The Fanbrella looks at first glance like one of those “Chindogu” devices members of the “Japan Is the Weird” set like to chuckle over. You know, like the ingenious Chopsticks Fan that cools your noodles or the Toilet Paper Roll Hat that dispenses tissue to allergy sufferers.
While many Chindogu are undoubtedly clever but wildly impractical, the Fanbrella is both clever AND practical – when folded, you can't even see the three-bladed fan that folds along with the umbrella's ribs & fabric.
Here's a short (seriously, it's all of 11 seconds) video showing the Fanbrella's fan winding down:
The 70cm (28 inch) wide Fanbrella comes from Thanko but stands out from the company's usual gadget offerings because it's NOT powered by a computer or laptop's USB port. Instead, a trio of AA batteries inside the umbrella handle will power the adjustable-speed fan for 2 to 3 hours... we recommend buyers invest in rechargeable batteries.
As the target market for the Fanbrella consists of carefully coiffed women and men who want to keep their perfect hairdo's safe during Japan's notoriously hot & humid rainy season, the manufacturer has installed a mesh net below the fan. Nothing worse than having an umbrella fan grab your locks and twist them around like noodles stuck a Chindogu Chopsticks Fan, amiright?
The Fanbrella comes in a choice of silver, blue or black fabric and is listed at 3,980 yen (around $48.25) at the Thanko website. And don't say it sucks... it blows!