Everyone’s workspace could benefit from a little personalization. If you’re reading this, you probably consider yourself a geek or otaku (just like me, and many members of the HLJ staff!).
It’s not surprising that many of us can feel like our hobbies don’t belong at work, but with geek culture hitting the mainstream in recent years, it’s become more socially acceptable to let your true colors fly!
So, does your workspace reflect your interests? Is it a comfortable space for you? Whether you’re working from home during the pandemic, or find yourself going to the office anyway, these 10 products will help liven up your environment — and make work a little more fun!
#10 Ballpoint Pens
Because they tend to be so cheap and easy to produce in bulk, we see a ton of pens being released regularly for all kinds of popular series and characters.
Pens are a small way to add your personality to your workspace without drawing too much attention.
If you’re a bit shy about your hobbies, having some fun pens could brighten your day, or even become a conversation starter!
#9 Clear Files
Clear files are an office supply staple here in Japan. They’re not necessarily clear, or what you may consider a file… but they’re super useful!
These “files” are actually plastic folders that come with the spine and bottom sealed to keep documents secure.
The most common size is A4 (210 x 297mm), but there are a variety of sizes for documents and memos of all kinds.
You can find these in an array of designs and formats, some with extra features like a tab to keep the side opposite from the spine secure, too! Some even come with multiple pockets for even better organization.
Get your desk space tidied up — sort & file away those papers into clear files from your favorite anime & more!
#8 Desktop Calendars
Everyone working in any kind of office environment needs a calendar! Nowadays, most of us use digital calendars or apps to keep up with our schedules — but how many of them have Kimetsu no Yaiba characters?
The desktop calendars that we’ve seen in stock here at HobbyLink Japan come in a great variety. Some — like the one with Tanjiro’s birthday up there — are daily calendars that offer the excitement of seeing what new illustration each new day brings as you tear off each old page.
Other calendars display the month or week on a single sheet, so you’ll be able to enjoy the same design on your desk for a while.
Unfortunately, there aren’t many 2021 calendars up for preorder yet, but you can expect to see more and more the closer we come to the end of the year. Check out the link below and keep it bookmarked to see the latest as they go online!
#7 Desktop Figures
Figures may be a little too basic of a display piece to put higher on the list, but they’re still worth including. That goes double considering that, in recent years, figure and model manufacturers have begun making desk-sized figures specifically for your workspace.
Full-size figures can be a hassle to display on your desk, between the delicate accessory parts many include, the size, and the cost.
(You don’t want a prized figure getting beaten up from the wear and tear of being in a busy office space.)
MegaHouse, one of the most well-known figure manufacturers, has its own line specifically for your desk, called Desktop Army. We recommend the figures from this line for your work or home office, since they’re small, affordable, and shouldn’t get in the way of your day to day work.
#6 Mouse Pads
Mouse pads are a given for any office nowadays, considering most any office will have a computer — with a mouse!
Of course, you can pick up a simple mouse pad with a printed design of your favorite character, like Ershkigal here. However, there’s one thing anime fans should be aware of when it comes to mouse pads: the majority of them feature designs for a specific taste — from girls in bikinis to much more risque designs.
We’re not going to show off the risque here, but you can use your imagination! Just be sure to use discretion when picking a mouse pad if you’re working in a shared office space. But if you’re working at home — go wild!
Like with many of the smaller products on our site, mouse pad designs come and go quickly, so if you don’t see one you like right now, we recommend checking back every now and then to see the latest.
#5 Sticky Notes
Japanese offices sure do go through a lot of paper, so it’s no surprise that sticky notes are a bit of a big thing here. That means that hobby manufacturers are eager to pump out anime and geek themed sticky notes to satisfy any taste!
These little memos are always going to be useful in jotting a quick note to yourself at your desk or on a document. They’re also an inexpensive way to add a little fun to your workday!
Though many of these notes come in basic stacked pads like you’ll see at office supply stores, some feature a variety of shapes, or even come in collectible tins that you can keep long after you’ve used all the notes. (Great for paperclip storage, we have to say!)
I have a really hard time getting through the work day without something to snack on. It seems like lunch, or dinner, is always just a little too far away. Luckily, we have some awesome snacks right out in the warehouse that I can check out of stock to munch on at any time — but not every workplace is so lucky!
Of course, it’ll always be cheaper to pick something up locally at a grocery store in your own country. But if you want to try something new, with a different taste and packaging from your favorite franchise, Japanese snacks are the way to go.
Sweet or savory, we’ve got a little bit of everything, with an ever-changing lineup based on Japanese snack manufacturers’ shifting seasonal offerings. The next time you’re picking up a model kit or figure, why not toss in a new snack you’ve never tried before? Most of the snacks we sell are small and lightweight enough that they won’t add to your shipping costs, too!
Be the envy of your coworkers the next time you’ve got Pikachu gummies or noodle snacks at your desk. (Just be wary of office food thieves!)
#3 Arm Pillows
This may look like a regular plush to you,
but it’s part of fun good maker ensky’s line of Pokemon arm pillows. These fluffy friends are made to provide a comfortable place to rest your wrist while using a computer mouse.
Wearing out your wrist from having it rubbing against the surface or edge of your desk is a thing of the
past. Say hello to plushie heaven for your wrists, with your favorite Pokemon!
#2 Neck Fans
This one is more for the summer months, but absolutely worth talking about! Japan gets hot in the summer. As I’m writing this, it’s 36c outside (about 96F), and we’re expecting this heat for a lot longer…
If you’re in Japan, cooling is a no-brainer. But depending on where you live, maybe your home or workspace doesn’t have air conditioning, or maybe it takes a long time to kick in. In times like these, you need a way to stay cool that’s not going to break the bank like a portable AC unit might!
In recent years we’ve started seeing growing popularity of these neck fans in Japan. They sit around your neck and have a fan on each pointed at your face. Clip-on or USB fans may be the norm overseas, but you may want to give one of these a shot to stay cool and hands-free during your workday. They’re constantly pointed at your face, meaning you’re going to have a stream of cool air on you even if you get up to go to a meeting or grab a cup of coffee.
#1 Zaku Tape Dispenser
Okay, okay. We’re guessing that the average person uses small sized cellophane tape rolls, straight out of the dispenser they come in. They’re small, easy to store, and easy to use — why bother replacing it?
This is why:
Are you seeing this beast? It’s the size of a water bottle!
That’s right — if you don’t mind taking up a big space of your desk with a probably unnecessary office tool, you can preorder this guy right now. It’s a little expensive, but considering that it’s huge and actually functional rather than a static display piece, the price tag may be worth it.
Especially because it’s just pretty damn cool.
As you can see, you’ll need to load it with one of those office-sized rolls of tape, not a little one that comes in a plastic dispenser of its own.