The Sega Toys Company Limited has come up with one of the newest hits in Japan with its creation of the weird Pekoppa Toy. Perhaps reminiscent of the campy killer rhododendron of Little Shop of Horrors fame, the Pekoppa Toy is a plant that seems to have a mind all its own.
The Pekoppa Toy can respond to the sound of the human voice. Unlike a real plant that can only lean towards the sun and guzzle water, the Pekoppa Toy can actually keep you company.
Speak to it and its two leaves may flutter or its stem bend in your direction as it seems to acknowledge what you are saying.
If you are a loner, either by choice or design, the Pekoppa Toy provides the perfect damper against the difficulties with being alone. It provides unconditional interaction, which is something most of us need at one time or another in our hectic lives.
Pekoppa’s official tagline is “Heal yourself with this plant, which is a good listener.”
Since its release in September of 2008, Sega Toys have sold more 50,000 units of the Pekoppa Toy.
The plant does nothing at all until someone attempts to communicate with it. The stem begins to bend in a movement akin to a human nod of the head as soon as someone starts talking to it.
It works via an IC chip that is placed in the pot that is able to identify rhythms in human speech. A current travels up the stem, which bends and stretches accordingly.
“The Pekoppa Toy serves as a psychological buffer for interaction for people of all ages. If you have no subordinates who would listen to your grumbling in the office or no children who would talk with you, Pekoppa will be by your side, gently nodding,” says Minako Sakanoue, spokeswoman for Sega Toys.
Does Pekoppa Toy really understand what you are saying? Alas, no, but in the end does that really matter? Venting is its own reward and psychologically Pekoppa Toy serves the phenomenon well, albeit a bit oddly.
Later this year a different version, a flower thing called Hanappa, will be unleashed on a weary and strange world that gets weirder every day.
What do YOU think about this?