Wednesday, October 08, 2008

collecting omake (giveaway toys)

Star Wars toys on Pepsi Nex - 4.jpg
Originally uploaded by Jason In Japan.

Anyone that's known me for a while will tell you I like to collect things. DVDs, CDs, comics, etc.
I also went thru an action figure phase in my 20s - usually Star Wars and comic-related figures.
I don't really collect any of that anymore, but coming to Japan has opened up a whole new avenue of collecting for me.

Japan makes cool toys. No doubt about it.
And they often attach small version of these toys to food products - mostly beverages - as an incentive for you to buy them.

Over the past 4 years I've collected all kinds of these "omake."
I've got Snoopy figures, The Incredibles figures, Disney dioramas, etc.
Recently, to celebrate the arrival of a big Star Wars fan convention in Tokyo, the makers of Pepsi Nex - a diet Pepsi cola that I really don't drink, attached the kick-ass Star Wars "bearbrick" toys to their 20 oz bottles.

So I dashed around for 3 or 4 days, hitting all the local conbinis (convenience stores) and I was able to get a complete set of 16. Yoo-hoo!
What I'll do with them - I'm not really sure, but they sure are cool! :D
I took two out of their package (gasp!) and one dangles from my key chain, and the other dangles from my daily bag.

The other really cool omake I got into was tied into the World Cup in 2006. Coke came out with these round discs with a soccer ball-style flag of each participating country. So there were 32 to collect. The hardest one to find was Japan - no big surprise there. I was able to get 29 of the 32 before they disappeared from shelves.
I had a few duplicates too.
I kept em, thinking that maybe down the line I would complete the set and then just sell the whole collection on Ebay.
But this past summer I taught a lesson to a group of local Japanese boys going to Ireland to play soccer in an international tournament. And I ended up giving each of them one of the discs.
I still have about 8 discs - I kept all the "big name" countries, cuz they are pretty cool.

They had a great series of metal pins for the Olympics recently, and I got two the first day I saw them, decided I would try to get all 12, and the next day they were GONE. Oh well - at least I drink Coke. Anyway want a Pepsi Nex?

Star Wars toys on Pepsi Nex - 3.jpg

1 comment:

K said...

Are they still in the stores?? I would love a few! If you mail them to me, I'll mail something cool back to you!

...I also collected a bunch of those freebies. I have kitty chans hanging everywhere!