Saturday, December 10, 2005


It's almost as if the creativity of Japanese children has been combined with the disobedience of American children to create Batoen, or battle pencils. Boing Boing reports that Batoen pencils are standard hexagonal pencils that you roll, and then you score based on which face lands up. Sort of like dice, but with pencils. Genius.

And of course, since this is Japan we're talking about, this simple game -- probably meant to let kids get around prohibitions on game equipment in schools -- has spawned a giant industry of accessories and adornments for the pencils.

Look for pencil-rolling to come to the U.S. as soon as savvy marketers can bring it here. Then look for the inevitable campaign from Hillary Clinton and Joseph Lieberman for a Federal ban on pencils.

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