What is the deal with all of these YouTube videos of tiny plastic food?

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Seriously, what is the deal with these teeny-tiny miniature food videos, and why can't we stop watching them? Why wash the dishes? The food is plastic! The ladles that hold themselves up, I just am overwhelmed with the silliness of some of these things.

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When they're cooking with the tiny utensils I keep expecting a teeny tiny Julia Child to pop out. It's very weirdly soothing to have someone completely silently cook miniature plastic food.


  1. I own almost none of the life-sized versions of those kitchen utensils. I feel strangely inadequate.

  2. It‘s a craze. A fad. Like “Krunking.” Or “Ghost-Riding the Whip.” Get with it grandpa!

  3. Lol! I think they are cute! =P

    I think it’s a showcase of these miniature things and how to set them up. If only I had money and a place to put them, I think I’d consider buying them. =P

    I also think the details of the mini things is amazing. Looks very well-made. =)

  4. There must be an entire cottage industry making scale-model versions of Japanese groceries and cuisine. Maybe *this* is the demo video?

    1. This is far from a cottage industry, it’s HUGE. Apart from people who just collect the items themselves, called Rement, there are doll collectors who buy them for dollhouses and displays.

        1. That is the best dollhouse set up ever. I like cluttered houses with lots of little weird things, and the action figure scenes are great.

          That renewed my strong desire to get a dollhouse when I have the money for a hobby.

  5. Oh brother, my daughter has lots of this Rement stuff for her Pulllip dollhouse.

    Pullips are like the anime version of a Barbie.

  6. Totally mesmerizing. Going through the motions in silence, the flawless editing, the setting, and the tiny plastic clinking sounds all add up to quite an effect. Soothing, compelling, and not a little bit disturbing. Thank you for sharing this!

  7. That’s nothing. Take a song you like (works especially well with K-Pop songs from groups like 2NE1 or 4Minute), type the group’s name into the YouTube search box along with the word ‘chipmunk’, and be amazed at the awesomeness, and incredible selection.

  8. It’s no different from an ordinary cooking show! You can’t smell or taste the food there either, so it may as well be plastic…

  9. The thing that disturbs me is that I have absolutely no idea what they’re supposed to be cooking most of the time. I just don’t recognise anything. I think I need to learn Japanese cookery. There’s a whole world of cuisine out there I’ve never experimented with!

  10. The ladles that hold themselves up, I just am overwhelmed with the silliness of some of these things.

  11. Does this explain Japan’s alarmingly low birth rate?

    Sigh… if I’m too old to get it, I don’t wanna be young.

    1. I think the low birth rates might be related to the expectation that robots will replace us all soon enough, or something.

  12. OK, the guy pretending to skin and gut his tiny plastic fish had me burst out laughing! I can only hope that this stuff is just meant for kids that want to play kitchen tea-set games and that there aren’t real adults playing with these in their rooms…

    1. I don’t know… I got an ad in on of the videos that said, “Single and over 40?” I think that’s the demographic for who buys these tiny things.

      I wonder if there’s a corresponding xkcd strip for this, too?

  13. Two decades of economic stagnation seem to have had a miniaturizing effect on the nation’s hobbies.

  14. If it is on BoingBoing, it must be hip ..

    now .. next steps: The ukulele version, Bennyhillyfy it .. throw in some Cthulo … and we all live a bit happier than ever :D

    1. but as soon as it’s steampunk, i’m over it.

      i found this alarmingly calming and hypnotic. i had almost watched the whole video before i even realized it.

  15. the editing is incredible. it maks them totally compelling to watch… everything happens ‘just so’.

  16. There is something deeply, deeply disturbing about all this, which comes as something completely new to me.

    I’m tempted to mumble something about Baudrillard’s simulacra and simulacrum, or something witty about Roland Barthes’ essays on Japanese food, or just something mundane about the death of actual skills needed to practice a hobby (like, oh, say… learning how to cook actual food).

    But no – this is just weird. And not really in a good way.

  17. I have always kept from buying miniatures except for a period in high school where I blew several K$ on RPG miniatures because I know I would probably go all OCD like a gambler again. I know that all that cool little stuff really serves no practical purpose and is only a weird psycho-neuro fetish thing. This means all that stuff if I get it is for my kids and I can enjoy vicariously. I do love to see other people who have detailed miniatures though especially if displayed as a diorama or doll house.

  18. I know most of those products, and the kitchen set up is about what I had in Tokyo (in a real Japanese apartment, though, everything is about twice as large as shown in the video). Perky-Pat was the first thing that popped into my mind as well – just at mind-altering chemicals, and you’ve got the perfect set up for the gaijin who misses expat life.

  19. I thought these were silly too until I realized my three year old daughter would probably love these for her dollhouse.

  20. Have you seen these? Similar tiny cooking utensils, but with clever chemical ingredients to mimic the cooking process.

  21. My GF loves this stuff. She thinks it stems from a lack of normal childhood…and the love of Doll house stuff. She also loves Popin’ Cookin’

  22. When future archaeologists unearth this stuff (along with a whole mess of other useless crap), they’ll know why this civilisation went the way of the dodo.

  23. Go to youtube and search for “konapun.” Say goodbye to a couple of hours. Inexplicably mesmerizing.

    1. I found konapun when I was looking at these, but it didn’t register with me what that really was until just now. That’s also completely mesmerizing. RRcherrypie has a ton of konapun videos as well as rement. So bizarre.

  24. I love this stuff! Rement is awesome. I have only a few items. If it were not so expensive, i think i would have a room full of this stuff.

    YAY! Imagination :)

  25. No way; I had to exercise an effort of will to kill the first vid before it melted my brain.

    IMO the dangerous levels of vapid inanity these little artefacts embody is what people find intoxicating… luckily for me, I’m allergic.

  26. Wow. For some reason I had a really visceral reaction to this. It blew my mind. I wonder what percentage of the people who do this actually cook and what percentage eat pre-packaged or restaurant food mostly?

  27. I can’t believe I stopped making my real, edible breakfast to watch this.

    Also, the clicking sounds are so reassuring, for some reason.

    1. I find the sounds very satisfying.

      This warrants a study. Several others above have remarked on the calming, hypnotic quality of the videos, and several have mentioned how much they like the little clicking sounds. It’s fingernails on a chalkboard to me. Too reminiscent of hard-soled shoes on concrete. The sound of several nattily-attired businessmen and businesswomen click-clacking across an otherwise silent corporate plaza has always driven me up the wall; the single most intolerable foley sound in the entire library for me, next to violent regurgitation. And now this.

      I wonder what exactly makes this sound so soothing and/or satisfying to others? I wonder if there’s some common mindset (or syndrome) at work?

  28. This might not be a bad way to do a kitchsy, fun “how to cook” show. The guy’s going through all the steps, after all. You could just add text to some of them and it’d be great. :)

  29. I love Re-ment! I think the average person who owns Re-ment uses them as doll accessories or for pictures (me). The percentage of collectors who actually “cook” with them is low, imo. That being said, I loved these videos. I learned a few things from it too, not being an expert in Japanese cooking. I’m an American and under 40 if that helps.

    I also found the sounds soothing, but if you want soothing sounds, do what others have already said and do a search for “Konapun.” Very fun to watch and the sounds make me happy for some reason.

  30. Donald, it’s called Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response (ASMR). You can read about it here: http://www.asmr-research.org

    Videos like the one posted here trigger mine like crazy, and I attribute it to the sounds that are being made. I also get the tingling sensation if I’m watching someone do something that requires great skill and/or attention (this video is one of my biggest triggers ever: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Io2KFwZ5B8w), or if someone is taking photos of me with a camera that makes an audible shutter noise (like a dSLR).

    1. Wow! Fascinating… thanks! I’m familiar with the sensation, though my triggers are usually scents and musical pieces and particular varieties of touch, but I never realized that some people get that kind of frisson through observing a careful, painstaking process, or from those tiny little sounds that make me wanna cringe. I think it’s because those sounds have too strong an effect on me (like fingernails on a blackboard, as I mentioned before), and my hypersensitivity to such sounds prevents me from enjoying them or finding them the least bit soothing. The metal rings on the lasts in that YouTube video you linked, for instance: agonizing!

    2. Thank you so much for posting this link. I have this response to several things- the cleaning lady spraying and wiping the counters and cleaning the windows, my coworker drumming pens, and a few other things- I always thought I was just completely insane- It is SO great to see that this is a real *thing* and that others experience it too! WOW!

  31. We buy these tiny food kits in NYC’s Chinatown. They’re really fun and cute. I don’t think they’re inspiring enough to make videos about them. all we do is sort of buy them and look at them for a few minutes and then sort of forget about it in a big plastic bag.

  32. Weirdly soothing is exactly the right way to describe watching these. The little clicking noise of the plastic utensils, and watching the giant hand “cut” things or “stir” or whatever is just really nice. ????? but why????

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