Mr. Sato once again tempts fate with two mystery grab bags of outdated electronics.

Every year our reporter Mr. Sato likes to forego the big name lucky bags with their predetermined goods that are even advertised on the store’s website months in advance. Instead he prefers the purity of Akihabara junk shops.

▼ It’s the glitz and the glamour that keeps him coming back for more.

These are dealers who specialize in things no other electronics retailer offers, like Atari Jaguar controllers or electronic dictionaries that don’t work but are full of parts for some industrious hacker to harvest.

And for New Year’s Day they reliably put the “luck” back in lucky bags by selling sealed paper sacks with very little indication of what’s inside. It always sets Mr. Sato’s gambling spirit ablaze and even though his previous attempts have resulted in a total of about 30 kilos (66 pounds) of useless junk such as four pairs of “Music Innerphones” and two copies of “Mega-Class Internet Speed CD ROM,” he still yearns for the thrill of it all.

This will be our writer’s third time out. In 2016 he purchased a 2,000-yen (US$18) and 3,000-yen ($27) bag, receiving a slew of outdated iPhone cases and chargers. 2017 came with 3,000-yen ($27) and 6,000-yen ($53) bags, but it turned out to be literally just more of the same.

▼ “2016’s garbage”

▼ “2017”s garbage”

For 2018, the same shop had bags on sale for 3,000 yen ($27) and 7,000 yen ($62). However, something wasn’t quite right. In previous years the junk bags were so heavy that they blew out Mr. Sato’s arms by the time he got them back to the office, but this year they were unusually light.

Mr. Sato had even prepared a luggage carrier this time just in case, but ended up just looking silly.

Even after he got home and took an initial peek, his heart sank. This year’s haul looked pitifully small compared to last years bounty of useless crap

Mr. Sato slowly took out each item and summed up his haul.

Akihabara junk shop 3,000-yen lucky bag

  • Broken digital camera
  • 2 iPhone 5c cases
  • A conversion adapter between various old fliptop phones
  • A conversion adapter for various old fliptop phones, iPhones, and USB
  • …What the Hell?!

In addition to Mr. Sato’s usual income of outmoded gear, there was a fully functional DVD player! Its only flaw appeared to be that it was missing a remote control, but otherwise it was in quite good condition. This certainly seems to say a lot about the status of DVDs in today’s society.

The digital camera didn’t work at all, but at least Mr. Sato could huck it against a wall, just to see what that’d be like.

Despite the inclusion of a somewhat useful piece of electronics, Mr. Sato felt rather disappointed. Even though it had all been completely useless stuff before, this year he felt robbed of the excitement of scrounging through the sheer volume of it all to find a diamond in the rough.

Luckily, there was still the 7,000-yen bag…

Akihabara junk shop 7,000-yen lucky bag

  • 2 digital camera cleaning kits
  • 2 SCSI cables
  • 5 Sony Walkman 2012 cases
  • 5 iPhone 4/4s cases
  • Memory card reader
  • Security buzzer
  • 2 USB cables
  • 7 conversion adapters between various old fliptop phones (5 white, 2 black)
  • Mystery adapter
  • Working DVD player
  • Broken laptop

Now this was more like it! The SCSI cables were especially a nice touch of nostalgia.

And a junk shop lucky bag just wouldn’t be complete without a ridiculous number of obsolete iPhone cases, and they really outdid themselves this year with the Sony Walkman 2012 cases too!

The buzzer alarm is just the thing to give Mr. Sato’s home that family-run convenience store feel it needs.

The USB 2.0 cables still have their use in this day and age, and with the included adapters they’re that much handier!

And with all these extra phone converter thingies, Mr. Sato can finally create his ungodly mobile-phone-centipede.

Mr. Sato’s got a kick out of these little cleaners shaped like memory cards to clean the slots too. He’ll probably never be bothered to actually use them, but still…

And now that he has two working DVD players, he can finally see if Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon really does sync up with The Wizard of OZ. Moreover, this one came with a remote – hot dog!

The laptop was an Acer TimeLineX model from five years ago and didn’t come with an adapter. He could always try that thing online where people bake their laptops in the oven to bring it back to life.

As he looked at its lifeless screen, he wondered what treasures are still written on its hard drive. It was a thought that both intrigued and terrified Mr. Sato as he tried to remember the fate of all his old laptops.

And finally this adapter with no markings or cables whatsoever… Well, it’s just heavy enough to be useful at repelling attackers.

And so, despite a little suspense, Mr. Sato ended up happy with this year’s Akihabara junk shop roulette. If you’d like to partake too, just remember that the fun crap is all in the 7,000 yen bag this year!

Photos: SoraNews24
[ Read in Japanese ]