Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Re-Ment Hello Kitty Ouchi Gohan / おうち ごはん

I find it amusing when this happens: I order something from a Japanese web shop, I find something else interesting on the same site a few days later and they end up shipping two different packages out to me a day or three apart. I wait a while and wind up with the package that was shipped later (and in this case, that was bigger, too) before the earlier shipped package. Have you ever run into this? This doesn't happen too much to me anymore because I don't buy things all that often, let alone back-to-back. And in this case, the items in the order I'd already placed were all pre-orders that just happened to ship in the same small cluster of days as when I ordered this single item from Strapya. But even if they were 2 separate orders that they refused to combine (J-web stores are usually fickle), Strapya's shipping is so reasonable, it is often less than what domestic companies charge, so I didn't mind paying $5 + $5 for two packages at an Air Mail rate. ^^

I try not to use EMS too often anymore because, for as little of a difference as the price is between EMS and Air Mail, I often miss the mailman, which means I have to drive to the post office to retrieve a package, which is like 20 minutes from me, so I end up spending around $5 in gas to go grab the parcel. And quite often I wind up having to wait an extra day because I'm on the outer edge of our delivery zone, which means our delivery is last, which means my mailman doesn't come back to the post office - where I can pick it up - with my "missed package" until it is closed, or very nearly. So I've found that Air Mail is a nice alternative, but also one that all but one, maybe two J-web shops have offered up until now. However, recently more and more have started offering SAL and Air Mail because I suspect that the whole global economic downturn thing had made people shy away from spending $30US on shipping for an already $60-$100 figure. Most still try to make the hard sell in suggesting people use EMS, based on the reason(s) that most Japanese web stores did before which is basically so they don't get lost packages and consequential blowback and bad word of mouth about their site. They often use promotional speech like, "EMS is safe, secure & insured, can be tracked and is the best and fastest way to ship to you!" I assume it also protects them in some way, from being scammed with people claiming that they didn't get their package and no way to substantiate it without a tracking number like SAL or Air Mail. (And after dealing with this "phenomenon" personally on ebay around 6 times by now, I'd say that's a smart move, because these people, internationally, know they can scam you with impunity, claim they never got a package and Paypal awards them their money back. I'd imagine there are ways without a shitty organization like Paypal being involved, that they can still scam someone out of the money, be it the post office or the shop or both)

Air Mail and SAL are not unreliable, either. I've used every method of shipping possible from Japan - even SEA on something that cost $300US to ship - and I've never had anything get lost. The closest I've come is something taking like 10 weeks to get to me when it should've been there in around four. I've mainly used EMS in the past because a) there wasn't another alternative offered and, b) I'm impatient as hell, lol.

Anyway, while I expect to get my other package from Strapya tomorrow, I got the later-shipped of the two, today, which contained a full set of 8 Re-Ment Hello Kitty Ouchi Gohan (which essentially translates to "home cooking") toys. These are super adorable, and quite a contrast to the Sengoku BASARA One Coin figures I got over the weekend. These are done in the old, "retro-Kitty" style, and look like they're modern, but the designs look like vintage 80's Kitty. ^^

The variety of the set is really neat, it goes from sweets to Omurai (Omelet Rice) & staples like Curry Rice and a Bento Box shaped like Kitty. Now, normally these sets come completely loose and a lot are hard plastic, so I end up having to glue them into place if I want them to look anything like the displays on the box. Not so with these, it's been a while since I've bought any Re-Ment/Megahouse miniatures so I don't know if this is the norm now or if it's specific to this Kitty set, but the food items are made of softer plastic this time around, while the plates and glasses and such are made of hard plastic. It makes the food "grip" to the plates/glasses as well as each other, so very little gluing was necessary.

The only real complaint that I have about this set is that the decals that are on some of the plates weren't applied properly. You can see it in a few of the pictures I've taken of just the plates, below. At first I suspected that the one was just crooked because it went off the side of the plate and left a white mark on the edge, but upon closer inspection, the decal was just applied incorrectly.

Overall, I like this set a lot. Re-Ment is a great company that makes quality products, and this set is no exception to that rule. Strapya still has a few sets in stock, if you like what you see in the pictures below. I've taken a ton of shots of each set, so I hope you enjoy!

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