If you visit a Japanese supermarket, you may hear pre-recorded announcements about the specials and discounted items of the day, set to a catchy jingle.

Chances are, these are emanating from a little white box, manufactured by Gunma Denki Co., Ltd., and known as 呼び込み君 yobikomi-kun, which means something like "Mr. draw in customers." For the last two decades, the item has become a best-seller and is now sold in over 40,000 stores all over Japan. Not only does it have a motion sensor to begin playing when shoppers approach, but you can you record your own announcements directly or with an external mic, and even attach display panels with messages such as "Now on sale."

One of the reasons for its fame is that one of its preset jingles, known as Jingle No. 4, has taken on a life of its own, being used as a smartphone ringtone, spawning remixes, and even showing up in rhythm games. (If you're curious to hear it, do a Google search for 呼び込み君 and you'll surely find one of these variations.)

If you want to recreate the mood of a Japanese supermarket at home, you could always buy your very own Yobikomi-kun (It's available here at Amazon.co.jp), but since it doesn't run on batteries, you can't take it with you whenever you want to enjoy that catchy jingle.

Fortunately, that situation has now been remedied with a new toy, a miniature version of Yobikomi-kun, scheduled to go on sale in December 2021.

As soon as the toy was announced, word spread quickly. To get a sense of how anticipated the toy is, it was ranked as the second most popular product in the general ranking at anime and hobby goods shop AmiAmi's website:

AmiAmi's general ranking as of October 18th, 2021

The Super Sound "Yobikomi-kun" Mini plays Jingle No. 4 when you press the button in the middle of the panel, and comes with several miniature panels displaying the following messages:

  • いらっしゃいませ irasshaimase "Welcome"
  • タイムサービス taimu sābisu "Special Offer" (for a limited time)
  • ☆新発売☆ shin hatsubai "New Arrival" (new product on sale)
  • 今、売れてます ima uretemasu "Hot Product" (now selling well)
  • 50% OFF

Product information

  • Name: スーパーサウンド『呼び込み君』ミニ Super Sound "Yobikomi-kun" Mini
  • Reference price: 792 JPY (tax included)
  • Release date: Scheduled for December 2021
  • Size: Approx. 53 mm long
  • Brand: Skynet (Aoshima Bunka Kyozai Co., Ltd.)
  • [Materials] Body: ABS, Sticker: PP, Blister: PET, Base: Paper
  • Battery: LR44 (2 pcs) included
  • To pre-order: Product page at AmiAmi

Please note that this product is currently only available on the Japanese AmiAmi site which only delivers to Japanese addresses. However, you may be able to use a proxy shopping service such as Buyee or White Rabbit Express to have it shipped internationally.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.