The Twofer: Buy This Tiny Tool and This Cartoon Car
They’re like two tiny peas in a diminutive, sugar-coated pod.
For almost three decades, most of Japan has been in the thrall of kawaii, the aesthetic of “too cute.” Think: Hello Kitty, Pokemon or Gwen Stefani’s back-up dancers in the “Hollaback Girl” music video. It’s a pop-cultural trend of tooth-aching sweetness, a riot of bows and pastels and ruffles. Kawaii is the soul of a gummy bear.
Despite an avowed love of all things greasy and mechanical, we’re not immune to cuteness—especially if what’s cute is also functional. Take this Pygmy multitool. It’s no larger than a quarter, but the Pygmy combines the functions of a flathead and Phillips screwdriver, quarter-inch hex wrench and a bit driver into one throwing star-shaped widget you can clip on a keychain. Delightful.
Such a tool might come in handy should you need to tighten a screw on this wide-eyed cupcake, a 1958 Nash Metropolitan 1500. Beginning in the early Fifties, the Nash was marketed to women as a “personal use” car—period promotional materials show Mets filled with shopping bags. It has stout MG mechanicals and a Pininfarina-designed body, so it’s just like a real car, but at 60 percent. Wrinkle your nose and clap your hands, because this Berkshire Green example comes up for auction Oct. 8.