Happy Pseudo Fake Birthday To ME!

Yesterday was St. Michael's Day and though that may not mean much to the rest of you out there, it used to be the date upon which my birthday was celebrated. Being a Christmas baby, my parents decided to honour me with a fake birthday once I entered school so that I'd be able to have a birthday party like the rest of the kids instead of spending my Christmas/birthday with just my family. (At home of course since every restaurant was closed for the Holiday!) Unfortunately my sister was born on October 1st thus my celebration got shunted yet again and by the time I was 10 or so, everyone had forgotten about All Angels Day as my Birthday ... except for me!

I tried to find something suitable to act as a present for me yesterday yet wasn't struck by anything in particular. So today, I made a few purchases that will act as my birthday gifts.
(Michael, aren't these things that you would have bought anyway?
Quiet you!)

First on the list is Spock wielding a traditional Vulcan weapon (scroll down to Lirpa at that link) bought in Kitakami and photographed on the Shinkansen.

Spock is a Mystery Mini courtesy of Funko's Science Fiction vinyl figure collection.

I was initially disappointed that I didn't get Batman, Aquaman nor Wonder Woman but on closer inspection, I rather like this Commissioner Gordon.

I also picked up a TsumTsum villain sticker at the cinema.

I also landed a Thor Tsumtsum to go along with my Loki.

Since stacking them in two looks a tad rude, I'll put him in a threesome with Ironman.

I noticed that Stan Lee has his own Gatcha-Capsule! He is the last one I ever expected to see get his own capsule.

I was lucky enough to get the best one so now I don't have to spend 300 yen each trying to spell his name. (If my Capsule-connection is selling these, I'll ask him for the entire set.)

Here is the rest of the series, click on the picture to Excelsior-ize it.

I was inspecting the UFO Catcher for any potential Halloween goodies when I espied a ザリガニ (zarigani or crayfish) that looked easy to snag. (Spoiler Alert: it wasn't.)

I was about to give up when I landed not just one crayfish but a whole draught of them! (I had to look up that collective noun.) I also scored some of his fellow crustaceans, a whole cast of crabs aka.  かに (kani or is it UNcanny?).

20 in total for just a few bucks.

I felt that since I'd scammed so many, I might as well continue fishing and got a few perch and a tuna.

 I treated myself to dinner at Big Boy so I'd say my Pseudo-fake Birthday wasn't so bad after all!


Shopping Godzilla!

When I popped down to Tokyo last August, I paid a visit to Toho Studios. Alas, there are no tours available yet I still managed to get a few photos of the exterior.

Nice couple!

Since access to Toho Studios isn't an option, the big news for Godzilla fans is the brand new store that will be opening at the end of October. When I was in Shinjuku's Toho Hotel a while ago, I was slightly disappointed in its lack of goods for sale. This new store should rectify that.

I'm not too keen on the pristine white shelving, that doesn't scream "Godzilla" to me.

Regardless, some of the items for sale are intriguing, such as this t-shirt or mug.

What I am even more intrigued by is the collaboration between Sanrio and Toho. Hello Kittyzilla!
I want all the goods!

Speaking of collaboration, here are a couple of the Evangelion/Godzilla straps that I've acquired recently.

Other items gathered include a magnet

And some stickers.

 I also scored this cool album with a handful of cardboard stickers inside.

If you shop around, you can find anything, such as this Godzilla Daruma on sale!

Several little plastic characters, suitable for playing with in the tub.

 And a couple of Shin-keychains.

I also acquired a few magazines and postcards to be shared at a later date.

Now, with apologies to ALW, here is Godzilla, the Musical!


Scared Straight.

If you're my age, you remember the Scared Straight documentary narrated by Peter Falk back in the late 70s. Younger folk have gone Beyond that with new episodes of freaking kids out by showing them that Crime Doesn't Pay. Here in Japan though, スケアードストレイト (Scared Straight) means something else.

That truck, a car, several bicycles, some stuntmen, and a stuntwoman make up the cast of this program who performed for Grades 5 and 6 at the neighbouring Junior High School. We're first introduced to a bicyclist who in due course gets hit by a car, sending her flying over the hood of said vehicle. Later there are several examples of what NOT to do while riding your bike, such as wearing headphones, texting, or carrying an umbrella.

Two students also had the opportunity to get run over by a truck although they used a pair of pylons to substitute for the crushed kids. Here's an example of what goes on.

The actor/stuntpersons used were amusing and were quite adept at smashing into each other. I was particularly enthralled by this actress who seemed to take the brunt of the accidents.

I'm not sure if this is the same gal who gets smushed in this video but she's similar.

So does Scared Straight work? Most of the girls and some of the boys gasped and screamed at each accident yet I seemed to see and hear a good percentage of the lads squealing in joy at how
 かっこいい (Kakkoii = Cool) it all was. They may not have scared these kids into riding their bikes more carefully though they may have recruited some future Stuntmen!

Best part of the day for me was reuniting with my Grade 6 kids from last year.

Give me Elmer the Safety Elephant any day.


My 190 Yen Worth.

A few weeks ago, I picked up the first in a series of ancient Japanese coins for only 190¥. (That link will take you to the JP Money webpage.) Not a bad deal for such a cool looking coin.

It includes a nifty booklet describing the history of the coin.

Something dad can enjoy with his nerdy son.

This is a preview of future coins to come.

For some reason, there are two pages on Antarctic moolah. Perhaps, there is a monthly feature of international money.

Here is my coin and its flip-side.

This is why I won't be buying any future issuance of these coins: Made in China!

At two bucks a shot, it might be okay but not at 10 bucks. Here are coins 2 and 3 of which I snapped pics from the bookstore in case anyone out there is interested.

The above post is for any amateur numismatics out there. Pros will collect the real thing, amateurs will collect these.


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