Sometimes after dinner, I like to pay a visit to the second hand hobby shop in my neighbourhood. Every time I go there, I would manage find something nice and random for a cheap price if I am thorough enough with its walls of toys. The surprises make every trip feels like a treasure hunt. This time, I found my latest favourite toy, a mini-folding chair!
I have seen this being reported before as the latest gachapon (capsule toys) series that confused everybody. Have you always wanted a folding chair but don’t have space in your house? Couldn’t afford a thousand yen for a real folding chair? Don’t worry! For only two hundred yen, you can get yourself a mini-folding chair, perfectly fitting for…… obviously not you, but your other toys.
When I spotted the miniature chair, I was mysteriously fascinated by it. Who would buy this? How is this a toy? Who came up with this idea? How do you play with this? Why do I want this? Is this they only one they have on the rack?…… By the time I realized it, the mini-chair was already sitting in my shopping basket.
Out of the four colours available in the series, I bought the blue one which was the only one at the store. I went home and opened it immediately, and it didn’t disappoint. This little furniture looks like the real thing in smaller scale. The balance of its legs is steady and stable. The folding action is smooth and strangely satisfying. Since the scale is designed to match most mini-figures, my toys couldn’t wait to enjoy this new comfortable chair. Rather than a stand-alone toy, many owners consider this as an additional piece or equipment for their toy collection.
Speaking of additional, I actually bought the companion furniture for the folding chair as well: a mini-stacking rack for folding chairs! If you have several of these folding chairs (which I don’t think I will invest into), you can stock them neatly in this rack! How compact and convenient!!!
The other companion piece in the series is a folding table. Unfortunately the store didn’t have it.
At this point, it is understandable if you are wondering “why the heck did you buy this?” and thinking that I am going insane for my fondness towards this tiny toy chair. However, if you follow Japanese toy trends, this shouldn’t be all that surprising.
Miniature toys are very popular in Japan: Gundams models, miniature famous architectures, tiny size food plastic models, highly detailed paper houses, beautifully and carefully made mini-train tracks that take up an entire room. Japan appreciates details very much, and a carefully designed miniature model can demonstrate great craftsmanship. The care and attention put into the mini folding chair is not different from a Gundam plastic model, except this tiny toy chair lands on the side of an ordinary object rather than a futuristic robot.
In fact, a folding chair seems so mundane for a toy that it crosses the line back into being extraordinary. Other series of miniature mundane furniture on the market include school desks and tables, as well as movie theatre chairs. Whoever came up with these is a genius who should receive a promotion for coming up with such ironically unique ideas.
My only question is:
If Toy Story is true and toys are alive, does a toy folding chair come alive too or does it simply turn into a folding chair for other toys? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
Guest post written by Jackson Lee.