t’s cute, but will it serve its purpose?

While preparing to go on a road trip during the week-long Golden Week holiday , our Japanese-language reporter and low-rated Amazon product tester Masanuki Sunakoma was browsing the e-commerce site for car accessories when he came across a 299-yen (US$2.19) solar-powered bobblehead.

It was called the “Little Monk Ornament Solar-powered Bobblehead Toy Peace and Joy Decoration Bring About a Decorative Mascot” (hereafter referred to as the “Little Monk Ornament”). Undeniably keeping such a product on his dashboard would have a calming effect if he got stuck in traffic, in spite of its one-star review. In any case, it was cute, so Masanuki decided to buy it.

The box it arrived in was a little bit beat up, probably either because it had traveled across the sea or spent a long time in storage. Well, that was pretty much par for the course with low-rated products. As long as the product inside wasn’t damaged, Masanuki didn’t mind.

What came out of the box was far more adorable than expected, and in pristine condition. It was a little Buddhist monk holding prayer beads and a small mallet, which is used to pound on a wooden block while chanting sutras.

And when Masanuki took it out of the packaging, it immediately began to nod and beat its wooden block at a steady rhythm, as if in thanks for being released from the box.

Masanuki wasn’t sure if he should really use it to decorate his car, since the product name itself doesn’t explicitly mention it being a dashboard accessory, but when he checked the product page again he found pictures of it placed in the middle of someone’s dashboard, so he decided to do the same.

Unfortunately, it served the opposite of its purpose. Instead of calming him down, it distracted him, which made him nervous.

It was like having a little monk chanting for Masanuki’s soul right there on his dashboard. He felt like he needed to chant along.

Masanuki decided he needed to put something else up, so he chose a Jesus bobblehead, but instead of replacing the monk, he put them side-by-side. With two symbols of religious prayer on his dashboard, his car had to be one of the most protected ever.

All in all, Masanuki would give the Little Monk Ornament a rating of 3.5 stars. There was nothing wrong with its functionality; the only problem was that it did not, in fact, have any kind of soothing effect in the car, at least for Masanuki. Others might have a different experience.

That’s zero for two for soothing products, including the screaming pot he tried last month. Gambling on low-rated Amazon products really can be hit or miss.

Photos © SoraNews24
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