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DIY Weekend: Make your own candy sushi

Who says you shouldn't play with your food? Here's a look at a Japanese manufacturer's DIY sushi kit that tastes like grape gummis.

Kracie's Tanoshii Osushiya-san. Crack for gummi lovers.

Ever felt like eating Play-Doh food? Those ice cream cones and cakes look good enough to gobble. But alas, it's "fun to play with, not to eat."

Well, if you're a kid in Japan, you can make your own candy and eat it, too. In this case, the candy looks like sushi.

Food and cosmetics maker Kracie has a line of DIY candy that children (or adults, for that matter) can shape into elaborate and realistic-looking snacks.

Usually, DIY Weekend features screws, hammers, wires, and soldering irons, but this week we're featuring tuna powder, egg powder, and other odd elements you mix with water. After three minutes it all congeals, and you shape it into a topping for your nigirizushi. Don't forget the powdered rice!

Low-tech candy normally isn't our bag (we stick to DIY booze when it comes to refreshments), but we were struck by the design and thinking that went into this do-it-yourself faux seafood.

There's been an online buzz of late over Tanoshii Osushiya-san ("fun sushi shop"), the candy kit that produces different types of sushi, with fake rice, fish, seaweed, and all. It's part of Kracie's Popin' Cookin' series.

It's basically gummi-type malleable gelatin candy. I'd suspect it has very little nutritional value but the box says it's "full of calcium!!" (actually 200 milligrams per 28.5 grams of the stuff). Can't say no to that.

Osushiya-san was released in 2008 but RRcherrypie in Japan has gone to the trouble of filming the joy of making ersatz sushi. The vid, embedded below, has picked up more than a million hits.

And you won't be depleting fish stocks. Video screenshot by Tim Hornyak/CNET

The fake nori seaweed comes from a soft candy included in the kit. There's even a ruler showing you how long the nori should be before you wrap it around the bed of rice or egg topping.

The piece de resistance, though, is the ikura salmon roe, created by dropping one mixture of red goop into a clear mixture. Voila, instant ikura maki.

How does it all taste? Like something grape-ey. The grape-flavored gummi sushi meal has 112 calories and costs 258 yen (about $3.10). And to think Hasbro's Play-Doh Burger Builder, which yields inedible burgers, is $16.99!

Kracie's Poppin' Cookin' series includes a rather ingenious pizza and spaghetti kit, an ice cream and cake kit, and a bento-box lunch kit.

I gotta admire the gelatinous minds at Kracie. At least we know what do to when bluefin tuna stocks are completely depleted. Just start serving gummi tuna. And if that doesn't work, there's always Soylent Green.

To share your DIY project, simply e-mail a description of 350 words or less, including all the geeky ins and outs of your invention, plus relevant links and photos, to crave at cnet dot com. Please put DIY Weekend in the subject line.