June 29, 2007

Q: Buying Plush Toy Sushi While Pregnant?


That soft travel puzzle map of the United States set me to poking around, especially after AJ mentioned the lameness of another soft travel book, a puzzle-looking solar system where the planets are sewed in place, by the same company, Alma's Designs.

In theory, I'd be stoked about a stuffed toy version of a sushi-filled bento box. But this one just seems wrong, like they faxed a sketch to some factory in China in 1988 and have been selling through the result ever since. There's a lackluster selection of sushi--tuna and shrimp that's it. The giant, stitched-on text has the feel of an educational toy, but there are factual errors--"Maki California Roll" should be "California Maki" or, at least "California Maki Roll", plus it doesn't include lettuce. That's futomaki--that make me wonder how safe this stuff is for consumption.

Credit where it's due, Alma's has been making soft versions of things we wouldn't have thought of for almost 20 years, long before the current crafty plush explosion. If Alma's is run by Boomers, they probably don't realize they're drifting out of touch. [The Jr. Executive travel bag has a calculator and a Palm Pilot in it.] Or maybe they haven't dropped behind the curve; they're way out ahead. When the early nineties come back in style ten years from now, everyone will marvel at toys with labels, even though it only had two kinds of sushi.

Bento/Sushi Box, $30 [almasdesigns.com]
Previously: Stuffed US Map Travel Puzzle


If you're looking for a sushi playset, dump that lame-o softy version and go for this hardwood one, by Melissa & Doug

If you want it done right, you have to make it yourself... considering these things were selling for about five bucks each at Nishi-Matsuya I should have brought back a dozen and sold them on ebay... they're awesome.

(It works great with homemade playdough as well... the bonus being that the uncolored flour dough looks more like real rice than the fake white colouring in the commercial stuff.)

I have actually heard sushi was not created in California but in Japan!! California rolls are not sushi.

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