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Tasty as it may be, instant ramen isn’t usually the sort of thing you eat at social gatherings. More often than not, you’ll find yourself reaching for a cup of noodles when you have no one to eat dinner with, and speed and convenience are what you’re really after.

Still, it can feel a little lonely sitting quietly at your kitchen table as you wait for the boiling water you just poured into the cup to do its thing. If only there was someone you could talk to, who’d also remind you when the three minutes were up.

Now there is, with a talking timer shaped like the beloved Chicken Ramen mascot, who’ll not only keep you company, but even play games with you, too.

The adorable Hiyoko-chan graces the package of Nissin’s perennially popular Chicken Ramen (and also occasionally the expressways of Japan). He’s also the muse for the latest in the line of toymaker Mega House’s Chara Tama (“Character Egg”) series.

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Open up Hiyoko-chan’s plastic shell, and he’ll give you a friendly greeting, and even respond if you pet him. He’s functional, too, with a timer mode where he jabbers away for the three minutes it requires to cook just about every variety of instant ramen ever made.

He’s also got a communication mode, in which he can do things like tell your fortune and play rock-paper-scissors.

▼ For the latter, we’re guessing he calls out his attack action anime-style, since the figure doesn’t have arms, or fingers…

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Hiyoko0chan’s being a bird isn’t anything more than a happy coincidence, though, since the Chara Tama series isn’t limited to avian characters. For example, here’s the new Hello Kitty Chara Tama.

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Like Hiyoko-chan, Kitty-chan has a communication mode with divination and game-playing capabilities. She can also sing one of three songs.

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Sadly, since she lacks Hiyoko-chan’s level of professional experience with instant noodles, Hello Kitty doesn’t have a timer mode. In light of this, the only sensible thing to do is pick up both of the figures, which sell for 2,200 yen (US$21.80) each. That way you’ll not only know when your ramen is ready to eat, but you’ll have musical accompaniment for your meal as well.

Source: IT Media
Top image: Mega House (1, 2)
Insert images: Mega House