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The king of quirky gadgets; Thanko

Thanko, Japan’s self-proclaimed “rare things shop, has been serving us a steady supply of very useful, a little useful, hardly useful and useless gadgets, and we at JWS have come to love this company for all its quirkiness and originality.

Since most of these products are only available in Japan and therefore a service like JWS is required makes it all the more lovable to us tiny, very tiny bonus receiving worker bees here at JWS.

Well let us show what we’re going on about:

 The Upside-down “Desk” To Use While You Snooze

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Now all you need is an intravenous drip, catheter and bed pan…

On 7 February, the year was 2013, a new day of sloth dawned with the issue of Thanko’s new upside-down laptop desk, aptly named Aomuke Gorone Desk (“Napping Face Up Desk”) for 7,980 yen (US$86).

Improving on the desktop of previous model Gorone Desk, this one can be used in comfort upside-down, lying on your back.

Inside the desktop are two fans which help to cool down your poor flipped-out laptop, which otherwise would be overheating from the shock.

Don’t worry, your baby is kept cool and held firmly in place with a sturdy band and hooks. You can even fix other things into it that you might want to look at upside down, like magazines or… um, kittens, anyone? And there’s more! It can even be used right-side up.

 Electrothermal heated gloves for winter outdoor activities

Electrothermal heated gloves to eliminate the chill of hands during outdoor activities on cold winter days.

They are powered by a 9V battery and get warm quickly in about 30 seconds. There is an On/Off button so that you can turn it off when not needed and save power. Admit it, this is pure genius!

Great for when you want to ride your motorbike in winter or for fishing or climbing the Himalayas but don’t forget to carry some extra batteries!

Specs:

  • Price: 3,980 yen
  • Size: 290x140x40mm / glove
  • Weight: 80g / glove
  • Battery life: 1.5 hours

 

Camera stand with 3 quiet wheels to enable you to take smooth moving images

a camera stand with 3 quiet wheels. It enables you to take smooth moving images like a movie. You can perform several moves like moving straight, curve and rotation, and they can be done at high speed.

It’s compatible with compact cameras, single-lens reflex cameras, and video cameras. The screw hole for attaching a tripod stand is used to mount the stand.

Price: ¥6,980 –

Shoulder bag with pop-up tablet holder

Thanko - Shoulder bag with pop-up tablet holder - AkihabaraNews.com

When you are on a busy train or when you are holding an umbrella, this shoulder bag comes into play. It allows hands-free use of your tablet.

Only one drawback about it might be that you get some extra attention from people around you…but this could work to your advantage….normally the girl in wouldn’t even glance at the man in his hideous silver color coat…but watch her expression, next up they’ll be exchanging phone numbers and who knows…..their vows.

  • Price: ¥4,980

Painless comfortable earphones for lying down

When you wear earphones while you lie down and relax, don’t your earphones bother you? They tend to make your ears ache as time passes.

With Thanko‘s new earphones, you won’t feel any pain in your ears for a long time. They’re smaller than regular earphones so that the whole earbud fits perfectly in your ear without any of it sticking out, which is the main reason why we get those pesky earaches.

Thanko – Smartphone Microscope to magnify 100X high-quality images

Your smartphone will turn into a digital microscope with Thanko‘s new Smartphone Microscope.

It is very easy to use. What you have to do is just attach the Smartphone Microscope with the accompanying clip onto any smartphone or iPhone and then you can view a magnified image of an object through the smartphone’s screen. It can zoom from 60X up to 100X.

Price: 2,980 yen

USB-Powered Heated Office Gloves

While they’ll surely find fans anywhere on the planet (beyond certain latitudes and/or elevations, that is), heated office gloves are particularly welcome here in Japan. Even in large corporate buildings, central heating is at best a 50/50 likelihood, and virtually nonexistent in smaller companies. This is also the norm in most homes – it’s just how they roll over here. As such, convenient hand warmers that plug into one’s desk/laptop or a USB battery pack can go a long way toward comfortable winter office work – or wherever you’d want to use them, really.

Extra Desktop Arms to Hold Your Stuff

The clear, clean workspace is a keyboard pounder’s dream – one that usually seems completely hopeless. But if one could get one’s mobile gadgetry off the desktop and open up space for referencing handwritten notes or documents, or fiddling around with cameras and what not, or just making room for one’s sandwich as one works through yet another lunch, etc., etc., one would be pleased.

For the 24hour social media addict

The utility of this thing is basically limited only to our imagination: quickly referencing calendars or other productivity apps, pulling up a YouTube video, checking Twitter, on and on. For those who’ve managed to dial in the tablet-as-second-monitor setup, this is pretty hard to beat. The arm rack can be mounted on any desk or hard surface (bed frames, kitchen/coffee tables, etc.), and the arms are fully articulable in basically all degrees of freedom.

All but the largest phablets will fit in the smartphone clamp, and the tablet rack can accommodate almost any-size device in landscape orientation. Additionally, and particularly thoughtful, two rigid, L-shaped attachments that more effectively place the device in one’s field of view are included.

While it’s not quite there yet, what would really take these arms into super-useful level would be integrated USB/Lightning/Mini- & Micro-USB cables for charging and syncing and stuff – maybe we’ll see that in version 2!

Price: ¥3,480 (~$29)

Wearable or Mountable Action Cam Gimbal

No one who’s spent a few hours on YouTube has been spared the visual seizure salad of super-shaky action cam shots – almost by definition, getting action shots is a shaky-can’t-be-helped scenario. Sure, clever editors can tone down the vibrations and herky-jerkiness in post, but why not cut down on that from the jump? …you know, so to speak (demo video below).

Enter Thanko’s electronically controlled, self-balancing 3-axis gimbal designed specifically for action camming (definitely fits the GoPro/FauxPro boxy form factor best). The device has multiple tripod mount points a number of different configurations, making in wholly compatible with almost any existing action cam accessories – including mono-pods, selfie sticks, etc. It also twists and turns into 4 different stabilization configurations, making it widely flexible in attaching to whatever to shoot whatever.

The gimbal’s built-in battery pack (rechargeable batteries included) provides a good 3-4 hours of stable shooting, but in locked mode it can also serve as a external battery pack for the action cam. A dedicated hard case and range of attachment accessories and cables and such are also included.

Last we list some products without description, because Thanko has so many products, it would take me at least 200 paragraphs and that would cut too much in my time, time I need to play around with some of the products  from Thanko we acquired to test their quality. (reviews will follow).

Usb powered hot glue gun
cat hand-shaped selfie stick

 

Enter a captionHands-free Shushuku-gasa (shrinkable umbrella)

Check out their website for more gadgets:

Thanko (Japanese)

Amazon Thanko

To finish this piece I would like to introduce one more product;

Two Screws + Two Cameras = Two Shots (at the same time!)

We’re in an industry where carrying around multiple cameras or a single camera with unattached accessories or a camera and a smartphone is de rigueur – it must be done. So, we know all too well the endless annoyance of putting down one device and lifting up another – all the while hoping our subject remains compliant and/or stationary. Well, no more!

A Japanese camera gadget maker has an answer for our media-world problems, and it’s fantastically simple: Etsumi’s new accessory bracket attaches to your main camera’s tripod mount, extending to the left and forward, and the other end of the bracket provides either another tripod mount or a hotshoe connector. Boom! Attach whatever you like!

Whether it’s an action cam, a dot sight for shooting rapidly moving subjects, or – and this one really appeals to us – a photo-centric smartphone case with a tripod mount (because more and more we find ourselves longing to simultaneously shoot high-res with a main camera, then lower-res with a smartphone for immediate social media shares).

The brackets are selling for ¥4,600 (~$38) for the dual tripod mount version and ¥5,300 (~$43) for the hotshoe connector version. They weigh about 63g (tripod mount) and 93g (hotshoe mount), respectively, and are both 100 x 90mm square and about 5mm thick.

Pics by Akihabara news and Thanko

Update!

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Thanko, Japan’s premiere producer of bizarre products, is back with the “Chin Rest Arm.” Be the talk of the office with this must-have, not-at-all-insane accessory!

Do you spend your days at the office looking like this poor sap? If so, you may be missing something in your life. But it’s not hope, dreams, an exciting career, or even a family that loves you! No, what you need is….

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…the “Chin Rest Arm!”

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That’s right, the Chin Rest Arm. This multipurpose, posable, movable, slightly sexy plastic hand will help keep your head up when times are tough. Literally!

You can also use it in place of a neck pillow when you’re trying to escape the slow march into death by catching a few winks at work.

▼ You too can have this contented, empty smile!

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Thanks to its soft, cushioned exterior, the Chin Rest Arm is the perfect, comfy companion—it’s like a body pillow…for your face!

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With the clever application of the arm’s grip, you could probably attach it to your belt and have a helping hand wherever you go!

▼ The Chin Rest Arm will never leave your high-fives hanging!

thanko

And for a mere 4,980 yen (about US$40), who could say no to this amazing device? We fully expect to fill our office with outstretched Chin Rest Arms just looking to be helpful by the end of December! Who knows what Mr. Sato will use his for…

Source/images: Thanko

 

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Cosplay in your sleep with this giant anime-style “pigtails pillow”【Pics & Video】

Well winter is coming and some have you are preparing yourselves to hibernate…well we at JWS are here to let you sleep till spring…in perfect comfort!

The creative team at Bibi Lab have been at it again. The inventive brand dedicated to bringing weird and wonderful items out into the world have delighted us with life-sized human-shaped pillows, mosquito net jumpsuits and even sailor-style schoolgirl uniforms for men.

Now there’s another item we’ll be adding to our growing collection of Bibi Lab products: the giant anime-style pigtails pillow.

Previously, Bibi Lab brought out a giant, brown-coloured pigtail—or twintail as they’re known here—pillow in homage to the hairstyle that’s so popular in Japan. With its straight up-and-down design, though, the hug-pillow looked more like a pair of tanned arms than a mane of dark hair. With that experience behind them, they’ve decided to perfect the pigtail look with a cute, wavy style, complete with face-covering bangs. Anyone who walks in on you now will know you’re dressed up as a style of hair.

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The larger-than-life hairstyle is super soft and shiny and once you’re in, you can hug, hold and hide inside your ‘hair’, allowing for a number of cute poses. Bibi Lab outlines ten specific positions to try, in three exceeding levels of difficulty which correspond to how much you’ll be giggling as you do them.

The beginner’s level starts out with the “Three River Side Snuggle“. Lie in the middle, cosy up to one side and you’ve got three ‘rivers’ of warmth.

a

Fold the two pigtails on top of each other, straddle them and you’ve got the “Three River Vertical Snuggle“.

b

The term, Nihon Hyakkei refers to the 100 famous views of Japan. This is the “Yumemi Hyakkei, because the only thing you’ll be seeing in this position is 100 yume, or dreams.

c

Moving on to the intermediate level, we have the “Wrap-Around Computer Table“, perfect for reading or laptop use.

d

Criss-cross the pigtails inside each other and you have “The Monolith”, which comes in handy when you want to watch TV.

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An additional twist gives you the perfect headrest for a good sob. This one’s appropriately called “Tied Up in Knots Because of Your First Love”.

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And for some extra head support, there’s the “Head-Holding Hard Hug“.

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And now for advanced use, you can try the “Tsubame Gaeshi“, or “Return of the Swallow“, which is both a sword technique that can slash off the topknot of a samurai warrior and a judo throw that will land you on the floor. Either way, you’ll be covering your face in fear.

i

And for the lovebirds who want to watch each other’s backs, there’s the “Meeting Heads” position, which is handy for keeping an eye out for enemy approaches in the lounge room.

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And when people give you a time-out in the corner for all your crazy antics, you can do it in comfort with ”The Wall Stand“.

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Available from online retailer Rakuten Ichiba for 10,800 yen (US$90.34), the pillow itself is 150 centimtres (4.9 feet) long and filled with two different materials; soft cotton for the pigtails and microbeads for the headrest area.

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It includes two covers; a blue spandex one for the hot summer months and a black velveteen cover for the colder winter months so you can wear your pigtails any time of the year!

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To see just how soft and fluffy the pillow is, take a look at the video below.

And, as with all hair, remember to keep away from open flames!

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Bibi Lab, don’t ever stop creating. We can’t wait to see what other wacky items you’ve got lined up for us in the future!

Source and Images: Bibi Lab

Lingerie retailer catering to flat-chested girls inundated with orders within hours of opening

“Why should only big-breasted girls get all the fun of lingerie shopping?” is apparently the question that led Japanese fashion school student Gomi Hayakawa to design and sell these stylish lingerie sets, tailor-made for flat chested girls, under the brand name of “Feast.”

Now, I understand that, in English, “flat-chested” has mildly derogatory connotations (imagine how a guy would react if you described him as having “micro junk” or something), but trust me, in this case I’m literally just directly translating. Japanese has so many words for varying sizes, textures and shapes of breasts your head will spin.

When one is able to describe breasts in one word with the same amount of detail a sommelier might describe the varying flavor notes of a particularly complex wine, well then, it’s no wonder Japan has a bit of a breast-loving reputation.

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Anyway, it turns out Hayakawa’s designs are answering a serious market need, as small-chested ladies from Japan over hustled to the home page to place their orders, totally overwhelming Hayakawa and her small staff within hours of the shop going online.

Hayakawa, a mere Freshman at her fashion school, no doubt expected her lingerie sets to hold little more than niche appeal, as she has announced she’ll be running out of supplies after one more round of orders. But, Japan being a capitalist nation, we can imagine she’ll find some way to boost supply if demand keeps rolling in.

It’s nice that, here in boob-obsessed Japan, the (not as plentiful as you think) small-busted ladies now have a tailor-made product to help them feel sexy in their nightwear too. Just remember to be careful about who you wear it around, girls.

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Hayakawa doesn’t  accommodate shipping to foreign countries, but we do, so if you want to get your hands on the whimsically-named “Fairy Feather” or “Angelic Wing” sets, you can check if they’re still available here.

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