REVIEW / Kawaii Box

 

The life of an avid videogamer is stressful. There’s always another alien horde to push back, evil king to overthrow, and yakuza boss to assassinate in such a way it looks like a freak Dance Dance Revolution accident. It’s a pixelated pressure cooker. Which is why after a long day of running and gunning, no one’s going to judge you for wanting to dilute the carnage with cuteness, least of all Kawaii Box.

 

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Kawaii Box is a subscription service that will send you a monthly box filled with 10-12 squee-worthy products from Japan and Korea. Unlike some other subscription services, which offer different sized tiers, everyone who signs up for Kawaii box gets the same box. The only thing you have to decide is how long you want Kawaii Box to keep the cute coming. The 1-month plan for $18.90 per month is the only recurring option. Shipping is free and you can cancel at any time.The 3-month, 6-month and 12-month plans – for $18.90 per month, $17.90 per month and $17.30 per month respectively – do not automatically renew at the end of their term, but locking into one of these will save you a little cash.


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Kawaii Bean Mini Plush

I love mini plushies! This blushing bean mini plush is no exception, despite his leaf having some grody glue residue. You could hang this guy from your cell phone, where in defiance of his name he will look comically huge, or ditch the removable strap and stick him on your bookcase like I did. He makes a charming shelf sentinel.

Smiling Poop Sharpener

One man’s smiling soft serve ice cream is, according to the contents card, another man’s smiling poop. I guess it doesn’t really matter whether this little guy’s at the starting or finish line of his journey through your digestive system, he’s cute either way. Not to mention useful, accommodating pencils both small and large with his dual sharpening blades.

Cute Animals Pill Box

Finally, an item I won’t feel guilty for keeping from my prepubescent nieces; pharmaceuticals are the only thing keeping my shriveled black heart beating! This three compartment pill box is quintessentially Japanese, decorated with some Doge-esque words of encouragement, a sweet miniature cupcake, and a morose teddy bear holding what appears to be a giant syringe. I can’t wait to fill this with acid reflux medication.

 

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Korean Nail Art Set

This Bling Ring Nail Art Set is super kawaii. It is also super not appropriate for my work place. Though sweet, adorning my fingers with baby ducks is not going to help me bridge the gender pay gap.  My 7 and 4-year-old nieces, however, will happily fight each other to the death for it.

 

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Cute Guys Stationary Set

This month’s Kawaii Box is really pushing to bring back the lost art of letter writing with this Cute Guys branded stationary set, which includes everything but stationary. You get an eraser, a pen, and two pencils along with pencil cap, grip and sharpener.

 

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Sushi Pluggy Charm

This plastic sushi charm plugs into the headphone jack of your phone or tablet, providing the dual service of keeping dust out and making your tech look tasty! It had a nice, snug fit, which is great considering how cavalier I am about chucking my phone into my purse, my backpack, the sidewalk (thank goodness for optional insurance). My only complaint is that this piece of tamako sashimi looks rather sloppily made; preparation and presentation are important, even if the sushi is plastic!

 

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Animal Sticky Notes

These two 20-sheet sticky notes pads actually have distinct personalities. The panda on the left, who wants to share his apple with you, is Yuri. The panda on the right, who just wants to enjoy her bamboo in peace, is Mogu. Almost as adorable as the sticky notes themselves is the Engrish on the packaging – “Composure creates time to the full!”

Strawberry Squishy Charm

Squishies are HUGE in Japan! These squeeze toys are a far cry from boring Western stress balls, shaped to look adorable and scented to smell amazing; Breadou squishies, for example, smell like a freshly baked loaf of bread. Though there are some imperfections in the polyurethane, this white chocolate-dipped strawberry charm is wonderfully detailed; from the vibrant green stem to the multi-colored sprinkles, the whole things is soft and squishy. Unfortunately, it doesn’t smell like strawberry.

Hello Kitty Pen

This is actually a mechanical pencil, not a pen. It’s as delicate and dainty as Hello Kitty herself, featuring a cute little charm of Sanrio’s main money maker in shades of purple. For such a slender instrument, I was surprised by how much lead it had hidden away inside, over 200 clicks worth. More than enough to perfect my new signature – Mrs. Kristen Statham.

 

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Alpaca Bag Charm

For me, this is the star of the box – a metal and pleather alpaca bag charm featuring a blushing, bowtied camelid. It’s a keychain version of an Arpakassos or Alpacasso, an alpaca plushie made by Japanese company Amuse that was originally only found in UFO catchers (read: Japanese claw machines). As their popularity has grown, so has their availability. They’re the modern day beanie babies, complete with a cottage industry of counterfeiters hoping to cash in on the craze! There is, however, nothing fake about how cute this is; You’ve out kawaii-ed yourself, Kawaii Box!

 

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Ice Cream Stickers

This pillowy sticker assortment has an ice cream theme, but in addition to panda bears chillin’ atop two scoop cones and bunny rabbits peekin’ over the edges of ice cream buckets, there are just some randomly cute images – cherries, mice, pretzels and itty bitty bees so damn adorable I went into anaphylactic shock.

 

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Kracie Bubble Jelly DIY Candy

In addition to all the non-edible goodies, this box included a DIY candy kit. You know your kit is hella’ legit when there’s not a word of English on the packaging. Mixing and combining the three powdered packets with water was supposed to create a fizzy, firm jelly candy, but I messed up the metric conversion resulting in an abomination of grape flavored froth.

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This video, which I sadly watched too late, shows you how this treat is supposed to turn out.


Kawaii Box delivers wholeheartedly on what its name promises, super cute items that will bring a smile to the face of even the most hardened space marine, knight or assassin. Despite a couple of quality control issues, everything in the box was adorable. Even the items that don’t end up brightening both my home and office will find their way into appreciative, diminutive hands.

 

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