Plastic Model-ization Plan welcomes its newest public art pieces.

On Sunday, Shizuoka City put a lot of smiles on people’s faces by installing some new pay phones. That might not seem like anything special enough to get happy about, seeing as how mobile phones have become pretty much ubiquitous for anyone junior high age or older in Japan, but these aren’t just any pay phones.

They’re plastic model pay phones.

Shizuoka bills itself as “a model city,” not just because it thinks of itself as a pretty nice town, but also because the city produces 80 percent of Japan’s plastic model kits. With Japan’s unabashed passion for the hobby, that makes models a major part of the local economy, with the headquarters of major kit maker Tamiya, which tweeted the above photo, located in Shizuoka City.

▼ Telecommunications provider NTT West Japan, which operates the phones, also shared a snapshot.

The phones are located outside the north exit of Shizuoka Station, where they can provide a playful welcome to visitors who’ve just arrived by train. And yes, the two phones on the left and right sides of the frame are actual functioning payphones, not just decorations, which can be used to make calls.

The model phones are part of the Shizuoka City Plastic Model-ization Plan, a PR campaign with public art pieces with a plastic model aesthetic. Last year Shizuoka unveiled a plastic model-style mail box outside city hall, and there are also monuments at the south entrance to Shizuoka Station and outside the Twinmesse Shizuoka convention center where modeling fans can pose like they’re part of the parts frame.

As the newest pieces though, it’s now the phones’ turn in the spotlight, and reactions on Twitter have included:

“Sweet! It’s 1:1 scale!”
“Gonna have to use some big pincers to remove those from the runner.”
“Seriously, I would buy a plastic model of the plastic model phones.”
“I totally want to see this in person!”
“Gonna have to go to Shizuoka and check this out.”

Though there’s less and less need for public phones in the modern era, places like train stations do need to keep at least a few available for travelers whose mobile phone may have gotten lost, damaged, or had its battery die, and this is a clever way to fulfill that obligation while also providing some fun even for people who won’t be using the phones themselves.

Source: Twitter/@tamiyainc via IT Media, Shizuoka City Plastic Model-ization Plan
Featured image: Twitter/@NTTWestOfficial
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