…There. We said it.
As technologically cool and fun-sounding as the “Mitsukete-miyou! Iro Kyachi Pen” (lit. “Let’s Find it! Color Catch Pen”) appears to be, it also has the unfortunate appearance of a “massager,” which in Japan, is code for…Well, look, it’s code for a vibrator. Literally no one uses a “massager” for their back or any other non-genital area (and anyone who says otherwise is a dirty, filthy liar and probably also says they never pee in the shower, which we all know is a lie, too), so parents be warned: You and your child may have lots of fun playing with this fantastic, educational toy, but you will also never, ever, ever be able to shake the image of your nine-year-old holding something they might as well have found in your secret fun-time drawer out of your head for as long as you live.
Apparently, the “Color Catch Pen” was awarded a special citation as a “kyoyugangu,” (lit., “sharing toy”) that children with vision problems – and presumably other handicaps – can have fun with alongside parents.
The toy combines a “color sensor” loaded into the back end with a stylus in the front. By pushing the color sensor up against an object, such as an apple, the pen “remembers” the object’s color and can then draw and doodle using that hue. It seems that users can download a free application for their tablet (reports say the tablet is “sold separately,” but promo materials appear to show what looks like a standard Apple iPad, so it doesn’t seem like you need to purchase any kind of Takara Tomy-branded tablet) that features a drawing and coloring program for kids – and, okay, adults – to play around with.
If you don’t own a tablet, the Color Catch Pen still has a few features your child might enjoy, including a “color quiz mode,” that asks kids to identify what color the pen has picked up, and a “color sound mode,” that plays different sounds depending on the color of a scanned object. Presumably, this is where the educational aspect of the toy comes in, allowing vision-impaired kids to learn the colors of various common objects through non-visual means.
Those that do own a tablet can toy around with a few different coloring and drawing options in the robust-looking painting app. But, listen guys, none of this changes the fact that the Color Catch Pen looks like a 3,800 yen (approx. US$35) vibrator.
The Color Catch Pen-slash-“Mom’s Just Going to Take this into the Bathroom for a Sec, okay, Honey?” Pen goes on sale September 10.