Collectibubble Check out the gashapon toys I picked up in Japan

first_imgStay on target I recently went to Japan on vacation, because I am a giant nerd who likes anime and video games and toys and whatnot. I brought back two suitcases full of collectibles from Glorious Nippon, and we will be looking at most of the things I brought back in time (I’m not saying you can expect a JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure collectibles Loot Drop, but…) but let’s start off small with one of my favorite traditional Japanese tchotchkes: Gashapon.You know those crappy little toys that come in plastic bubbles you can get at the front of the supermarket for a quarter? Gashapon are those, taken to an absurd next level thanks to Bandai and a handful of other companies, with a pumped-up price tag to match the better everything. Gashapon machines are everywhere in Japanese cities, especially in neighborhoods where nerds hang out. There were entire stores of gashapon machines in Akihabara, Den-Den Town, and Nakano Broadway, and they were packed with weird toys and figurines all way better than the sticky hands and cheap mini-brass knuckle keychains you can get here.Gashapon come in little plastic bubbles, just like supermarket toys here (and the name comes from the onomatopoeia of the sound of the machines dispensing them). They’re more expensive, though, starting at 100 yen and going up to 500 yen, making them about $1 to 5 depending on the complexity, size, and quality of the toy.Gashapon can be anything that fits in a plastic bubble (or, for larger items, a cylinder). We’re talking keychains, phone charms, miniatures of food and animals, prop replica toys, figurines, pins, panties, you name it. Yeah… panties. And yes, it’s creepy, but I do this for you, reader.I spent a slightly irresponsible amount on gashapon when I was in Japan. How irresponsible? Well, the slideshow below shows over two dozen things I picked up. My personal favorites are the Sailor Moon wand, the cat napping on a water heater, the coin locker, the Mother phone charms, and the Pokemon sign pins (which were city- and region-specific sets for Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo). Click on to see what comes in all these bubbles. Duel of the Cubicles with Hasbro’s Star Wars The Black Series Ligh…Playmates Brings Back Classic Voltron 1/25Asakusa lantern phone charmModeled after the giant lanterns at the Asakusa shrine and temple in Tokyo. It actually flickers gently like a lantern when you touch the two metal contacts on the bottom. 1/25Puppy in a croissant sandwich phone charmThe Japanese obsession with cute things and food miniatures results in some weird combinations. This is from a series of phone charms of puppies in food. As in, as components of food items. There’s also a cat series. 1/25Gold-plated poop on a satin pillowBecause golden poop is lucky in Japan. Seriously, that’s the explanation. 1/25Miniature coin lockerThese coin lockers are all over Japan train stations and are incredibly handy. The neat thing about this one is that you can put a 100-yen coin in the slot to open it, and take the coin out to lock it. 1/25Miniature post boxI just thought it was cute. 1/25Miniature cat sleeping on a hot water dispenserAnother series of animals being cute in weird ways. This is from an entire wave of cat miniatures napping on appliances. I’m a bit bummed, because I thought it was a rice cooker, which was the one I wanted. 1/25Miniature Dragon Quest chestsDragon Quest is big in Japan (there’s a Dragon Quest-themed convenience store in Akihabara with loads of slime merch). These chests are from the Famicom (NES) and Super Famnicom (Super NES) games. The purple one was a mimic, but the others just had molded gold. The mimic’s the best one. 1/25Fox mask phone charmThis is just a personal favorite because I picked it up at Fushimi Inari Taisha, this big shrine in Kyoto with thousands of red torii gates going up a mountain. The mask itself is a common gashapon, but if you’re ever in Kansai you should really check out Fushimi Inari. 1/25Streets of Rage keychainThis is a pretty rare one, because it came from Tokyo Game Show, from a company that specifically makes nostalgic Sega merchandise. 1/25Beverage can keychain flashlightTotally not Gatorade. But it lights up! 1/25Halloween Pikachu phone charmHalloween starts in September, at least in Pokemon Centers in Japan. This is the most adorable Pikachu ever. 1/25Pokemon street sign pinsThere are different waves of these pins from Kyoto, Osaka, and Tokyo. I got a couple from all three cities. 1/25Pokemon gym badge pinsSurprisingly rare and surprisingly great. These are the gym badges from Pokemon Red/Blue/Green/Yellow. They’re enameled metal, just like the street sign pins. 1/25Gundam pinThis is from Gundam Front in Odaiba, which is a live-sized RX-78-2 Mobile Suit Gundam in front of the DiverCity shopping center. It’s awesome. Gundam Wing, however, blows. 1/25Kirby miniaturesDawwwww, he’s an adorable all-consuming destroyer! 1/25Kirby Cafe keychainsThere are Kirby cafes in Osaka and Tokyo. You need to come early to get a reservation for that day, otherwise you can’t eat there. You can get gashapon there, though. 1/25Sailor Moon mini propsDon’t care, it’s all magical. 1/25Miniature cat apparently mounting a ravenI… I don’t get it. This was a thing. 1/25Mother and Mother 2 phone charmsMr. Saturn phone charms, by the way? Super-rare. Like $10 each. 1/25Madoka soul egg phone charmDon’t trust anything cute if it tells you to become a magical girl. 1/25JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure stone mask phone charmNo big deal, it’s a stone mask that turns you into a vampire. It’s literally the least insane thing from JoJo. 1/25Dragonball Z phone charmFrom J-World Tokyo, an indoor Shonen Jump amusement park/attraction in Ikebukuro. 1/25Miniature gashapon machine model kitThis is a model kit, not an actual gashapon. But it’s still great. And meta. 1/25Darkstalkers Morrigan figurineNot even the creepiest thing I got from a machine in Japan, because… 1/25PantiesYep. Yeeeeep. Yep. <>last_img read more

Googles 350 Smart Levis Jacket Goes on Sale This Week

first_img Next-Gen Google Glass Wearable Ready For BusinessCan Smart PJs Help You Get a Good Night’s Sleep? Levi Strauss & Co. spent more than 160 years perfecting denim. Then Google came along and made it even better.Starting Wednesday, shoppers in California, New York, and Massachusetts can snag the new Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google.The $350 smart sheath is aimed at urban cyclists, but fits the bill for anyone who prefers wearing technology on their sleeve (literally).LED and haptic feedback let you know about incoming information (via Levi’s)Named after a weaving process, Jacquard embeds technology into clothing, turning your outfit into a gadget to tap or swipe, just like a cell phone. Tiny electronics embedded in a snap tag connect the Jacquard Threads in the jacket’s cuff to your mobile device.LED and haptic feedback (i.e. flashing lights and vibrations) let you know about incoming information, while customized controls make it easy to manage messages, phone calls, navigation, and music.Have texts read to you, send calls to voicemail, hear your next direction or updated ETA, and play, pause, or skip through playlists with just a touch of your sleeve.At launch, the jacket is available exclusively at Fred Segal in Los Angeles, Kinfolk in Brooklyn, and Concepts in Cambridge. It will hit virtual and (select) brick-and-mortar Levi’s shelves “soon,” Google project lead Ivan Poupyrev promised.“We started Project Jacquard in 2014 with a vision to create a platform that would allow designers and apparel companies to integrate connectivity directly into the things you love, wear, and use every day,” Poupyrev wrote in an email announcement. “This is an exciting moment for Jacquard that we have been building towards for the past three years.”The program was unveiled at the 2015 Google I/O conference by the Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) group. The Jacquard team within ATAP designed conductive yarn for use on industrial weaving machines for mass production.The $350 smart sheath is aimed at urban cyclists (via Levi’s)Early adopters can visit the Jacquard Help Center online to find out more about the Levi’s Commuter Trucker Jacket and all of its high-tech accouterments.Google isn’t the first to try its hand at smart clothes: Fashion icon Ralph Lauren debuted a smart Polo shirt at 2014’s U.S. Open; silver-based thread sensors knitted into the fabric read heart rate, breathing, and stress levels.There is also the NuMetrex sports bra, Sensoria smart socks, Athos capris, and LifeBeam bicycle helmet, among other intelligent garb.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on targetlast_img read more

Killer Comic Kicks Deadpool High Top Sneakers

first_imgStay on target I love Deadpool. I have for years. In fact, I’m going to be that guy: I loved Deadpool before he was cool. In the 90s, Joe Kelly’s run on Deadpool was one of the big runs that got me into Marvel comics, and I was both infuriated by Ryan Reynolds in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and ecstatic when Deadpool came out. And Deadpool 2 is pretty great too, even if it’s a mess. And now I got the Merc with a Mouth on my feet.… that just conjured a very weird sexual image. Let’s talk about shoes instead. This is the Deadpool High Top Sneaker, sent to us from ThinkGeek. It’s one of several Marvel-themed sneakers they offer, including Captain America, Black Panther, and Guardians of the Galaxy’s Groot designs. And for all the branding, they’re pretty stylish and understated.These are faux leather high-top sneakers in the Chuck Taylor All-Stars style. Simple, elegant, and black-and-red with a glaring Deadpool logo on one side. The take leather is a pretty thick, solid material, though it can potentially get scuffed pretty easily. The interior is a solid red canvas, and the stitching seems durable.Instead of an All-Stars logo on the back of the heel (these aren’t actually Chucks, or made by Converse), the Deadpool High Top Sneakers have a molded Marvel logo. Because the Deadpool logo on the side didn’t indicate that these carry a Disney brand.The sole is flat, white rubber, with a basic texture that make these functional as walking or skate shoes. Like Chucks, they aren’t densely padded or designed to offer the sort of support athletic sneakers have. If you want to hit the courts with these, you should pick up some memory foam insoles to cushion your steps.I wear an extra-wide size 12.5 when available, and ThinkGeek sent us a pair of size 13 regulars because they don’t have wide or half-step designs. That’s fine, because they accommodate my feet comfortably, if a bit loosely, and adding some insoles will help fix that. And really, for $59.99 fashion sneakers, you’re not going to get the custom fit and support of really good cross-trainers. If you like Deadpool, check them out! Or the other shoes, if you like those Marvel properties better (and Black Panther was really good, wasn’t it?).Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Geek Pick: Shure MV88+ Is An Excellent, On the Go Microphone KitGeek Pick: Amazon Smart Plug Puts Alexa in Your Walls last_img read more

Netflix WB Settle Satanic Lawsuit Over Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

first_img 11 New Year’s Resolutions for Our Favorite Characters’Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Gets Spooky Christmas Episode Score one for the Dark Lord: Netflix and Warner Bros. reportedly settled a $150 million lawsuit filed by The Satanic Temple over a statue seen in The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina.The fictitious Baphomet violates copyright and trademark rights of the Temple’s own historic goat-headed deity, according to the recent complaint.“Defendants misappropriated [The Satanic Temple’s] Baphomet [with] Children in ways implying that the monument stands for evil,” the suit said.Anyone who’s watched even two episodes of the Netflix original show will recognize that statue—an angel-winged hermaphroditic idol displayed at the Academy of Unseen Arts.The Knights Templar were falsely accused of worshipping the Sabbatic Goat, which was subsequently incorporated into disparate occult and mystical traditions.So of course it’s going to show up in a TV series about a teenage witch and her conjuring cohorts.Baphomet appears in four to 10 episodes of the series (via Netflix)And while no one directly interacts with the intense-looking statue, it appears in various scenes of four to 10 episodes, according to the litigation.In an unsurprising effort to keep the case quiet (too late!), Netflix and Warner Bros. have settled out of court for an unknown sum.“So ends one of the most over-publicized of copyright claims,” Satanic Temple co-founder and spokesman Lucien Greaves (born Douglas Misicko) wrote in a blog post, published by Patheos.com.“Press can now stop pretending this was unique and momentous, or even interesting,” he said, denouncing the media’s excessive coverage of the pop culture issue relative to the Temple’s recent rally in Arkansas.According to Greaves, the “unique elements” of the historic Baphomet statue have been acknowledged in the credits of already-filmed episodes. The remaining terms of the settlement “are subject to a confidentiality agreement.”More coverage on Geek.com:‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ Gets Spooky Christmas EpisodeNetflix Orders New Animated World War II Series ‘The Liberator’These New Netflix Films Are Coming to a Theater Near You Stay on targetlast_img read more