Fukubukuro 福袋 – “Lucky Bags”
We aren’t certain we are getting this info to you in time! But on the off chance that some stores are still offering these, we are adding it now. We will be sure to re-post it late in December again…
CONTRIBUTED BY SARAH PHILLIPS
Fukuburo Toys R Us
Since childhood I’ve loved the excitement and surprise of grab bags. In America I would get them in dollar stores and they’d be small lunch bags filled with products from the store. Here in Japan every New Year stores use this same idea to draw customers in (and get rid of some merchandise). They call the bags fukubukuro or “Lucky Bags”. These bags come in many price ranges and most guarantee that the contents are worth much more than what you pay. You can find the bags in different department stores and even some 100 yen stores (though I didn’t find any in my outing. Stores start selling these on January 1 or January 2 and once they are sold out you are out of luck. I’m not sure how long they keep these out so the sooner in the year you go the more likely you are to get a bag.
I have wanted to buy a fukubukuro since hearing about them a couple years ago but never have. This year I took the plunge. My almost 16 month old and I ventured out on January 2 in search of one for both of us. I knew I wanted to get him one from Toys r Us so we went to the Awase store near us. I walked in and picked the bag that said otokonoko (boy), paid the cashier 3,999 yen, and walked out with him on my hip and his huge fukubukuro bag in my other arm. (You can see below how big the bag is in comparison with my son!)
I then headed over to the Bulldog store across the street since. I bought myself a Hello Kitty fukubukuro for 2,100 yen and it came in a reusable bag that is big enough to be considered a weekend bag.
I waited to open either till we got home so I could get a “before” picture. Here are some pictures of our loot.
My son’s bag from Toys r Us was advertised as 3 and up on their website so I knew there wouldn’t be much that he could play with now but I figured he can get it later for birthdays or Christmas. His bag included a transformer toy, action figurine, a fighting video game that attaches right to the tv, a fighting arena with two toys, Bakugan balls (my husband was excited about these), a mist fan, and a soba bowl. The transformer toy alone was listed at almost 3,800 yen!
My bag included a very cushiony pillow, a pencil bag, washcloth, and small blanket (toddler – young child sized). I think these bags all contain the same items and may not be a way to get rid of leftover stock but just a way to get people to want to buy them. I’ve seen similar items like this throughout the year at stores similar to Bulldog.
All in all I was happy with my purchases. I’d like to try out different stores next year.