The Second Day of Christmas – Sailor Moon Finger Puppets
On the second day of (Sailor Moon) Christmas, we have a selection of finger puppets of the cast dating back to the time of the Sailor Moon R anime (the existence of ChibiUsa being a pretty clear giveaway, though the fact that Sailor Moon’s broach is heart-shaped could suggest that she actually is from a later release, from the Sailor Moon S anime run), though it’s worth noting that these types of finger puppets were released throughout the entire run of the Sailor Moon series.
These types of finger puppets are still sold in Japan today for a variety of different anime and series as a small and relatively affordable toy for little children, though they’re seen as more of a novelty and a throwback to “the old days” than anything else. At the time, they were typically sold as a set (with all the characters in one package) or as prizes in either “UFO Catcher”1 machines or at festival booths. They’re small, cheap, and kids will keep coming back trying to get their favorite character, so it’s probably rather effective!
The construction is pretty solid, thanks greatly to the fact that they’re made of hard plastic (and not some sort of rubber like you’d suspect), and the paint job is actually pretty decent. I’m surprised at the amount of different colors of paint they bothered to put on each of the characters, especially considering that for toys like this they usually try to get away with using as few colors as possible. They actually went out of their way to paint on a gold broach for Sailor Venus, for example, when they probably could have gotten away with yellow.
For what they are – simple little finger puppets that look like your favorite characters from the anime – the toys are actually pretty nice and I could see them being used as nice desk decorations for fans of the show back in the day. Since they were small, cheap to produce, and could be sold (for greater profit!) in packages, a surprisingly large cast of characters were produced for each of the anime seasons. From what I was able to find on Google Image searches and Yahoo! Auction, it seems that the whole Black Moon family was made, as well as Sailor Pluto, Moonlight Knight, and several variations of Sailor Moon and Princess Serenity.
One word of warning: since these are hard plastic, don’t expect much finger accommodation for those readers who are not small children – these don’t have a lot of give. It’s not really a big issue, but just wanted to mention that before anyone gets these locked on their finders!