February 23, 2006

Muji Hiragana & Alphabet Blocks


I was putting a quick shopping list together while surfing around Muji's net store, and I was kind of blown away by the large crop of cool unpainted wood toys they have now, including all kinds of little fruits and vegetables [and a cheese, and a mushroom, even], miniature kitchen gear, and animals, too.

There's also this very cool set of plain wood blocks painted with hiragana, the basic Japanese phonetic symbols, on one side and the alphabet on another. Muji doesn't ship outside Japan, so you'll have to pick them up over there--or seduce someone in Japan to ship or bring them back to you; I'm sure they weigh a ton, too. On the other hand, with the yen at 118/$1, they've never been cheaper.

Muji Wooden Hiragana Building Blocks, 5,145 yen [muji.net]


Yeah, the exchange rate has been incredible... especially with the Canadian dollar so high too. We picked up the wooden veggie set with velcro connecting the two halves so the kid can "cut" them using the included wooden knife. The blocks are on our list for next time.

Someone really should talk to Muji about getting a couple outlets in North America... any city with a large population of Japanese people would be a likely spot. (ahem... Vancouver)

You kan find Muji stores in most of Europe as well, and the european site does have an online store. Seems like they ship all over the world. http://www.mujionline.co.uk/ Couldn't find the cool wooden blocks though.

[true, and there were some toys in the UK Christmas catalogue, but they don't really stock any kid/baby stuff outside of Japan. -ed.]

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