12 May 2024

Simple But Fun, "Pop-Up Pirate"

I suddenly remembered a toy that I bought about ten years ago. It is a long-selling toy in Japan called "Pop-Up Pirate", the famous toy maker of Takara Tomy's products. It has been sold since 1975. It is a simple toy, yet it can be enjoyed even by adults.

The components are a pirate head, a barrel and four coloured swords in total 24. To begin with, you insert the pirate's head into the top of the barrel hole and then rotate it as you want. That is all the settings done.

Each player chooses their favourite colour sword and then inserts it into one of the narrow holes on the barrel. Each player takes a turn, sticking their sword into the barrel. The player loses if the head pops out of the barrel when the sword is stabbed.

This game is so much fun for adults and kids. In Japan, it can be used to determine who does a penalty game or if only one person cannot eat something delicious. For example, there are three pieces of cake and one cookie. You can decide in this game who cannot have a delicious cake. On such an occasion, Pop-Up Pirate would be a blast, and everybody's heart would be pounding.


Amazingly, such a simple toy can get people so excited. I also wondered how the mechanism works inside. I googled and found some videos explaining the mechanism. I was impressed to watch that. It was a simple mechanism. I respect people who can think of these things.

"Pop-Up Pirate" has all the elements I aim to make: simple mechanism, random movement, and making people have fun. For most people, this is just a toy, yet for me, it is special.


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