Only available to lottery winners, we take a look at the special goods inside this “phantom” box. 

Some things in Japan are so sought after that they disappear as soon as they’re available, making them seem as if they might not exist at all, leading them to be known as “phantom” items.

That’s certainly the case with the Starbucks fukubukuro (“lucky bag”) which is so popular it can only be purchased via a lottery system. Fukubukuro are discounted product bundles sold by companies at this time of year, and the one from Starbucks is priced at 7,800 yen (US$59.56), with lottery applications only open from 7-18 November.

As these fukubukuro are so hard to get, pretty much everyone in our office applies for them, and this time around, out of 18 applications from our team, only two were successful. That’s a tough lottery by any standard, but it means we’re able to share the contents with you today, and judge whether it’s worth the hype…and the price tag.

Despite being a “fukubukuro” or “lucky bag”, the bundle is packaged up in a Starbucks-branded cardboard box that’s delivered to recipients’ homes on New Year’s Day. Opening a mystery box like this is a fun way to start the New Year, especially when it’s as rare and hard-to-get as this one.

So what’s inside the box? Let’s take a look at the contents, starting with…

…the quilted tote bag, which everything is packed in!

This is more like the lucky bags we’re used to seeing, although this was a high-quality bag with a great texture and an expensive look to it. Judging by the bag alone, this looked like it was going to be a good haul.

Pulling everything out of the bag revealed seven items in total, so let’s look at each of them in more detail.

First up, we have a 473-millilitre (19-ounce) capacity light green Cold Cup Tumbler.

Next up, a Striped Tumbler, in the same size.

This striped tumbler is an especially good find, as it was produced in collaboration with New York-based lifestyle brand Kate Spade New York. Not only does it look good, it also has excellent insulation with a double stainless steel vacuum structure to keep drinks hot or cold for longer.

Another great find was this 355-millilitre Stainless Steel Bottle. While the tumblers above were previously sold through stores, this gorgeous-looking bottle is only available to recipients of the lucky bag.

The next item, a fluffy “Multi Case” designed to look like a Starbucks cup, was a bit of a mystery. Sure, it looked cute, but what was it meant to be used for? According to the explanation on the back of the pack, it’s a case for storing small items that can also be used as a “warmer case” by putting a heating pad inside.

Well, whatever you use it for, it’s still cute, and an unusual product for Starbucks fans.

Included in the bundle is a pack of six “drink tickets” that can be redeemed by 25 June…

▼ … a voucher for 250 grams of coffee beans, valid until 30 June…

▼ …and a 250-gram pack of Pike Place Roast coffee beans.

As these are lucky bags, the contents may differ from bag to bag, which is something we discovered last year when we were able to compare three of them. Everything we received in this year’s bag turned out to be a great return for the 7,800-yen investment, though, especially as the six drink tickets were worth about 4,700 yen and the Kate Spade tumbler was valued at 4,730 yen.

The only downside to these bags is how difficult they are to obtain, but in a strange way that’s also part of the fun of the fukubukuro. Fingers crossed we’ll be able to secure another one of these phantom bags next year!

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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