Thursday, January 15, 2009

Otaku Found Objects

I looked everywhere for these little guys sometime in July without any success whatsoever, and I finally stumbled across them last month while cleaning out an old jewelry box. They're not really quite seasonal anymore (it not being the time of year where I live to drink cold bottled green tea - in fact, it was -7F with a wind chill of -27 when I took the Short One to his Mom's Morning Away class today, hoo-boy), but I thought, "What the heck." They're still cute, right?

These are little promotional trinkets - there's a specific word for this kind of giveaway, but I can't for the life of me remember what it is - found on, as I mentioned, bottled green tea. I believe the brand is Japanese, but I'm not completely sure, and I don't have a bottle handy to check - you can see a dog and cat holding little replica bottles in the photo.

My husband used to have to go to China periodically on business, and it happened that one of the factories with which he worked also made these cute little guys. H., who knows me all too well, brought back a handful as a gift. I think they were originally supposed to be little cell phone charms (they each came on their own short plastic strap), but I took one look at them and thought "ooooh, charm bracelet", of course. I think these have a lot of cachet for your friendly neighborhood otaku, since, in addition to plates of Western food, the dogs and cats are also holding steamed buns, mochi (red or white bean-filled pastry) and, of course, green tea bottles.

At any rate, I offer them up as a nice twist on the usual Cracker-Jack-toy-turned-found-object-charm. H. gave these to me a few years ago and, obviously, this particular promotion is no longer running. However, you never know when you might find a new one, so if you shop at a local Asian market anyway, you might want to check around for similar giveaways. Asian markets and even your local Japanese restaurant may also have vending machines that dispense these types of trinkets, or Hello Kitty or anime-branded trinkets, for a couple quarters (if you are lucky enough to live near a Mitsuwa market, for example, chances are one of the stores within has plenty of cute components for your jewelry making).

Thanks for visiting!


Cynthia Thornton said...

These are very cute! Love stuff like this.

Melissa J. Lee said...

They are, aren't they? My husband earned a lot of points for bringing those home!