It’s time for another subscription review, and this time we’ll be looking at Oyatsu Box. Before I begin, I’d like to mention that there’s something unique about Oyatsu Box. Whereas most subscription services are located in the United States, Oyatsu Box actually ships their boxes from Japan. You might think that’s a negative because of the extended shipping time, and it might be, but I think it’s an interesting change of pace.
They also do something special with their boxes, though. While Oyatsu Box promises over a pound of snacks in their traditional full-size box, they also throw in something a little extra that you don’t traditionally see from other subscription services located in the United States — a real Gashapon toy. If you’re not familiar with Gashapon, they’re vending machines that offer high quality Japanese toys in plastic capsules. We have similar machines here, but of dubious quality.
It’s a nice touch considering other boxes in a similar price range don’t offer such a thing. In my box I got Naruto key ring featuring Sakura, which is especially great since I’m a big Naruto fan (although I would have much preferred Hinata). You can check it out below, along with the box and its contents. It’s worth noting that while Oyatsu Box may not have flashy packaging, the items you’ll get more than make up for that. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the box, but it wasn’t anything special, just a brown box.
Now in order to determine whether or not the Oytatsu Box is worth your money, I’m going to break the review down into two parts. The first of which is what I thought about the items I received and the second is a tally as to how much it would cost you to purchase them individually on Amazon.
To start off, let’s talk about what you get with the box for the cost. The traditional box will run you $25/mo including shipping, which seems to be pretty typical for other higher end boxes. The difference here though is that when you pay $25 you’re getting a box shipped from Japan, and that’s usually pretty costly. As for the amount of items you’ll receive, according to the website that varies between 8-14 items, presumably depending on the size of the items included that month.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s look at the actual items and how they tasted. The December box which I am reviewing had a total of 11 items which isn’t too bad considering it’s roughly in the middle. Let’s get into it.
The first thing I plucked out of the box was also the closest to the top, but admittedly the item I was most excited about — Takoyaki Tei which are corn balls flavored like takoyaki from Frito Lay tailored specifically for the Japanese market. I’ve yet to have takoyaki, but I’ve always wanted to. Eating these chips gave me a sense of what it’s like, and it was glorious. They were sweet, but also spicy. It was more of a mild, flavorful spice though. Very good.
Next up I had the Giant Caplico Chocolate Bomber, and it was unlike anything I’ve ever tasted. The packaging featured Yokai Watch, which is very popular in Japan now, and the snack itself tasted amazing. The only way to describe it would be a chocolate ice cream cone filled with light airy chocolate, and several types of it. This thing had dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and white chocolate. It was really good, and possibly one of the best surprises of the box.
After the last two items I decided to have something a little more familiar, so I went for the Strawberry Midi Pocky. Pocky is a very common theme in boxes like these, and I will never complain no matter how simple the flavor. This one in particular had a cookie that was shorter than usual but featured twice the chocolate coating and as you can imagine it was very delicious. Pocky never lasts long in my house, and there’s a good reason why.
Then came the Tohato Chocobi, which is a bit like Cocoa Puffs, only much, much better. They were essentially a light buttery snack with a lot of chocolate flavor in the shape of the star. I liked them a lot, though I couldn’t stop myself from thinking they would make excellent cereal. Unfortunately, I didn’t try it out.
After the Tohato Chocobi I decided to go for another chocolate treat, the Don Koeda Chocolate Bar. It’s a chocolate cookie with puffed rice and almond, giving it a nice crunch. It was pretty good, but also very rich. I wouldn’t eat this very often. It also featured a Japanese fashion celebrity by the name of Don-Konishi on the package. I don’t know anything about him, but it’s always nice seeing stuff like that with imported treats.
Before I tried the Don Koeda Chocolate Bar, I started to make the next item which was a Hanakappa DIY Jelly candy, the reason being that this candy takes ten minutes in the refrigerator to stiffen up. Unfortunately the candy wasn’t the best when it came to taste, but it was a lot of fun to make and a lot of fun to eat. The flavor was vaguely fruity with a lot of citrus. The second you put it into your mouth it begins to burn a bit similar to the effect of something like Pop Rocks. The consistency was a bit strange which made it somewhat unpleasant, but overall a very fun treat.
After the not-so-great experience with tasting the Hanakappa DIY Jelly candy, I decided to go for Morinaga Ramune Soda Candy. Supposedly it’s supposed to taste like Ramune soda, but that’s very vague and frankly I didn’t feel it. What I tasted was similar to Fruity Pebbles, and I know this is the second cereal comparison I’ve made but really it’s hard to find something similar. They weren’t the greatest thing in this box, but they weren’t bad either. I enjoyed them.
The last three items were gummy, so I wasn’t too eager to try them since I’m not usually a fan of gummy sweets. Still though, I pushed on and decided I would try the Parikore Gummy candy which was Peach & Grape flavor. These were another item that was nothing like what I’ve previously tasted. The gummy candy was kept inside a crunchy coating and according to the contents slip, that is where they get the name. The grape flavor was alright, but I’m not a fan of peach. Still, these weren’t too bad. Not something I would go out of my way to purchase however.
Next I decided to try the Puccho Kumamoto Strawberry candies, and if you’ve had Puccho you would think these would be a safe bet, but I wasn’t too fond of them. Perhaps it’s because I’m not big on strawberry, but the flavor just wasn’t there for me. Still, if you like Puccho and you like strawberry, you would love these. Me on the other hand, not so much.
And finally I tried the Hi Chew Mini candies, which were more gummy candies in a hard shell. They came in four flavors, all of which were not particularly good. It’s interesting because traditionally Japanese sweets seems to be of a much higher quality, but these tasted very artificial. I was not a fan. The fruit taste didn’t really seem to be there, but there was a lot of sugar. Not my thing, I guess.
So that’s what I got in the box I reviewed, but is it worth $25 a month? As per usual with these reviews, I took to Amazon to find out. After tallying up the prices for the items I could find, the total was already hovering around the $30 mark. That’s not bad, considering that there are several items I couldn’t find in addition to the Gashapon toy! If you shop on Amazon, you’re definitely getting a good value here.
The verdict? If you’re in the market for another Japanese snack subscription, give Oyatsu Box a shot. They’ve got some good snacks and a few that may be hit or miss, but you’ll also nab yourself a nice little Gashapon toy and that’s something that other boxes just don’t offer. They also have a smaller box if you’re on the fence which will run you $7.99, but you won’t get a toy with that.
Disclaimer: A box was provided by Oyatsu Box to BentoByte for the purpose of review.Tweet