vegetable kingdom, and even exploited raw fish as toy characters, what’s left? Why, bones, of course! Introducing the toys that put some backbone into … Continue Reading Least Cuddly Toy Of All Time
Last weekend, Tokyo’s Design Festa delivered a level of craziness so far beyond words that once again, I’m just going to have to show you pictures. First, from the double rainbow world of animal goods… … Continue Reading Tokyo Design Festa 2015: Seriously, You Can’t Make This Stuff Up
The Grand Imperial Empire Of Lego obviously isn’t only in Japan, but an especially awesome part of it is! Welcome to Tokyo Legoland, where Godzilla is king, and Pokemons rule! If … Continue Reading Godzilla In Legoland
These have got to be the most awesome gacha-gacha vending machine snags of all time! These little plastic figures depict Lady Liberty morphing into “Too-Free Goddess” and assuming unseemly poses! But forget trying to blackmail her with … Continue Reading The Statue Of Too Much Liberty
Looking for a dinner companion who will light up when you’re near, even if you’re only eating Cup Noodles by the glow of your computer screen? Look no further, Forever Alones, now … Continue Reading Glow-In-The-Dark Skeleton Vending Machine
Which is weirder – that someone designed earplugs that make it look like a little person is making herself at home in your ears (EWWWW!) or that you can buy them from a … Continue Reading Sorry, I Can’t Hear You, There’s A Person In My Ear.
I thought I’d found the oddest product you could buy from a vending machine when I spied the one selling rubber sea slugs, but I think I’m going to have … Continue Reading The Overly Realistic Caterpillar Vending Machine
Need I say more? Okay, actually, I also want the minifig & eight-brick ice cube trays. And the salt and pepper shakers. Thank you, Santa. In advance. • “A fascinating … Continue Reading Lego. Minifig. Popsicles.
Okay, I thought the stuffed animal wizards were pretty much scraping the bottom of the vertebrate barrel when they came up with Kapybara-san a few years ago. I mean, how … Continue Reading Cuddle Up With An Adorable Slice Of Raw Fish
“This light up cushion will warm your heart extremely. Please enjoy this magic mood for your precious life. We hope it will be your favorite one!” Not sure what magic … Continue Reading Magic Mood Cushion
While this One Piece Donquixote Donflamingo character could certainly whup your average GI Joe in a fashion showdown at high noon, I can’t quite imagine him as Barbie’s main squeeze… … Continue Reading Not Your Average Action Figure
I saw these fan-built designs on display at the Lego store in Odaiba! If you’d like to see the latest fan-built models, they’re at the Lego store in Odaiba, in the VenusPort mall … Continue Reading Fan-Built Lego Of Japan
I’ve always found butterflies woefully wanting in the rushing-to-the-door-to-wecome-you-home department, and there are exactly zero memes devoted to the cuddliness of lepidoptera. So…what’s with the fake ones? In a jar?! … Continue Reading Saddest Fake Pet Toy
More than meets the eye! For hours of happy crime spree play, nothing can beat the thug rangers! Your platinum-haired chinpira will pinch Barbie’s car before she can squeal “math is … Continue Reading Street Fightin’ Yakuza Action Figures
Girls Keep Out! Between Pretend You Work As a Burger Flipper to Fun With Laundry And Ironing, you’ve got plenty of playthings to keep you busy. The Drill Set Of Manliness … Continue Reading In Case You Were Confused, This Toy Is Not For Girls
Litte. Plastic. Sandwiches. With dogs in them. Wat. • Read a novel set in Tokyo…
Here in Japan, even if your apartment is as small as a postage stamp, you can still invite your friends over for a rousing game of Twister. • Read a novel … Continue Reading Japanese Apartment-Sized Party Games
What does one actually DO with a Poo Shooter, except annoy one’s little brother? Hmm. I guess some things aren’t Only In Japan… • Read a novel set in Tokyo
Saw this in Harajuku, perfect spot for Japanese moms to point out to their surly teenage children that if they don’t study for their college entrance exams… • Read a novel … Continue Reading When I Grow Up, I Want To Be A…
Forget all that tedious freezing your butt off in the woods with your shotgun – now you can get your very own stuffed animal head from a vending machine! Plus, … Continue Reading The Taxidermy Vending Machine
Yes, now you can level up your toilet game with this revolutionary R/C controller! We’re assured right on the package that it can be used by men OR women in … Continue Reading Radio Control Toilet
“Mommy, mommy, I want a nudibranch! All the other kids have nudibranchs! Pleeeeeze can I have ¥200? Pleeeeeze?” “No. Last time you cried when you got the Bornella anguilla instead … Continue Reading The Fake Sea Slug Vending Machine
Put the power of Anpanman and Melonpanna to work for you with this set of Girls’ Day dolls from the animated parallel universe where bread is king! Or emperor and … Continue Reading What Girls’ Day Could Be Complete Without Emperor Anpanman?
So, what does it say about Japanese society that five years ago the toy store shelves were filled with make-your-own squid ink popcorn, fancy jello desserts and sushi rolls that … Continue Reading Mommy, When I Grow Up, I Want To Be A Burger Flipper!
I saw this gashapon vending machine in Akihabara the other night, and stopped dead in my tracks, trying to imagine what kind of kid would pester his mom for $4.00 … Continue Reading The Marble Bust Vending Machine
I saw this today in the window of the BørneLund toy store in Daikanyama. It’s one of the shops in the new Daikanyama T-Site, a collection of extremely tasteful bodegas … Continue Reading Need. Wooden. Puzzle.
Watching celebs dressed in puffy animal costumes battle it out on TV can give you a powerful craving for just the right snack, but it’s near-impossible to whip up a … Continue Reading Squid Ink Popcorn
Japanese toy makers can usually rise to the challenge of making a cute stuffed animal out of even the most unappealing lifeforms – witness Capybara-san, a surprisingly popular character even … Continue Reading Obscure Stuffies