Archive for August, 2009

Two is Better than One

Why settle for one good thing when you can get two? Especially in this tough economy you’ll see more companies teaming up to promote their products to a greater audience. Take for example, Hello Kitty, Japan’s favorite feline, and A Bathing Ape, a mostly-men’s streetwear line, who have teamed up for these cool items:

Founded by hip hop music producer Nigo, A Bathing Ape has been around for a while now, but as cute as its trademark ape tees are, as a female I’d never think to sport them around. It’d be like wearing my brother’s Starter jacket, back in the day. Though with this limited-time collaboration, their collection is too cute to pass up. I especially like the tote bags. You’d be rockin’ the old school with Little Twin Stars.

Here’s a different collaboration between Hello Kitty and Champion shoes:

I don’t know how to feel about them except to say leopard print is a tad unnecessary. Maybe it’ll attract the aerobics class demographic. Personally, when it comes to shoes, my favorite tie-up is between Tokidoki and Onitsuka Tiger:

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It’s loud, it’s bold, and the cartoon print even runs under the bottom of your shoe. Why that’s necessary, I don’t know. But these kicks will surely draw attention as you’re walking down the street, especially when you carry along a matching Tokidoki purse. Just don’t get jumped.

Here’s one more collaboration with Hello Kitty and G-Shock watches:

G-Shock was a huge collector’s item a few years back in Japan. You couldn’t go anywhere without seeing it strapped onto some girl’s wrist. Nowadays, it’s not nearly en vogue, but if I saw someone sporting this watch, I’d think they’re pretty cool.

So what is your favorite collaboration? Tell me!! \(^o^)/

Himawari

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August 25, 2009 at 2:37 pm Leave a comment

Delicious Toys

At some point or another, most young girls yearn to be a great chef. Though when you’re a 7-year-old, you’ll be lucky to have access to a knife much less a hot flame. That’s why cooking toys are so popular; They let you make cool things without getting maimed. Here’s some of my favorites:

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This is a fun way to make gyoza. Just lay the dough wrapping in the machine along with a plop of meat, crank the lever and out comes a raw dumpling. You’ll still need help from mom to either boil or fry the dumplings, but it’s still cool to feel like you did most of the slave labor. ($30)

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Everyone loves Pocky because it comes in all kinds of flavors. Here’s a toy that takes a similar idea, only instead of cookie sticks you use soft-white bread. Just cut the bread into thin slices using the included tool, microwave until warm and then dip into an assortment of chocolate flavors and sprinkles! ($30)

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This one is more of a dining toy than a cooking tool. Think of it as a Slip ‘n Slide for cold noodles. It’s a windy, plastic trough with water streaming to the bottom. Everyone sitting around the dining table readies their chopsticks and a bowl of dipping sauce while the head chef plops heaps of somen noodles into the stream. The goal is to pick up the noodles before it drops to the bottom. I played this ‘game’ one time in Japan, using a freshly-cut bamboo trough and a water hose. The real thing is much more fun, but this can be just as entertaining if you have a room full of very hungry people. ($84)

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Sushi-making is great because there’s no need for a hot stove, so anyone can play chef. This is a toy that’ll help you make some amazing designs using a little food coloring and imagination. Sushi like this, called futomaki, is especially great for parties and bento boxes because you generally use vegetable ingredients, not raw fish. And with a little bit of thought into it, you can make animal faces, flowers, or even your family crest. It’s fun for everyone! ($44)

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

August 18, 2009 at 12:21 pm 2 comments

Stay Eco-Cool!

Here in Los Angeles, we’re faced with threats of water-rationing. And judging by our track record, we’ll soon be hit with rolling blackouts. We’re in crisis-mode. What will we do without air conditioning?!

Things in Japan aren’t nearly as bad, partly thanks to wacky-cool inventions found at Tokyu Hands, as mentioned in this month’s Yomiuri Shimbun (Japanese only). Not only are they fun to use, they don’t waste nature’s resources:83A83C83X838A838583b83N8Fc8C5E814090C2The Chilled Backpack

Okay, so you can’t use it to carry around a pint of ice cream to the beach. But it’ll do a great job cooling your back during those sweltering-hot summer days. Just strap it on and let it work its chilling magic. Priced at $50, the backpack comes in sizes for men, women and kids, alike. Nothing for dogs just yet.

Cool Shampoo/Milky Gel/Cool Tonic

There’s nothing like a cold shower on a hot day. But how’d you like to make that wintry-fresh feeling last hours later? Ranging between $2 to $12, these products will keep your hair and face feeling like cool-mint gum. With the help of menthol extract and other secret ingredients, these items have a tingling effect that keeps your on your feet.
kenkocom_x641040hPillow on Ice

A large block of ice is not something to bring to a slumber party, no matter what the temperature is outside. It’s heavy and it’ll drip all over the kitchen floor. So instead, why not bring over an iced pillow. Just like the chilled backpack, it contains a frozen coolant that’ll sit snuggly under your head. Don’t worry about a soggy pillow the next morning; this ice block leak-proof ($30).

To check out more cool items at Tokyu Hands, check out their latest newspaper ad (PDF).

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

August 11, 2009 at 11:01 am Leave a comment

Eye-Spy a Hidden Camera

Superman has a problem. He suspects Aquaman has turned to steroids. It’s a violation that could get him booted off the Justice League, but Aquaman seems more focused on the high he gets after pumping 1,000-pound weights than being in a superhero club.
Superman needs to catch him in the act so he could report it to ‘Roids Anonymous before the Justice League finds out. But even if he does catch him, he knows Aquaman will vehemently deny any wrongdoing.
Superman needs a plan… Introducing the Spy Button Camera:

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It hails from the genius gadgetry lab of Thanko in Akihabara. All you have to do is replace it with a button on your shirt and slip a magnetized ring onto your finger. To start recording, casually wave the ring near the button. Do the same to stop recording.

Priced at about $60, the spycam can take up to 1 1/2 hours of video at 15 frames per second (4GB internal memory). It weighs only a few ounces, and hides easily behind your shirt to no one’s suspicion. And it comes with an array of button colors — white, pink, and yellow — to match every piece of pastel clothing in your wardrobe.
Superman may not be able to hide the camera into his Spandex costume, but he can certainly do it as the Daily Planet’s mild-mannered reporter, Clark Kent. Then maybe, just maybe, he can get his friend the help he needs. Either that or he can use the camera on his next date with Wonder Woman! Oooh baby~ (^o<)

Himawari

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Thinking of doing business in Japan? We can make it easy for you!
japanizmo, a Los Angeles based company, provides practical solutions for U.S. ? Japan business projects. Our experienced Japanese staff will support all phases of your business project to seize business opportunities and turn your vision into a reality. >> Learn more

August 4, 2009 at 2:31 pm Leave a comment


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