Is this why they say elves can hear the melody of the wind?
Japan’s Thanko is a company that defies easy introduction, but perhaps the most succinct description is that it’s a novelty technology company, specializing in gadgets that fall at myriad points along the spectrum between crazy enough to work and just crazy. Many of its products, like the fully head-covering electric-powered pollen-blocking mask, Zero-Gravity Armchair, and bug-catching vacuum gun seem sound like something out of a science fiction story, but now Thanko is drawing on fantasy epics for the inspiration for its latest offering.
The straightforwardly named Elf Earphones are deceptively clever in design. Made of flesh-colored materials, the cords run through clips shaped like the pointed ears of the fair folk of the forest.
Once you attach the clips, the earphones are positioned so that they curl around from the top, and if you’ve got long enough hair to hide the cord, the visual effect can be remarkably convincing.
And to help you feel like you’re in command of mystical magic powers, attached to the cord are control buttons to skip tracks and pause playback, as well as a microphone, allowing you to call forth melodies and let your voice be heard across great distances.
As cool as the Elf Earphones may look, some of you are no doubt already bracing yourself for the shock of how much they cost. After all, niche marketing in Japan generally means tapping into pockets of fandom that are willing to dig deep into their own pockets. So how much will a pair of Elf Earphones set you back?
A mere 1,980 yen (US$18), as per their price here on Thanko’s online store . While that makes the Elf Earphones pricier than a cheap set from the 100 yen store, they’re still much less expensive than several varieties for sale at electronics shops, and an affordable enough luxury that you won’t have to steal your village’s enchanted crystal and sell it to a dark wizard in order to pay for them.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he readily admits to listening to the Record of Lodoss War opening theme while writing this.</em?
[ Read in Japanese ]