'Handsome Man Bank' Saves Money, Pays Compliments
Japan's women are finding romance in the virtual arms of the “Handsome Man Bank”. Of course, they're paying for every choice compliment they get... literally.
Bandai, like most of Japan's toymakers, has seen sales slump as the country's birthrate declines. One solution is to go upmarket, which means making toys for big boys. Big girls too, if the cute but curious Ikemen (ee-keh-men), or “Handsome Man Bank”, is any indication.
The Ikemen comes in pink or white, and features an LCD screen out of which gazes your choice of 5 handsome men, rendered in typical Japanese anime style. Not only does your dreamboat stare out at you with big, soulful eyes, he also whispers sweet nothings... but for that, it's gonna cost you something: a 500-yen (about $5) coin! Once you've paid the piper, open your ears to dulcet tones asking “Can I kiss you?” or “May I rub your shoulders?” Sigh... romance without the mess, that's what Ikemen offers!
Of course, Ikemen has other functions – no, not those functions. It's also a bedside alarm clock that wakes you up with dulcet tones asking, well, see the above.
Though it may seem silly (may??), Ikemen at least encourages girls to save their money instead of spending it on yet another Hello Kitty charm, glittery nail job or talking alarm clo – uhh, scratch that last one.
The Ikemen costs 4,935 yen (about $47) and Bandai's now taking pre-orders before Ikemen's scheduled September 2008 launch. Visit the Ikemen website for details, albeit in Japanese. Perhaps they'll have a “Beautiful Woman Bank” ready by then... just imagine what THAT would be like! (via Cutie Gadget)