Thousands of delightfully inexplicable gadgets made only for the Japanese market are hard to come by outside the country. A new site from Japanese importer Dynamism is making it easier for us gaijin to get our hands on them.
Gizmine.com is the new specialty gadgets site from Dynamism. (Dynamism.com sticks mostly to laptops, phones, and watches--"luxury goods," in other words--sold only in Japan.) Gizmine allows the import company to expand into categories of products like alarm clocks, robots, and USB-powered toys.
The site is easy enough to navigate. You can sort by product category, theme ("Kawaii," "bling," and "wacky," to name a few), color, and price. Plus, like parent company Dynamism, there's a 24-hour 800 number to contact customer service. There are 500 products available for shipment anywhere outside Japan right now, and that number should double by next year, according to the site.
I'm particularly interested in the site since I asked my boyfriend to pick up the Gun O'Clock alarm clock when in Tokyo last week. He hunted all over the gadget-laden Akihabara district for one, and to my chagrin, it was completely sold out. Gizmine to the rescue!
Of course, there's a slight catch: Gizmine marks up the retail price you'd get in Japan. It's an import service, so it's to be expected, but while the wonderfully weird Tuttuki Bako toy can be bought for between 3,000 and 4,000 yen in Japan (about $32 to $43), Gizmine offers it for $50, plus $19 in shipping costs. (Most products ship to the U.S. in one to three business days, according to the site.)
Still, it's cheaper than a trip to Japan.