Life is Sweet – Toshi Yoroizuka

After coming back from a seven year tour of Europe and opening a self-titled sweets shop in 2004, Toshi Yoroizuka has become one of the most famous patissier in Japan.  In the past year, he’s done collaboration chocolate products with food giant Lotte, provided dessert models for the bakery backdrop in anime Antique, and received the honor of having his creations immortalized in miniature plastic form.

Produced by Yujin, there are 2 sets of 6 each, debuting in December 2007 and April 2008, for a total of 12 different little desserts.  They come in a display-like packaging that resembles the signature store boxes, along with a clear logo-embossed display pouch if you care to hang it from a bag or cell phone.  On the contrary, batsu prefers to give them to good little dolls as a special treat.  The models are bigger than the standard 1/8 size, making them perfect for MSD and SD friends.

I’ll admit that I purchased the figures prior to visiting the Roppongi store location, and thought they looked a little too good to be true.  However, after encountering a two hour wait for the cafe on a weekday afternoon, only to decline it for a 20 minute wait just to see the take-away showcase, I realized the myth that was Yoroizuka.  The myth that was manning the register with a humble smile, cordially waiting on patrons, asking if he could validate our parking as we shuddered in disbelief.

Everything glistened in an ethereal glow of perfection, and seemed only to become more fantastic as we snaked closer and closer along the winding course of the line. We selected the Cassis and Jean Pierre, for figure comparison, along with the Olympiad and Almond Shioux Cream for good measure.  Believe it or not, the staff actually refused to sell us their signature shioux cream unless we promised to eat it within 60 minutes – though there was no way for them to provide us with seating on the bitter winter’s evening.  Unchafed, we purchased them anyways and stopped at a nearby generic coffee shop, considering the not-so-generic designer shopping tower (Roppongi Hills) we entered.

The other purchases were taken home to stand side by side with their plastic counterparts.  Though the pictures speak for themselves, aside from size, they’re nearly identical.  Dolls and humans alike rejoiced in a dinner that needed no supplementary course, aside for a cup of tea.

The figures are currently quite difficult to find, assumably due in part to their exquisite craftsmanship, but perhaps also because of limited production and the notoriety of Yoroizuka.

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