because, what says "i love you" more than . . . a bite-sized transparent Coelacanth replica embedded in a bottle cap?
note they also have a bottle cap with a GLOW IN THE DARK BATHYSCAPH.
not pictured on the cover but I SWEAR i’ve seen it: marrianas trench heat vent worm model bottle cap.
oh, plus 1,000,001 other, non trench-related figures based on contemporary comic books and games: disney, hamsters, smurfs, Queen Latifa h . . .me. . .
how the hell did this hobby get so extreme?
near as i can tell, it started between 2 and 30 years ago, with these guys:
baseball teams adorning the caps of soft drink bottles. i guess it was like a ‘collectors item’ deal where you had to buy lots more soft drinks than you really needed in order to get all the guys. apparently this gimmick sold enough sody pop to spawn a legion of imitators, including: snoopy caps, kitty caps, doraemon caps, mickey mouse caps, all the usual suspects.
not so obvious: the kids have actual GAMES they play with the caps.
in the beginning i guess they’d draw a little baseball diamond in the sand and sort of move the players around.
naturally the release of the coveted Ultraman Monster Battle Bottle Caps escalated the playground bottle battles to a whole new level of sophistication. although God only knows what kind of game you play with your glow in the dark bathyscaph, or with Pepsi Man.
don’t ask me why they have their own Ultraman style mascot. i don’t know. but i love Pepsi man way more than the excerable beverage he represents.
so, in sum: small. plastic. collectable. battleable. obscure. utterly non-neccessary. occasionally glowing.
of COURSE this is big in japan: the adjectives read like a MISSION STATEMENT for the whole darn country!