August 22, 2011


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
Money Banks
Useful Gadgets
Toys and Magic Tricks
Nostalgic Gifts for Children
Toy Memories from the webmaster

There's also
Character Toys
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.


SheReads said...

Hey! I dig your blog! Here's an award.

Jody B. said...

Unbelievably amazing stuff!! I enjoy reading the attempted translations almost as much as looking at the photos! The cigarette pull magic trick has this description: "This material as one of the seven tools of the magician, Lovers are no equipment is hidden Narananu witchcraft." Uh, YES!

Jamey Clayberg said...

Ooh man. Love that stuff.

Kirk D. said...

Robin- thanks I'll take it!

Jody- ha, good find. They sound about like the translations that actually make it on to the printed packaging.

Jamey- YES...yes.

Green Mountain Realty said...

Wow, I had one of the crazy birds 35 years ago

Galaxy Ghoul said...

Wow, I picked up one of those mini robots in the box at a flea market last month! Such a cool design. Says made by Tomy.