Thursday, 21 July 2011

Garigari-kun and Puzzling Mallorca

Whilst on our travels to Mallorca, we ventured out to the capital, Palma, to see what we could see, see, see. Twas a small and walkable city, full of buzzy Spanish lanes, with interesting and independent shops, adorned with beautiful architecture and we had some cracking tapas for luncheon.

However, one stop on our exploration proved more fruitful than any other and it was to the Mallorca Puzzle Shop to which we ended up in and purchased a Garigari-kun puzzle lolly, which Tracey is holding in her hand.

The man of the shop was a multi-lingual puzzle mentalist, he had strange contraptions on and under the counter for all to see and play with. There was a spinning disc complete with enlarging mushroom, some classic Destiny Wasgij and ring holograms, but the thing which caught all of our eyes was little Garigari.

Garigari-kun history lesson.
Introduced in 1981, Garigari-kun was one of the first bar-type ice treats. The target demographic was “active” school-age boys who needed at least one hand free to play whatever game they were playing while munching. The ice that makes up the bar is filled with very small and separate ice particles that make a characteristic crunchy “garigari” sound when bitten.

The big-mouthed character adorning the package is part of the appeal and is representative of gaki-daisho, or the big kid in your gang who, despite his size, is the most warmhearted member. He’s also assumed to be the poorest.

The product’s very low price is thus tied directly to the image that Akagi wanted to promote. In 2008 they sold 255 million Garigari-kun bars in Japan. History lesson over.

We fell in love the Japanese typography and style of the packaging, but most of all the 3D puzzle lolly which was inside the wrapper. You have 16 pieces to assemble on the stick, comprising of an inner and outer layer with fiendishly difficult jigsaw edge tessellation.

We love the shop, we love the man in the shop (who wouldn't let us purchase our desired item until I completed a metal ring remover - which took at least 15 minutes), we love Garigari-kun.

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