August 22, 2011
INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF NOVELTIES
Earlier this year Devlin Thompson directed me by way of AltJapan to the site of a Japanese collector that is one of the great treasures of the internet by my assessment. It features the best and most comprehensive assembly of 1960s and 70s era (they call them Showa Era) novelties that I've ever seen. Much of it is the same stuff Americans got through comic book ads, souvenir shops, and dime stores, and some is even more freaky. The author of the site often includes catalog clippings that look like the Japanese versions of the Johnson Smith Company catalog. Best I can tell, the collector actually owns and photographs all of the items.
As a service to mankind I've provided some handy links to my favorite parts of the site. Since it's written in Japanese all of the following links run through the Google translator. Here we go...
I'm obligated to start with the Home Page, the first few links are galleries of badges which are interesting, but it's the next stuff that I'm crazy about. The "What's that Thing?" collection is a directory of galleries that includes the following amazing subsections...
Novelty and Wind-Up toys
Toys and Magic Tricks
Nostalgic Gifts for Children
Toy Memories from the webmaster
Directory of Plastic Trinkets
and his Blog
To demonstrate the level of incredibleness that I'm talking about I did some willy-nilly image grabbing from all over the site. It's like a massage for the eyes.