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For some reason, Japan has a deep fascination with giant isopods, the deep-sea creatures that look like, well … giant roaches. Perhaps it’s because of their “unique” appearance, or because one of these critters at the Toba Aquarium in Mie Prefecture became famous for going over five years without eating at all (although that individual is sadly no longer with us), but whatever the cause, these marine creatures seem to make regular appearances on the Japanese Internet in one form or another. In fact, their popularity is such that making cocktail sausages shaped like one of these sea bugs became a hugely popular topic on the Japanese twitterverse earlier this year.

Now, it seems one toy manufacturer has taken Japan’s fondness for isopods one step further and come out with a product modeled after not the actual sea bug itself, but its sausage incarnation — and as a gachapon toy you can buy from a vending machine, no less!

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The “Isopod Sausage Mascot (Gusokumushi Wiener Mascot)”, as the line of toys from manufacturer Kitan Club is called, can now be bought from gachapon machines for 200 yen (Us$1.66) a pop.

The standard “sausage isopods” come in three colors: red, white and brown.

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▼Since these are what some real isopods look like, we guess they did a decent job of beautifying, or in this case kawaii-fying in Japanese-style, the bug-like sea creatures.

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But that’s not all. They also have bonus “rare” sausage isopod toys, which you might get if you’re really lucky.

▼The rare isopod items come in two types. The first is the “Running Isopod Sausage (Hashiru Gusokumushi Wiener)” that actually shakes and moves!gusoku 4

▼The second rare sausage isopod toy is the “Giant Isopod Sausage (Daio-gusokumushi Wiener)”, which comes in a larger size than the others.
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Since these are gachapon toys, they’re not very big — between 5.8cm (2.3in) and 6.8cm (2.7in) — but if you’re an isopod fan, we guess maybe it’s good news that you don’t have to cook and cut actual sausages to enjoy seeing a kawaii version of your favorite deep-sea creature. Of course, if you want your sausage isopod to actually be edible, you’ll have to get out your kitchen knife and frying pan … or if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, you could always try eating real isopods, right? Bon Apetit!

Source: Kitan Club website (Japanese) via ITmedia (Japanese)
Top image: AMAZON.JP 
All inset photos of isopod sausage toys: Kitan Club website