Barbie and Ken, rejoice, for the Japanese have created dishes that have been prepared in the doll house kitchen of your dreams!
Well OK, I’m not sure if these Shokugan or “candy toys” are the same scale as America’s most famous doll couple. Yet the accuracy and attention to detail that goes into these micro-miniature replicas of food, dishware, cookware and just about everything else out there are absolutely incredible!
Which isn’t surprising, as quality, accuracy and attention to detail are synonymous with just about everything that’s made in, or at least branded by companies from the land of the rising sun. Never mind Toyota, as that’s another story.
Shokugan is the Japanese term for “candy toys”, which the toy is the main product, and usually an inferior-tasting small portion of candy is placed in the packaging just as a “bonus” if you will. Kinda’ like the stick of gum in Baseball cards, except I’ve always liked the taste of baseball card bubble gum.
Then there’s what’s known as Gashapon, which are “capsule toys”, that are usually sold in vending machines in Japan.
Although “toy” is what they’re loosely referred as, both Gashapon and Shokugan “toys” are usually high quality, highly detailed, painted miniaturized 3-dimensional PVC plastic replicas of just about everything you can think of, where as you see is done here with, of all things, FOOD! And not surprisingly because of those said attributes, Gashapon and Shokugan “toys” are HUGE with collectors, no pun intended.
Here today I’m showing just a VERY few of probably what are HUNDREDS of Shokugan food sets that have been made; these all courtesy of Diner E’s “museum” in our office. lol
Zooming in, first up we have this Washoku Zanmai (Japanese food) set…
I goofed on the hashi (chopsticks), as it’s upside-down in this photo. Sorry ’bout that.
Notice I used a Hawaii State Quarter for visual comparison of scale. Now take a quarter out of your pocket and place it on the table, and you’ll immediately realize how TEEENY-WEENY TINY these “Shokugan Grindz” really are, yet the detail and practically edible looking appearance is truly AMAZING! Especially for something mass-produced and priced accordingly as these are.
Here’s an even closer look…
Moving along, we have this this tray of hot dog fast food grindz….
Check that out; they even have the clear plastic cover covering the salad. Unbelievable!
They sure put the “petite” in Petite Cafe with this one…
Again, there’s no Photoshop trickery going on here. Everything shown here is exactly to scale as depicted next to that U.S. Quarter. I’m just trying to figure what the heck this is on the plate? It looks like perpaps Broccoli with melted cheese on it, along with a bowl of either soup or stew and a big (if you look at it in perspective) honkin’ split loaf of French Bread. But look at that: even the bread has the texture of the pores, plus there’s chives sprinkled on it! That’s just crazy.
My absolute favorite though is this incredibly detailed and super-accurate Japanese Manual-Crank Shave Ice Machine…
One more angle…
My sister has a REAL machine just like that which my parents bought in Japan a long time ago. The thing is built like a TANK, made of cast iron, with a thick, machined stainless steel base plate that the block of ice spins on, and a RAZOR-SHARP stainless steel blade that shaves the ice down to powder if you want.
But looking at this Shokugan Shave Ice Machine, isn’t the realism just amazing? To think this much detail and accuracy can fit on a piece hardly larger in footprint than the face of a quarter is just mind blowing. All for around $5 at Don Quijote and Marukai’s impulse buy area at the checkouts.
Here’s the rest of Diner E’s Gashapon and Shokugan collection…
Sorry about the dust, but they’re do for a cleaning soon, which could take a whole day for all this!
All-in-all, neat stuff!
For more amazing and sometimes hilarious Gashapon and Shokugan, I highly recommend you thumb through the galleries at this website: Gashapon Shokugan