Toy & Game Promos


Vending Machine Animal

Vending machines are widespread in Japan, offering a variety of both cold and hot beverages, soups, and much more. Some have humans inside, and other times, humans just dress up like vending machines. In addition to your beverage, you may get a promotional item, or, by mechanism similar to this patent, you may get a plush toy in a container the shape of your beverage. vending-machine toy


Chernobyl Matryoshka

The matryoshka doll – those nesting Russian dolls – is a well-known phenomenon, sometimes referenced in promotions. In this particular example, the doll is used to make a statement about the radioactive contamination from the Chernobyl disaster. chernobyl-matroshka doll


Japanese Promos: Cute Mascot Alert

This Monchan puzzle was a giveaway at a Sanrio store.

monchan puzzle

And kawaii is the Japanese word for cute, which must surely apply to this as well:

toshi-makun mascot


Japanese Promos: Awesome Train Promos

Japan has awesome trains. Fast, convenient and clean, they go everywhere. However, I did not know they had awesome train promos until now. Here are some Shinkansen (bullet train) themed soaps and alarm clocks:

japanese-shinkansen-soap cl

And here is a model train set and a keychain celebrating the Yamanote line, which is a local train line that runs in a circle in Tokyo:

japanese-yamanote-train key


Lego My Town, Lego My Google

Here’s an interesting Lego twofer. First, Jan Voorman fills all the cracks in the walls in Bocchignano, Italy with Lego pieces. Next, someone re-creates the Google logo in Legos. Previously we’ve seen Legos promote architects and giant Lego man on the beach. (Jan Voorman’s art via Designverb, who also have a recent post full of famous photos re-created in Lego form.)

Update: One thing I just noticed about this photo is that it is a real-life Lego version of a Lego-ized Google logo that Google had used on it’s home page in honor of Lego’s 50th anniversary. It makes the head spin, don’t it?

jan-voorman-lego art

lego google


Onion Swagology: Resident Evil Sand Ball

resident-evil-sand ball

The Onion passes judgment:

Item: An odd plastic ball full of glittery sand; when one side is up, the sand falls through to the other side to reveal a Vegas landscape and the words “This fall all bets are off.” Turn the ball over again, and the sand falls back to the Vegas side, revealing the black words “Resident Evil Extinction.”

Promoting: Take a wild guess.

Relevance to product promoted: Vegas is in a desert, right? Deserts have sand, right? Okay, we get it. Also, they totally got the name of the movie in there.

Item quality: 3. It’s a useless tchotchke, so film-specific that we can’t pawn it off on Great-Aunt Myrtle and pretend it was a thoughtfully chosen gift. But it is reasonably well-made, and the way the sand falls through the holes to slowly reveal the title, shining up from the remaining glittery sand, is kind of eerie. Wouldn’t work too well on an item promoting, say, Winnie The Pooh: Wonderful Word Adventure, but as zombie-film promo merch goes, this is almost classy.