Monday, May 19, 2008

Fake Control Panel Switches from Japan

I have a soft spot for Japan.

I also have a soft spot for blinky control panels.

So it was with no small amount of joy when, during my last visit to Japan, I found these fake control panel buttons for sale at a toy store in Tokyo. Called "SwitchSwitch" and made by Tomy, they're kind of hilarious and kind of brilliant. When activated, each comes alive with a variety of blinking LED lights and heavy-machinery noises that sound like a General Motors factory circa 1965. Each also has a magnet on the back, for easy attachment to refrigerators, filing cabinets, or vintage automobile dashboards. All that, for just a few hundred yen apiece. What a bargain!

(For an English translation of the packaging text shown above, see the notes on my Flickr page. Many thanks to my esteemed colleague Brian Hunziker for his translation assistance.)