Some assembly, possibly imagination, required.

Summer is a hot, humid time in Japan, so these days SoraNews24’s star reporter Mr. Sato is looking for ways to stay cool. His cheapness, however, is a year-round part of his personality, so that of course has to be incorporated into any of his plans to cope with the steamy weather.

So when Mr. Sato spotted an air conditioner being offered for just 300 yen (US$2.75), he immediately knew this was an interior upgrade he couldn’t pass up, especially when its maker boasted that there were no installation or maintenance fees for the unit. Thoroughly sold, he tossed three hundred-yen coins into the capsule toy vending machine stocked with manufacturer Stasto’s In-Capsule Appliances-The Air Conditioner (or Capsule de Kaden The Cooler, to use its official Japanese product name).

Some assembly was required, but it was no problem for a man who’s built both a house and a toilet inside his office. Everything snaps together, so there’s no need for glue, tape, or any other sort of adhesives.

At this point you might be thinking that this miniature A.C. unit is entirely decorative, like the capsule toy rice cookers we bought a while back. But while quirky aesthetics are definitely a big part of the appeal, In-Capsule Appliances-The Air Conditioner is, ostensibly, functional too. In putting it together, you’ll notice that the components include trays, which you can fill with water

…and stick in the freezer, turning them into little blocks of ice!

Once you’ve got those, finish putting the unit together…

…and clip it to the face of a fan to produce, according to Stasto, a cool, soothing breeze.

With the mini-appliance in place, Mr. Sato switched on his desk fan.

So how’s it feel?

“It’s cool…kind of…I guess? Maybe it’s a psychological thing.”

In the end, Mr. Sato wasn’t able to definitively say whether his mini A.C. really affected the surrounding temperature, or if it merely produces a refreshing placebo effect. Still, this is arguably a more practical purchase than Stasto’s capsule toy machine capsule toys (no, that’s not a typo), and really, as Mr. Sato knows first-hand, there are worse ways to try to keep yourself cool in the summer.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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Follow Casey on Twitter, where his tactic for staying cool in the summer is an endless supply of Morinaga Ice Box and Akaginyugyo Garigari-kun.

[ Read in Japanese ]