Mr. Sato gets way more than he bargained for.

In Japan, the end of the year is often a time to look back and give thanks, and what better way to do that than with Thanko? This company has made a name for itself for playing hopscotch on that thin line between genius and madness with items that make people say “oh my god” in both a good and bad way.

They generally sell online but do have a few brick-and-mortar stores such as one in Akihabara. So, Mr. Sato popped in to see what innovative ideas they crammed into a “fukubukuro” lucky bag for 2023.

They were certainly going all out with their lucky bags and the one that caught Mr. Sato’s attention boasted about 20,000 yen (US$139) worth of goods for just 8,000 yen ($56). Moreover, they all gave you a choice of the main item.

Our reporter didn’t hesitate to get one of their hit personal rice cookers as his main item and was handed a big navy blue bag full of stuff, but that isn’t even the best part…

The rice cooker wasn’t even in the bag! It was so full of stuff that he was handed the rice cooker separately and still had a huge haul of mystery items to look forward to.

It could still go either way though, because for every personal rice cooker that Thanko offers, there’s also a hideous-looking umbrella poncho. Let’s see how Mr. Sato fared with his lucky bag.

First, there’s Powarin, an aroma diffuser that you can hang in your closet to keep your clothes smelling like eucalyptus or Howl’s Moving Castle. It sells for 3,280 yen ($23) normally.

Then, he got a Parasol Dry Hanger, which contrary to the name doesn’t dry umbrellas but will dry small items like socks, face masks, or gloves while staying small enough to fit on a desktop. The retail price for this item is 3,980 yen ($28), which, if you’re keeping track, brings us right up to the 8,000-yen price of the whole bag and we’re just getting started!

Next up is a USB Can Cooler that normally sells for 4,480 yen ($31). If this summer was any indication of things to come, this device will definitely come in handy next year.

Moving on, we have the High-Speed Egg Steamer that will steam your eggs in as little as six minutes. It’s also small enough to fit on Mr. Sato’s desk and normally goes for 3,480 yen ($24).

The centerpiece of this lucky bag is the two-tiered ultra-high-speed bento rice cooker that can fit on your desk and cook a single serving of rice while heating your side dish. This product alone sells for 7,980 yen ($56), bringing the total value of this 8,000-yen lucky bag to a whopping 23,200 yen.

Mr. Sato wasted no time trying out his bento cooker and whipped up a curry and rice in just 15 minutes at his desk.

It was a little tricky knowing how much water to put in because it depends on the type of rice used, but he managed to get it right in the end. It was still incredibly convenient overall and will be really useful when he doesn’t feel like cooking.

Lucky bags are often a way for retailers and other companies to clear out inventory and get ready for the coming year. And probably more than any other company, we’re very much looking forward to whatever Thanko cooks up in 2024.

Store information
Rare Mono Shop Thanko Akihabara Main Store / レアモノショップサンコー 秋葉原総本店
Address: Tokyo-to, Chiyoda-ku, Sotokanda 3-14-8 Shinsuehiro Bldg. B
東京都千代田区外神田3-14-8 新末広ビルB
Open: 10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Closed during New Year’s Holidays

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