Thursday, February 25, 2016

Star Wars Pachinko Machine in Tokyo

Pachinko parlors are one of the most ubiquitous features of the Tokyo (and many other cities in Japan) landscape. The range of pachinko, slot, and pachislot (combination of the two) machines is impressive, as is the work that goes into the design, graphics, and game play.

Here's a video of a Star Wars pachinko machine:

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Pocky II - Can you feel the Lovecky tonight?

Recently I wrote about Pocky's line of specially titled snacks. They've just released a new one, with a couple of twists. This time, they've renamed their strawberry-flavored Pocky to Lovecky, which is straightforward enough, and it does sound better than Aicky. ("Ai" (愛) is Japanese for "love.")
The back of the packaging has a heart-shaped space for you to write a message to a special someone. Reminds me of the little Valentine's cards kids used to give each other. Remember those? The super hero ones were cool.
Another twist, showing just how far Glico is going with this promotion, is they've made the cookie part of the snack heart-shaped. Lovecky was released after Valentine's Day, but it could be that they're aiming for White Day, which is on March 14. It's a Japanese holiday when men give gifts to women.

My all-time favorite Valentine's snack? Old school conversation hearts - not the new weird flavors and concoctions that Necco has come up with, but the original Sweethearts that came in little boxes which also had a heart shaped "To/From" space on the back. (The original Lovecky?)

Fortunately, you can get the good stuff on Amazon, usually from no name bulk candy makers. Some Tasti D-Lite franchises in the US have them too. So good...Much lovecky for the conversation hearts...

Thursday, February 11, 2016

JR Ultraman Winter Stamp Rally in Tokyo

Tsuburaya Productions and JR (Japan Rail) have teamed up for another Ultraman stamp rally. In a way it's heart warming to see kids and adults lining up at train stations to stamp their booklets. Common wisdom in some circles may be that traditional arts and physical objects are passe in today's digital world, but such excitement over something as simple as a mono-color impression is proof positive that the "analog is dead" crowd has gotten ahead of itself.
Asagaya Station
So, let's look at this promotion. It starts with a free booklet handed out at Tokyo JR stations.

Stamp Booklet
Beautiful graphics all around for this promotion, including the stamp booklet, posters, and displays.

 More after the jump:

Friday, February 5, 2016

What's in a name? Glico Pockifies the snack world.

Glico is a legendary Japanese snack company, famous for hits like Pretz, Cheeza, and of course, Pocky. For folks who aren't familiar with them, Pocky are boxes of long, thin pretzels individually covered with chocolate, strawberry, or other coatings. According to Glico's website, the idea was basically to cover a Pretz with a layer of chocolate. Simple enough, and it was a smash hit.
"Salad" Pretz
Glico has a knack for coming up with unusual product names. This is, after all, the company that sells a line of snack biscuits called Collon, including variants like (and I'm not making this up) Creamy Collon. Yummy.
Pocky macha + chocolate flavor

"Pocky" is a weird enough name, but recently Glico has topped it with a campaign of new titles for its beloved snack line. The names take all or part of an English or Japanese word and add "cky" (or "cy") to Pockify it.

At first glance, some of them don't make a lot of sense, but there are subtitles explaining what Glico is getting at. Some names are straightforward. Others offer insights into Japanese culture. Let's have a look:
Simple and old timey. Thanky for being a friend!
 More after the jump:
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