Big in Japan: Exploding piggy bank helps you save money

Do you have problems saving money? Need a little bit of extra cash before the winter holiday season? Wish there was some way to teach the little ones about the value of money?

If you answered yes to any or all of the above questions, than I’ve got the answer that you’ve been looking for.

In a press conference last week, the famous Japanese Toy Maker TOMY Co Ltd announced the release of their new exploding piggy bank, which they hope will make saving money more of a thrill.


Once activated, the battery operated piggy bank shakes, shines and beeps on an hourly basis to remind the user to feed it coins. However, if the user fails to add money to the bank on a daily basis, it responds by simply exploding.

(If you want to be all technical about it, the bank actually opens its skull-marked door and scatters your change all over the floor, though I can assure you that this is really, really annoying.)

The exploding piggy bank will go on sale this week in Tokyo, with a price tag of $27 or around 3000 yen.

Since the Japanese are always keen to hype the latest fads, the introduction of the exploding piggy bank was met with a surprising amount of fanfare.

At the official press launch last week here in Tokyo, a spokeswomen for TOMY introduced the product with remarkable gusto.

“This is a piggy bank where you have no way but to save,” said the spokeswomen. “We wanted to add some thrill to an act that’s usually painstaking.”

The product is expected to fly off the shelves this holiday season, especially since piggy banks are usually a hot end-of-year item.

As the spokeswoman from TOMY was quick to point out, this is the time when people try to become diligent about adhering to their New Year’s resolutions to spend less money. And of course, children are also keen on putting away the money that they receive from their family for the holidays.

Believe it or not, the piggy bank market is actually big business in Japan. In fact, this isn’t even the first time that TOMY wowed consumers with their innovative products.

This time last year, the company launched a popular piggy bank with a screen showing comic characters that grow older according to the amount the user saved.

Remarkably, the company sold 250,000 units, though they are optimistic that the exploding piggy bank will break this previous mark.

You have to hand it to the Japanese…

I mean, I could never save any money as a kid, mainly because the best part of putting my money in a piggy bank was later bashing the thing open with a hammer.

With that said, check out the awesome photo of the Majapahit terracotta piggy bank, which was built and later smashed for loose change sometime around the 14th century in Trowulan, East Java.

Clearly, I wasn’t the only person to favor aggression over fiscal responsibilty!

** Special thanks to my dad for finding this random bit of Japanese news! **