Markets in everything: self-constraint edition

by on November 8, 2007 at 12:55 pm in Economics | Permalink

Greying Japan has a new weapon to scare people into saving for their retirement — an exploding piggy bank.

The "Savings Bomb," which goes on sale in Japan next week, "explodes" and scatters coins if users fail to save for a long time, toy manufacturer TOMY Co Ltd said Thursday.

The battery-powered toy — designed as a cartoon-style, ball-shaped black bomb with a skull and crossbones logo — lights up, makes a noise, shakes violently and scatters coins if it is not topped up for a long time.

"Users must pick up and collect the scattered coins and reflect on their laziness," the Japanese company said.

Here is the full story, and thanks to William Griffiths for the pointer.  Of course if you think about the third derivative long enough, you will realize this might just cause people to spend their money, not save it.

shawn November 8, 2007 at 2:36 pm
The other Eric November 8, 2007 at 7:20 pm

I can see a whole set of remider toys:
A stroke brain and heart attack heart–both designed to fly apart or melt down if you don’t take your meds each day.

A little speaker for your kids rooms that starts asking “Would you like fries with that?” loudly and repeatedly if your child doesn’t get homework done.

And how about a print-out on Visa and Mastercard receipts that gives you info on your purchase AND the running total of what you have saved for retirement.


Shawn, thanks so much for the Engrish site where I spent far too long laughing far too loud.

Chris Meisenzahl November 9, 2007 at 7:34 am

I posted about that too. Could we get something similar for Congressmen and the treasury? ;-)
http://amateureconblog.blogspot.com/2007/11/exploding-piggy-bank-aims-to-scare.html

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