It’s hard to imagine anyone finding this cup en-deer-ing.

With the weather starting to warm up in Japan, campers and outdoor lovers alike are gearing up for another camping season.

Our wild-at-heart outdoorsman, low-rating-item enthusiast, and Japanese-language reporter Masanuki Sunakoma became inspired to purchase a wooden mug after seeing an advertisement of an outdoor brand model wearing a knit hat, sipping a hot beverage from a hand-carved cup.

Wanting to manifest this natural energy, he searched Amazon for a contender. During his search, he came across a mug with a deer-shaped handle and decided to try it out.

▼ So far, so good. No damage to the package.

This Wooden Camp Cup (its official name is actually “Wooden Coffee Cups, Hand Carved Wooden Mugs, Animal Head Image Cups, Skulls Cups, Portable Outdoor Wood Camping Mug, Great Gift for Travelers, Hunter” — but that’s a mouthful) cost Masanuki 1,828 yen (US$15.59), a pretty good price for something supposedly hand-carved.

▼ Was it actually a good deal, though?

According to the product description, it’s made in the traditional Scandinavian Kuksa style, which involves carving designs from the burls of birch wood. The style conveys the warmth of the wood, and supposedly the more you use it, the more the flavor of whatever you’re drinking comes out.

▼ This is what Masanuki thought his mug would look like.

Oh, and by the way, this particular mug has a one-star rating on Amazon. The reviews of the mug said things like: “It’s not as cool as I thought it would be”, “The photo is totally a scam”, and “This wasn’t what I pictured at all”.

▼ He had to admit the Amazon photo looked pretty realistic, but the description said it was hand-carved by a master…

He was really hoping for a cup that would resonate with his wild soul while also displaying the gentle nature of the deer. If he could get his hands on a mug like that, he thought he would look just like an outdoor brand model sipping coffee at home!

▼ Masanuki was concerned about the one-star review, yes, but at the same time he thought, “How off could it possibly be?”

▼ Erm, well, this is awkward…

“Is this some kind of joke?” he thought. This wasn’t the cool, ad-worthy mug he’d pictured at all!

If there was a contest for Best Wooden Deer Mugs out there, this would land solidly in last place.

▼ It looks like it’s halfway between a bear and a deer.

▼ Not one spark of life in those eyes.

There wasn’t an ounce of gentleness in that deer’s expression, and the totally smooth wood didn’t convey any sense of warmth.

▼ The reviews were right: the product photo was a scam.

Masanuki figured there was no way this was hand-carved by a craftsman – -these were definitely mass-produced.

▼ How else could you explain the total lack of expression?

Oh, and by the way, the leather attachment loop that was supposed to be included was not, in fact, included. It didn’t make a huge difference to Masanuki, but he wished the seller hadn’t lied about something like that.

“Well, maybe it would taste different,” he thought. He grabbed the “deer” by its face and took a sip of his hot coffee.

▼ He still had hope… sort of.

But somehow, even drinking from something like this made him embarrassed. Even if you didn’t know it was supposed to be a deer, it was clear that it wasn’t what it was supposed to be.

▼ What would you guess this animal is, without any context?

He vowed to only ever use this mug in places where he wouldn’t be seen by anyone else, like maybe at a remote lake in the middle of nowhere.

▼ In that strange sense, it’s suited for the outdoors.

In conclusion, Masanuki firmly agrees with this wooden mug’s one-star rating on Amazon. There are definitely better camping-related items available at a better price, like Daiso’s 500-yen camping toaster.

Better luck (and maybe better research?) next time, fellow reporter.

Images: ©SoraNews24
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