Attention last minute shoppers! With Christmas around the very next corner, you’ll have to hurry up for your annual gift hunt. We know that this comes a bit late for the shipping, but still, you can just make it…! And many of these precious items are ideal for the whole year, that’s for sure! Now, have a look at the most lovely Xmas delights, selected by us, especially for you. Enjoy!
Written by PingMag All-Stars
Translated by Natsumi Yamane
Ultimate Attention Grabbers: Christmas Headdresses
Sometimes we all like a bit of attention… So, if you want something eye-catching to boost everybody’s party mood, try the “Christmas Wreath Head-dress” and “X’mas Cake Hat” from Global Tsuhan Arune! Flashing your winning smile from the middle of a festive wreath should surely get the party started, and placing a voluminous cake on your head no doubt adds a merry touch to every celebration. Or take it step further and show them off together with your partner (this can -or cannot- spice up your meeting with the parents.) Don’t miss this chance to be the centre of a Christmas party – without necessarily being the tree!
“Christmas Wreath Headdress” by Global Tsuhan Arune. A perfect party enhancer! Price: ¥1,029.
A slightly dumb-looking Santa adds a nice touch to this “X’mas Cake Hat.” Price: ¥1,029.
Just Like a real Chocolate: “EAR DROP”
These cute little products, resembling M&M’s chocolate beads, are the EAR DROP earphones from ELECOM for your iPOD or other personal audio devices. There is another series with rose bud designs instead of chocolate-like pellets, which is equally cute. We couldn’t yet decide which to chose. So, be nice to your ears and don’t play the music too loud!
Kaomoji Characters – Japanese Emoticons As Plastic Toys
You use them in your e-mail correspondence every day – smileys. These odd characters, once only Japanese smiley, known as kaomiji not only smile but they laugh hysterically, solemnly ball, rage in fits of anger, etc. Not only do they use their mouth but, with a mixture of letters, symbols, slashes. and dashes, they produce a wide variety of expressions. If only they could take a seat next to your keyboard to set the emotional tone of the day? Voila!: Japanese capsule toy maker Yujin has an own kaomoji site devoted to these figures (make sure to watch the clip on it to see emoticons in all sorts of poses)! Just ¥100 (roughly 90 $ cent or 60 European cent), at your favourite toy paradise. We found it at the awesome K’S WAVE toy shop on the third floor of the cathedral-styled Nakano Broadway in Nakano, Tokyo (address: Nakano 5-52-15, Nakano Broadway 305.) Look for more retail shops in Japan, for overseas info try Yujin’s main site.
Inspirational Cuteness: A Japanese Mascots’ And Characters’ Collection
Kawaii characters to guide you through Japan! Published by Chronicle Books. Price: $10,17
In any other country, people would probably shake their heads about this invasion of cuteness; not so in Japan. Characters give you advice in everyday life (such as a greeting from a fearless fire department mascot called Kyuta,) guide you through information (a stained earth who complains about you clogging the pipes) or warn you of disasters (like a handsome Mr. Catfish who tells you where to go when an earthquake occurs.) The latter exist maybe to take away part of the fear of these real threats, but also to communicate the message in a nice and friendly way instead of scolding you all the time. Quite clever, psychologically!
Now, all these little signs gave Matt Alt and Hiroko Yoda a reason to run around town and document for us what uber-sweet characters the Japanese island inhabit: Their Hello Please! – Very Helpful Kawaii Characters from Japan picture book shows you every character as seen on the street, including a little info about its meaning. Most kawaii!
A Pop-Up Edition Of Star Wars (Including Illuminated Light Sabres)
For geeks that already have everything of the old Star Wars saga, the pop-up book by Matthew Reinhart adds extra glamour to your collection. Published by Orchard Books. Seen at ABC for ¥5,250.
See an AT-AT pop up right in your face! Awesome! From the “Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy” pop-up book. Published by Orchard Books. Seen at ABC.
True geeks of the first generation Star Wars already have it on the shelf, but this awesome pop-up book is also for the younger ones that have to grow up with digitised stormtroopers. Star Wars: A Pop-Up Guide to the Galaxy by Matthew Reinhart features 6-page story condensed to a very best of the Star Wars never-ending saga: featuring a fine Millenium Falcon centrefold, a giant AT-AT, and also glowing light sabres for one of the many the grim encounters between good and evil! Seen at ABC – AoyamaBookCenter for ¥5,250.
“SPACEWARP” for Grown-Ups
Since Bandai’s Spacewarp 5000 revival in May 2005, more than 140,000 sets of that series have been sold in Japan. Get hypnotised by the sight of an iron ball rolling along the complicated rails! The new “SPACEWARP desktop” we got here is a more compact and easier to construct. For further delight, the kit comes with a fluorescent ball as well as the conventional metal ball, so you can even enjoy its glowing dance-like movement in the dark!
“Mugen Puchipuchi” for Bubble Wrap Popping Addicts
Yes, we all know that some people just can’t resist popping every single one of the bubble wrap packaging in your parcels to get instant relief. Toy maker Bandai realised the potential lying in it and, this September, launched an ideal item – the Mugen Puchipuchi. Enjoy a popping sensation with a virtual bubble wrap: when pressing the surface of the ‘bubbles,’ the integrated speaker produces the sound effects to go with the popping to provide you with a truly realistic feeling. In addition, you will get a different sound effect at every 100th pop too…
Iesoba: Homemade Soba for This Year’s Toshikoshi!
“Iesoba” from Tomy Corp. Price: ¥13,125.
In Japan, New Year is a huge event. An integral part of that is the tradition of eating Toshikoshi Soba just before midnight on New Year’s Eve. Perfect occasion for this make-your-own soba machine Iesoba (literally ‘soba at home’) by Tomy Corp.. Followed by the home pottery set “Rokuro Club” that was launched in September 2006, it was introduced according to Tomy Corp’s research which revealed that soba making was the most interested hobby for adults in Japan. Amazingly, it only takes twenty minutes to prepare the noodles from buckwheat flour! Hint: This could be an ideal presy for dads with rather weak presence, for him to impress the entire family on the New Year’s Eve!
Jinsei Ginko: Be a Millionaire!
Going to get a new computer next year but you don’t want to give up your holidays abroad next summer for that? If you are no good at saving, then Tomy Corp’s Jinsei Ginko (Life Bank) piggybank is just what you need! The more you save, the wealthier the lifestyle of the family displayed on the LED becomes and you can’t help comparing your own life to its confoundedly realistic portrayal…!
Have a Stylish Year With The “ART-MIX Planner OHGUSHI”
Since we featured OHGUSHI in October, we had a lot of happy responses from you (Thanks!). The illustrator’s works of marvellous ink women are now available at Mark’s Inc.: This “ART-MIX Planner OHGUSHI” is a weekly planner with a new concept of merging art and schedule book. A perfect gift idea for you stylish ladies!
The inside pages are just as gorgeous!
The first page of November 2008.
Factory Circle: Finally, Green Fields in the Dead of Winter
Missing the scent of the pleasant green pastures? Forget the pot plants, get your own little garden in your warm and comfy room! Metaphys provides you with a perfect design solution in the form of Factory Circle. Germination starts in one to two weeks from sowing, and narrow leaves will grow up to around forty to fifty cm in height. The present for stylish field lovers!
We are definitely sure you found something from our selection that will enlighten your friends and relatives! PingMag wishes you warm and cosy holidays!