As consumers shift from wasteful disposable plastic water bottles to more eco-friendly refillable bottles, a raft of products have been released to help ID one's personal portable potables.
Seeing a new market niche open before their eyes, Japan's Bandai has come up with Magic Pets, a veritable zoo of cute plastic critters who “live” in your water bottle, personalizing it and keeping owners entertained all the while.
There are two series of Magic Pets with the original trio of Jellyfish, Octopus and Squid each looking rather virus-like. The design may possibly put off consumers who are expected to have the wee beasties drifting about in their personal portable drinking water.
The second series is more user-friendly, consisting of a Penguin and two Seals, one ivory white and the other pink. There's no sign of a co-promotion with the company that distributes the popular Pingu claymation cartoons though Bandai's band look quite a lot like Pingu and his pal Robby.
The second series creatures are also more entertaining as they dive down, bob up and spin around in response to pressure changes wrought by the user squeezing the bottle. As such, Magic Pets work best (or work at all, actually) in clear plastic bottles with non-rigid walls.
(UPDATE: These are now available in the U.S. You can click here to see the variety of Magic Pets that are now available.)