Chara Hiroba Is Japanese for "Weeeird Toys" (Part One)

Published: February 18, 2009
Categories: Fun Stuff

Part 1Part 2

You gotta see this stuff. There’s a Japanese toy company called Chara Hiroba that makes a lot of Sesame Street toys, and Tough Pigs founder Danny Horn recently told me about their website, where new Sesame toys are displayed every single month. These toys are… different than our Sesame Street playthings in the U.S. of A.

I mean, a lot of them are cute. Like these Muppets wearing sombreros:

Yay, they’re forming a mariachi band! Except they all showed up with maracas and nobody knows how to play guitar. Oh well.

And then there’s these guys:

Look how adorable they are! And they’re best friends, ’cause they’re holding hands! Except Rubber Duckie, who doesn’t have any friends. These toys are also very small. You probably shouldn’t leave those lying around anywhere near a small child, because that’s the kind of thing kids love putting in their mouth. Oh, but you think those are small? Check these out:

One of those could fit in your nostril with no effort at all. Oscar seems to have traded his trash can for a cotton ball.

So those are all very nice, but then you come across something like this:

And two questions come to mind: 1. What? and 2. Huuuh? Are these bricks? Could you build a house out of Cookie Monsters and Elmos and Big Birds? If so, that’s the most compelling reason to move to Japan I’ve ever heard. By the way, these three Muppets seem to be the most popular characters in Japan, at least if you judge by toys like these similarly rectangular products:

Elmo, you’re a blockhead. Ha!

Now these are interesting. The only thing distinguishing Elmo from Cookie Monster here is the presence of a nose, and slightly more focused eyes. I guess that’s two things. Oh, and the color, so that’s three things. Nevermind.

Hey, how about Muppets in animal costumes?

This is from the time Cookie, Elmo, and Big Bird tried to crash Kermit’s family reunion, I guess. But where are Cookie’s froggy eyes? And more importantly, would they be googly too?

Man, I don’t remember Elmo being so leggy. Or so… army?

These aren’t actually that weird… but look at their faces. They seem to be expressing pure terror, don’t they? “NOOO! NOOO, PLEASE DON’T PUT ME ON YOUR HEAD! ANYTHING BUT THAT! AAAAARRRRGGGGHHHHMMMF!!!” Something like that.

Hmm. Are they cheerleaders, or boxers? Or did they get melons stuck on their hands?

Yikes! What kid in any country of the world wants this thing? I think it would be a little less shocking if his nose were in color. Then it would just be like, Oh, okay, it’s Elderly Elmo! Tickle him and he laughs and then has a coughing fit! But this is something else altogether. I don’t really know what it is.

Have you seen enough? Well, I haven’t. Click here for part two!

Click here to discuss crazy toys on the Tough Pigs forum!

by Ryan Roe –

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