|Who doesn't need a Super Stars doll, with its feminine |
form, not-to-scale masculine head, molded-plastic boots,
and violently-violet hair?
|When the end of days comes, will you be prepared?|
Mr. Tiny will be living off this smorgasbord of junk food
replicated in marshmallow...this stuff never spoils, folks!
By the way, I can stop any time I want to...I just don't want to right now.
The real reason I love a good dollar store is that I know I can afford anything in the whole joint; nothing is beyond the limits of my meager bank balance. Like a French millionaire strolling past the luxury shops of the Champs-Elysees, I strut through the dollar store with a mild air of faux disdain, looking down my nose to examine some piece of merchandise, with the confidence that at any moment I could say, "I'll take everything you've got," knowing that even then, I would still only be out thirty-four dollars...plus tax.
As great as our American dollar stores have proven themselves to be, an exciting Japanese counterpart has recently graced our golden shores and vies for superiority. This store is proof of a modern-day, discount diaspora and I refuse to be the last lay cultural anthropologist to document it!
|The goal is to get to all of Southern California's|
Daiso locations (for research/comparison purposes, of
course). For this post we chose the Daiso in Torrance, CA.
I am actually taking my life into my hands by bringing you the information in this post. I swore a blood oath (well a smoothie oath, anyway) that this little piece of Heaven on Earth would be the secret shopping spot of the original Three Musketeers who found it (we're operating on the premise that we "discovered" Daiso). In fact, the oath was my idea but in light of our forthcoming trip to Japan, this is just too good to remain a secret for very long. So, here I am letting the Hello Kitty out of the bag with the brilliance of DAISO!!!
|That's right, this place has an entire department dedicated to "SURPRISE & FUN!"|
Daiso elicits a lot of complicated feelings. Immediately overjoyed at the Japanese wonderland of kitchen utensils in every pastel color, sponges with smiley faces, and panda-shaped cookies filled with strawberry confection, one quickly gets a sense of dread realizing that something is a little bit different in Daiso; instead of one dollar, everything (unless otherwise marked) is priced at $1.50! Once one gets past the who-do-they-think-I-am-Nelson-Rockefeller stage, it becomes easy to forget the extra fifty cents and fill a basket full of imported goodness!
|What I want to know is, how have I been making homemade, |
microwave corn dogs without a pink, plastic mold/stick set for
all of these years? Now I can't make them any other way.
|Much of Daiso's inventory has a face and nearly everything is happy to |
serve the customer. The trash cans are eerily eager for your waste.
|Even the cotton swabs are pleased to assist in ear-gunk removal.|
There is a lot to be said for good packaging and America could take a few notes from Daiso.
|Twine to truss a pork roast actually binds a cartoon pig.|
This little piggy seems to like it...wink!
I have often wondered if I could subsist entirely on only what I could find at dollar stores; Daiso has me thinking that I most definitely could.
|They carry everything for your top...|
|Down to your bottom!|
|Harmless household items or something else entirely? |
Daiso seems to have a bit of an odd side too.
Blonde "Party Wigs," Massagers for parts of your body that you didn't know
you had, and "Banana Keepers"....I don't know Daiso, I just don't know...
Don't worry, it gets weirder!!! Tucked amongst the noisemakers, Jacob's ladders, and squirt guns of Daiso's toy section, hung two of the strangest "toys" I have ever seen. But don't take my word for it...
The greatest part about frequenting dollar stores is the fun - trying on masks, creating full dance routines in the aisles, testing products, wearing children's sun hats, getting other shoppers to sing along with the muzak, filling your lonely Saturday nights. But don't get it twisted; I graduated from picking up items and asking the nearest employee, "How much is this," a long time ago...child's play.
The greatest part about Daiso is that very little is lost in translation...
|"Special Presents. With the delicious cake |
which I made heartily, have happy time."
Daiso of Japan