SEGA Game Gear Micro Is a Ludicrously Tiny Retro Handheld

When it comes to retro gaming systems, SEGA made some of my favorites, including the Master System, Genesis, and Dreamcast. Long before modern mobile devices, the Japanese video game company created one of the first full-color handhelds, the SEGA Game Gear. The portable arrived back in 1990, and played 8-bit games that were often inspired by the 16-bit titles that came to the Genesis.

The original system is pretty easy to come by on eBay these days, but if you want something different, check out these new collectibles coming from SEGA to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the handheld.

The Game Gear Micro is a ridiculously small, fully-playable version of the classic handheld. It measures in at just 3.1″w x 1.7″h x 0.8″d, and has a diminutive 1.15″ diagonal color LCD screen. That’s roughly 40% of the size of the original. It runs on two AAA batteries or via USB power, and has a tiny mono speaker as well as a headphone jack for listening in stereo.

Unlike the original Game Gear, it doesn’t take cartridges. Instead, each of the four available colors will come preloaded with four games. That’s a bit of a bummer since portables like the @Games Genesis handheld came packed with 80 games.

Here’s a list of titles that each Game Gear Micro will come with:

  • Black: Sonic the Hedgehog, Puyo Puyo 2, Out Run, Royal Stone
  • Blue: Sonic Chaos, Gunstar Heroes, Sylvan Tale, Baku Baku Animal
  • Yellow: Shining Force Gaiden: Ensei – Jashin no Kuni he, Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya, Shining Force Gaiden: Final Conflict, Nazopuyo Aruru no Ru
  • Red:Revelations: The Demon Slayer, Megami Tensei Gaiden: Last Bible Special, The GG Shinobi, Columns

Since the screen on the Game Gear Micro is so teensy, SEGA is also making an accessory called the “Big Window,” which is basically a fresnel magnifier that sits atop the device so you can actually see what you’re doing. It’s not the prettiest add-on, but I guess it gets the trick done.

The Game Gear Micro will ship starting on October 6, 2020 in Japan, and you can find purchase links on SEGA’s website. The tiny handhelds are priced at ¥4,980 (~$46 USD) each, and you’ll get the Big Window magnifier if you buy all four colors. There’s also a ¥28,512 (~$261 USD) super special edition that includes a fifth Game Gear Micro in a see-through smoke color, along with a display frame. I’m guessing these things will become quite collectible, so you’ll want to place your order as soon as you can.

[via The Sixth Axis]

This Device Can Synthesize Any Flavor on Your Tongue: Taste the Rainbow

Back in the 1990s a team of engineers created a device called the iSmell. This unusual gadget used scent cartridges to simulate a wide variety of aromas, which could be triggered through computer code. The iSmell ultimately failed due to lack of market interest, but I always thought the idea that you could create anything from the smell of hot chocolate to pepperoni pizza just by mixing chemicals was pretty fascinating. Now a scientist in Japan has developed a similar technology, though this one simulates flavors rather than scents.

Homei Miyashita of Meiji University’s Miyashita Laboratory created this novel device that he calls a “taste display.” It uses a set of five electrolytic flavor gels which are electrically stimulated to produce taste sensations on its user’s tongue. The process of electrophoresis is used to subtractively adjust the amount of sweet (glycine), salty (sodium chloride), bitter (magnesium chloride), acidic (citric acid) and umami (glutamic sodium) flavors which are released. Theoretically, these five base flavors could replicate just about any flavor you’d like, and the system has already been used to simulate flavors ranging from sushi to gummy candies.

Now, taste alone isn’t enough to truly experience flavor, as our sense of smell is also a big part of that mechanism. Perhaps they could dust off the old plans for the iSmell and combine them, then sell this as some kind of gadget for dieting.

You can read the full research paper about the taste display in the Association for Computing Machinery’s digital library.

[via Syfy]

Grim Reaper Chair Invites You to Have a Seat

If you’re ready to meet your maker, please have a seat, take a number and wait your turn. The Grim Reaper will see you shortly. Actually, you’re already sitting on his lap. Surprise! It’s time to die. If you want the craziest and creepiest chair in the neighborhood, look no further than this Grim Reaper Throne from Design Toscano.

Whether you have a goth theme going in your living room, or just want to get a really early start on Halloween festivities, this insane looking chair will definitely help set the mood. While it looks like it’s been sculpted from the bones of at least three lost souls, Design Toscano assures us the throne is made from handpainted resin and fiberglass and not actual skeletons. Then again, these are the guys who make a statue of Bigfoot frolicking with garden gnomes, so I’m not sure their judgment can be trusted.

In other news, the Grim Reaper Throne will hold a person weighing up to 375 pounds, so it’s happy to put an end to you, even if it’s an endless pile of fried chicken and sugary soda that did you in. It’s not the cheapest way to go though, with a price tag of $1199. Then again, you won’t need your money anymore after he’s done with you.

[via Geekologie]

You Could Empty This Cardboard Vending Machine with a Box Cutter

When it comes to unusual vending machines, Japan is the place that always comes to mind first. After all, this is the country that gave us machines that vend bananas and fried chicken. But this particular vending machine isn’t notable for what it vends, but what it’s made out of.

What you’re looking at is a full-size, working vending machine that’s made primarily out of cardboard. Like other vending machines, this one dispenses canned drinks, though it offers neither refrigeration, nor does it have a coin mechanism. Instead, it has a simple push button and rubber band system that causes drinks to drop into its tray. At least it doesn’t have those stupid spiral things that snack machines like to steal your purchases with. Though I do love it when you occasionally stumble onto someone else’s misfortune and get a two-for-one deal from those coils.

The machine is set up at the offices of cardboard box company Hacomo in Kagawa City, and you can check it out in action in the Twitter post below:

It’s a cool design for sure, but I don’t think it would last very long if a soda can exploded and sprayed all over the insides of this thing, or if someone went near it with an open flame. On the other hand, it’s probably much easier to move around than a regular vending machine, and wouldn’t kill you if it fell onto you while shaking it.

If you like the idea of a cardboard vending machine, Hacomo makes a miniature desktop version that’s available for about $9 on Amazon Japan.

[via SoraNews24]

You’ll Never Solve This Rubik’s Cube Toilet Paper Dispenser

Some people like to use their time on the toilet to read books or surf social media on their phone, while others use it to solve crossword puzzles. But I’ve never heard of someone trying to solve a Rubik’s Cube while sitting on the pot. While you could just stick a regular Rubik’s Cube in your bathroom, this unofficial Rubik’s Cube toilet paper dispenser would make for a more permanent fixture.

The only problem I see with getDigital’s colorful toilet paper dispenser is that its cubes don’t turn. And no, you can remove the stickers and rearrange them either. So there’s an exactly 0.0% chance that you’ll ever solve this Rubik’s Cube. Though to be honest, that’s not much worse than my odds with the actual puzzle. On the flip side, you’ll never have to worry about which direction the toilet paper should hang off of the roll with this thing, since it only has one place for the paper to exit. First world problem solved!

Rubik’s Cube fans and 1980s kids can grab this toilet paper dispenser over on Amazon for $26.99. Now if only you could find some toilet paper to put inside of it.

The Best Part of Waking Up… Is Kraken in Your Cup

Since it’s a fictitious creation, nobody really knows what a Kraken looks like. But the one thing we can all agree on is that the thing is a gigantic sea monster, and almost certainly has tentacles that it uses to snatch ships and drag them to the bottom of the ocean.

I think this Kraken tentacle mug does a great job capturing the spirit of this legendary sea beast, and has no need to show its body to get its point across.

The Kraken mug has a food-grade stainless steel cup insert, wrapped in a hand-sculpted food-grade resin. I love all of the details like the ship’s rivets, along with all of the suckers on the Kraken’s tentacles. Best of all, one of the tentacles serves as the mug’s handle. This mug is just one of the many creepy, morbid, and downright odd items featured in artist Michael Locascio’s Dellamorte & Co. Etsy shop.

It measures about 5.5″ tall, and holds 16 oz of your favorite beverage. I like the idea of some kind of rum since that’s all that pirates drink at sea, right? Yarrrrr! So if you want to be able to say “my mug has a Kraken it!” you can grab one of these cool drinking vessels over on Etsy for $45.

Toss a Giant Crochet Spider on Your Couch

Most spiders are actually good for the environment, wiping out a wide variety of pests, including many that carry diseases. Still they’re pretty creepy looking, and the bigger they are, the scarier these eight-legged insects can be. But if you absolutely love spiders, then maybe you should get a gigantic one that you can toss around the couch amongst your throw pillows.

If you’re looking for something fun to do with your spare time, get out the yarn and knitting needles, and knit yourself a giant spider! MyTwinsCrochetNL sells a crochet pattern that makes a massive 20″ diameter spider that’s sure to get a rise out of anyone you toss it onto.

Since this is a DIY spider, you can make it in any color you want. So if you like the idea of a fiery orange spider or a lime green spider, that’s cool.

Unfortunately, if you don’t know how to crochet, you’re out of luck, because they’re only selling the pattern files. But if you have the skills to pull it off, you can get started for just about $7 for the pattern, then about 500 grams of acrylic yarn. They offer patterns in US English, UK English, German, and Dutch, because the giant bugs know no borders.

[via Oddity Mall]

Hey, There’s Some Corn in Your Stool

Well, now that I’ve thoroughly grossed you out with that headline, let me clarify. I’m not talking about poop. No, this article is all about the OTHER kind of stool. You know, the kind they made in Blaine, Missouri in Waiting for Guffman. But no, these aren’t any ordinary pieces of furniture. These stools look like food.

Australia’s Third Drawer Down makes these ridiculous stools that are perfect doppelgängers for edibles. They come in four different versions: partially-eaten corn on the cob, a stack of donuts, an ice cream cone, and a double cheeseburger. Coincidentally, that sounds like my four basic food groups since I’ve been since stuck at home under quarantine.

Each stool is made from cast, hand-painted resin, which certainly isn’t as tasty as the real thing, but also won’t stain your pants when you sit on it. You can find all four of these over at Urban Outfitters – where they sell for $210 each. That’s not exactly cheap, but at least these foods don’t have an expiration date.

Star Wars Beauty Face Masks: Use the Moisturizer, Luke!

If you’ve spent any time over in Japan, you know that those stick-on beauty masks are everywhere. They come in all kinds of designs, from panda bears to Hello Kitty. Now, Star Wars fans can get in on the moisturizing goodness too!

Beauty product maker Isshin Do is making face masks that make you look like some of your favorite Star Wars characters.

Yes, now you can walk around the house looking like the Dark Lord of the Sith while at the same time improving your complexion. Each single-use face pack contains a mix of water, glycerin, water-soluble collagen, Vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid, which sounds like a skin-melting chemical developed by the Empire to make Rebel scum talk.

In addition to Darth Vader, the masks come in Chewbacca, Stormtrooper, Darth Maul, and C-3PO designs, so you can stomp around in your slippers and quote the odds that your mask will come off in one piece.

If you live in Japan, you should be able to find them at a variety of retailers for about ¥438 each (~$4 USD). Overseas, you can order them from the Japan Trend Shop, where they’re going for $31 for a 3-pack.

This Measuring Tape Measures Both Time and Distance

If you want to know the time, you use a clock, a watch, or a smartphone. If you want to measure the length of an object, you use a tape measure. But it appears this tape measure didn’t get the memo, as it’s actually a clock.

Alex Fiel and Anna Lynton made this unusual timepiece that uses its measuring tape to indicate the current time. They built it by ripping apart an ordinary tape measure, then installed a custom 3D-printed enclosure, along with an Arduino Nano controller, a stepper motor, and some ball bearings to move the measuring tape in and out of its shell.

While it’s first and foremost designed to work as a clock, I see no reason why you couldn’t use its tape to measure things – assuming it’s late enough in the day to fit the object you’re measuring, and you work fast enough that the time doesn’t change time on you.

You can check out the full build log for the Measuring Time clock over on Instructables.