Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Small Toys

The "Jet Hot" Pepper Sauce ad says "salt and vinegar are added to the mashed red pepper, and raw material keeps a long period with the red pepper, the salt and the vinegar with a barrel."

After you've lived in a place for awhile, certain things become so mundane as to essentially become invisible. Some things are of relatively little interest to begin with and fade away faster than others. The sections of markets for sweets and children's toys is on of those things childless adults never give a second glance to.

Every grocery store tends to have a section amongst the candy which specializes in small boxes with various toys for kids. The range of items is ever-changing though on-going themes are common. Several years ago, for instance, one could find series of very realistic and highly-detailed plastic animal "sculptures". These toys were as much for adults as for kids and I'm not sure that that isn't a case for a lot of the toys in these sections of stores. Stackable plastic display cases for collections of small toys are readily available at 100 yen shops to allow collectors to display their items.

One series of toys that I've seen for quite some time on the rare occasions when I pay attention to the toy sections are miniature food collections. For reasons that are unclear to me, one of my husband's students bought him a box of a "Pasta & Italian" collection of these tiny toys. If you look at the bigger version of the picture at the top of this post, you can see there is a tiny gnocchi, olive oil, cheese sauce, marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese, and hot sauce.

Each of the items is very detailed. The gnocchi has a little block of plastic in it with individual gnocchi. Every label of every item is completely detailed with full text even though it's impossible to read at such a small size. There's also a little grocery bag (about 3 inches tall) folded up behind a reproduction of a store flyer. The items are close to being to scale. The bag is either a little too big or the food a little too small.

The detail is quite impressive and does tend to indicate that such toys are for adult collectors rather than kids who one might imagine wouldn't care about that much care being taken in creating these miniatures. Also, the food items are so small that kids would very likely have trouble handling them and would lose them in no time. What is worse is that they'd very likely end up cramming them into various orifices.

Besides the little toys, there's a small piece of "soda" flavor gum which is rather similar to a Chiclet. I'm guessing the only reason this gum is in the box is to meet some sort of requirement that food must be present in items placed in the candy aisle of the store.


CMUwriter said...

I like to think that there are little tiny people who come alive when the grocery store is closed and eat those products.

Shari said...

That would be awesome. ;-)