Here's some cool shit to buy for your friends, family, or really, just yourself...
Stuff is cool. Stuff is awesome. Heck, you guys liked stuff so much, OG Giant Robot founder Eric Nakamura had to open a store in L.A. in 2001. So to raise a toast to awesome stuff and the season of giving, when everything goes on sale, we created the first of many annual Giant Robot Media Holiday Lists.
The list is organized into several categories. Have fun browsing! We included some ridiculous ones too, because why not? (Scroll to bottom if you are a billionaire.)
Robots at Giant Robot Media.
From the island of Hokkaido, Royce is like the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory of Japan, except run by a highly skilled Japanese chocolatier. The Sapporo-founded chocolate shop (yes, the very same Sapporo as that beer) has turned into an international phenomena with its famous bitter dark chocolate and champagne dark chocolate.
You could go to a flagship Royce chocolate store and pay a crazy amount, or you can pick up a box at your local Mitsuwa supermarket.
Golden Duck Gourmet Salted Egg Yolk Fish Skin Crips Chips
Ok, there are not many things better than Salt & Vinegar chips, but we would argue this is. In fact, Golden Duck's Salted Egg Fish Skin Chips are so popular in Singapore, lines can be as long as 2 hours (we've waited that long before). You can pick these up at their brick and mortar locations in Singapore, or eBay/Amazon/anywhere online.
They are super hard to find. We recommended sacrificing a goat and burning a bag of Lays to increase your chances of success.
Hibiki Japanese Harmony Whisky
There are many great whiskies in the world, but few have become an icon. Hibiki is perhaps the most iconic whisky from Japan. Currently, it's in short supply and bars all over the U.S. are clamoring to get the last of the stock.
If you're near a Bevmo, hurry and buy this thing before it runs out. Or, if you don't want to deal with crazy customers during the holidays, swing by your local Marukai or Mitsuwa supermarket and pick one up there.
ART: LOOK AT THE PRETTY COLORS
Luke Chueh Bat Bear
Justice League was meh, but Batman has always been cool. But what's cooler than Batman? A Bat Bear! Get this limited edition sculpture by artist Luke Chueh before it runs out. There's only 100 ever made, and only a handful left.
Fun fact: Luke Chueh was the last artist to be featured on the cover of the printed Giant Robot Magazine.
Terada Katsuya + Kim Jung Gi Illustrated Book
Collabs between great artists are very rare. More the reason to get this Terada + Kim Jung Gi Ki book. Filled with line drawings from two iconic artists, this book is bound to blast your mind and eyes with visual art porn.
There's only a few left. It's limited print. Get it while you can.
James Jean Bouquet Print
What happens when you combine Bugs Bunny and the mind of James Jean? You get Bouquet, one of the latest self produced prints by the talented Taiwanese American artist. This piece of art is great to have in the living room, or in your home gallery that's incredibly well lit with fences all around the art and when your friends go over the fence an alarm goes off and S.W.A.T. arrests them. Just kidding.
All signed, and limited print. Just do what your heart tells you: buy it.
HOME: COMFY STUFF THAT'S KINDA PRACTICAL
Kinto Pour Over
Screw the chemex and the Hario V60. Everyone has one of those. You want to be unique. You want to be cool. You want to be that one coffee-fiend friend who's like, "Yo, I can make this pour over better than your local Blue Bottle. Check this shit out."
That's why you get a Kinto Pour Over. Imported from Japan, this incredibly simple setup brews the perfect cup of coffee every time. Even if you have absolutely zero pouring technique, the unique filter is designed to make the worst barista brew the most delicious cup of coffee.
Hand Painted Mugs by Kat + Roger
These hand painted mugs let you admire some rad art while enjoying that delicious Kenya pour over you just made with your Kinto. Artists Kat Hutter and Roger Lee (also an adorable couple) hand craft, fire, paint, and design these mugs in their studio based in Los Angeles.
Every mug is unique and you can find them in stores all over California or purchase them online.
Why not? It's adorable, it's beautiful, it's uber comfy, and it's Murakami. It's art you can appreciate with a hug. You literally have a physical connection to the artwork. Best part? It's siginificantly cheaper than an actual Murakami art piece.
WARNING: This shit is way more expensive than a tempurpedic pillow. Just saying.
TECH: FUN AND FUNCTIONAL (AND PRICEY)
Ok, we'll bullshit a bit. The Switch is the most exciting game console this year. Just like what the Wii and Game Boy did for gaming, the Switch is revolutionizing the way we play games, by not being revolutionary at all. It's basically a super jumbo Nintendo DS that doesn't have a touch screen. But, the gameplay experience and ability to connect up to 4 people for multiplayer makes this device the most interactive and extrovert friendly yet.
If you get it, we recommend you buy Zelda: Breath of the Wild immediately. If you get this, you'll have a great Christmas toy to play with by yourself or with people.
Fujifilm Instax Hello Kitty
FILM IS NOT DEAD. Thanks to Urban Outfitters and its unrelenting effort to sell polaroids as hipster cameras that don't let you edit photos, instant photography is back in full swing. But why buy a polaroid when you can have a Hello Kitty instant camera? Not only will it take great photos that you can share with your friends, it will also force your photo subjects to smile with excruciating kawaii-ness from the cuteness of your camera.
It comes in two color variations, but we think the pink one looks awesome. Meow.
Levi's Smart Jacket
'Tis the season to get a jacket, cause it's cold. So why not get a jacket that can also hang up annoying phone calls from telemarketers?
Welcome to Levi's newest jacket, the Commuter Trucker Jacket with Jacquard by Google. It comes with a touch sensitive sleeve that can control your music, Google Maps, and call your friends.
Best part about it? It's just like a normal jacket. The tech part is actually woven in, so it's integrated with the fabric and you can't even feel it.
MUSIC: WHO DOESN'T LIKE SOME DOPE BEATS?
Want to sound like TOKiMONSTA or Steve Aoki? Then get this AKAI MPK MIDI Controller. With this bastardized keyboard that can fit in any backpack, you can mix, create, and compose almost every possible type of electronic music on this planet. You can also easily connect it to any electronic music rigs you like, including Ableton and Reason.
It's easier to learn than piano, so there's that. It's also cheaper than a piano. Way cheaper. Like, many fewer zeros in that price tag.
Lanikai Tenor Ukulele
Guitars were so last century; today it's all about ukuleles. They're from Hawaii, and just because of that, they are instantly cool. Featured in numerous major motion pictures such as Lilo & Stitch or 50 First Dates, this tiny 4-string instrument has brought centuries of romance through the art of song. They are super light, super portable, and if you get tired of practicing ukulele, they look great as a center piece on that hipster coffee table you just bought during Black Friday weekend.
Also, you can play that version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole.
GRAND VIDEOKE Harmony Plus
Looks can be deceiving, so don't judge ok?
This thing is amazing. It's a karaoke machine in a microphone. It comes with over 6000 songs with all your favorite singles from the '60s until now, including all the Little Tokyo late night karaoke bar songs, such as "Don't Stop Believing", "Bohemian Rhapsody", and "My Heart Will Go On."
This is a great gift for the holidays, and a great way to spend some quality family time. Hope everyone can sing in tune.
BALLER: MONEY IS NO OBJECT. YOU'RE IN THE TRES COMMAS CLUB.
Kuratas Fighting Robot
You didn't think we were gonna leave out a robot, did you? Introducing Kuratas, the real life Gundam robot mech thingy from Japan. This BAMF took on the American Megabot during the first ever Giant Robot Battle. You can watch that here.
Kuratas was built by artist Kogoro Kurata and roboticist Wataru Yoshizaki. They were inspired by the mechs from anime such as Armored Trooper VOTOMS. The mech has a 6000rpm rotary BB gun and launches fireworks.
PRICE: $1.35 Million
222kg Bluefin Tuna
Love sushi? Check this shit out. 4 years ago the most expensive bluefin tuna was sold at Japan's famous Tsujiki market. It weighted a whopping 333kg (that's about 489 pounds)! It was bought by chef proprietor Kiyoshi Kumura, who claims to own the first 24-7 sushi shop in Japan.
Think of all the tuna chirashi bowls, spicy tuna rolls, tuna sandwiches, and tuna tartare you can have! Only problem? You gotta go catch this sucker.
PRICE: $1.8 Million
Want to go to n/Naka, Momofuku, and Jiro in one day? You can with the HondaJet.
Fly through the skies in your own oasis onboard this luxury aircraft. Equipped with 4 first class size seats, you can literally have your own living room, bedroom, or office in the skies. It's also got a super sound proof bathroom, so no need to be poop shy.
The HondaJet has a top speed of 500mph and comes with its own pilot and flight crew in case you don't know how to fly a plane. If you get this, please email us, we want to travel with you.
PRICE: $4.5 Million