With money in Japan, the smallest denomination of bill is 1,000 yen (US $9.35), which means that you often end up having a ton of change in your pocket. With awesome vending machines on seemingly every corner, there’s an ever-present temptation to blow piles of coinage on canned drinks, especially now that some come with prizes.
Still, if you’ve got the willpower to make it home with a few coins left, you can treat yourself to a little reward if you also happen to have one of these awesomely cute motorized cat coin banks.
Manufactured by Shine, the series of plastic Itazura Banks are all variations on the same theme. Ordinarily, they look like a cardboard box used to pack fruit.
▼ In this case, the mandarin oranges called mikan
There’s no slot in which to insert your savings, though. Instead, you place the coin on the raised section of the top.
After that, the rest of the deposit process is automatic.
▼ And adorable
Aside from the above Mike the Cat, there’s a whole line-up of animals available here on Amazon Japan (you’ll find Mike himself here), with prices ranging from about 1,500 to 2,100 yen (US $14-$20). Here are some of our favorites.
▼ Tomato/bulldog and cookie/panda
▼ Watermelon/Kumamon bear and peach/black cat
Also, rest easy that when you decide to make a withdrawal, there’s no need to smash the cute critters into pieces, as the coins can be dumped out after removing a panel on the underside of the unit.
But while Mike seems universally popular with people, there’s one group that doesn’t seem quite as impressed: real cats, who apparently can’t wait to greet their plastic competitor by punching him in the face.
▼ “Stay off our turf-meow!”
Really, it seems kind of petty of them. We say animal lovers’ hearts are big enough to love both flesh and blood animals and robots built in their likeness, especially if they put a smile on our face while we save some cash for a rainy day.