Those of a certain age surely remember “Popsicle Toes”, the old Michael Franks chick-charmer you used to pop on the turntable when a major make-out session was in the making. Ah, good times! Thanko's “Muremure Nonnon” (ムレムレノンノン) USB Shoe Cooler has nothing to do with that, aside from the promised chilling of the user's overheated metatarsal extremities.
Now be warned: wearing Thanko's USB Shoe Cooler will chill your make-out markette's ardor faster than suddenly slipping off the heavy leather business shoes you've been wearing all day.
Why, you ask? Consider the physics of pumping air into an occupied shoe: either the shoe bizarrely balloons up, Looney Tunes style, or (more likely) it stays the same size and whatever volume of air goes in, comes right out again... though not quite as fresh, of course.
That's it, basically – Thanko's latest big idea is a USB-powered, tubular-housed, 2-speed fan that pumps air through a 330mm (13.2”) long tube into your shoe, or under your arm if we can believe the “suggested use” images at Thanko's sales page.
I'm sure gentle readers at home can suggest other damp, irritated areas which might benefit from a directed jet of cool air if modesty didn't preclude it... and you know Thanko's thought of it too, they just can't say or show it.
It's the 800lb gorilla in the room, folks, sweatin' up a storm in Tokyo's notoriously hot, humid, and now nuclear-free (nuclear POWER free, that is) summer.
Speaking of summer, why not bring your USB Shoe Cooler to the beach, powered via your laptop or tablet? Thanko thinks you should – not to cool your sandal-clad tootsies, but to inflate beach balls and the like! Extra bits of hardware are provided that allow the inflation of beach balls that look like watermelons and possibly, hopefully, watermelons that look like beach balls. Nothing like cold watermelon at the beach, amiright?
Though the USB Shoe Cooler seems to be the perfect gift for the office slob who takes peculiar joy in stinking up the entire floor by microwaving tuna & onion casseroles for lunch, don't be swayed by the low, low, low price of 1,980 yen (about $25.75) including tax... there's only one tube provided, and unless you're monopedal then only one foot's gonna get chilled. Either you pony up another 1,980 yen and buy a second USB Shoe Cooler, or look forward to moving the air tube from one foot (or armpit) to the other every so often.
Of course, if you're using the USB Shoe Cooler to keep another un-named location cool & dry, then one's all you need. Maybe Thanko's product planners are smarter than we think.