Hand-powered personal fan promises to be big in Japan this summer



Summer in Japan can be very humid and uncomfortable. Paper fans and parasols are what people usually use to beat the heat, but there might be a better solution. This coming summer, people can try out a battery-free portable fan called Kuru-Kuru Eco Fan, developed by Takaratomy.

The first version of this eco-fan was released in April of last year with over 120,000 items shipped. The original fan required the user to turn the handle, but this reworked version is powered when you squeeze the handle which then triggers the fan blade to turn (see picture above). With one squeeze, the fan turns more than 50 times.

Suited for both adults and children, the fan’s handle is only 5.5 cm wide (in the open position), and weighs just 51 grams. The three fan blades are made of soft material making it safe for children to use. All it takes is a squeeze of the handle and you can enjoy a nice breeze. Your other hand is, of course, free to use your smartphone.

Kuru-Kuru Eco Fan is priced at just 787 yen, or about $8. It comes with a strap to hold it around your neck, and extra design patterns which you can use to dress it up a bit. The fan is part of Takaratomy’s Eco Toy initiative, aimed to create toys that are friendly to the enviroment.

Speaking of summer, character goods merchandiser called Runat released a silicon ice cube tray called Manga Gori, or Manga Ice. The tray makes ice cubes that are shaped like onmatopoeic words often seen in manga. The clever ice cube tray is available on Amazon for 1029 yen, or about $10.