Danbo started her life off when she appeared in the popular Japanese manga series Yotsuba&! which has been published since 2003. The series has been translated into English for the American market as of 2005 and both are still being published to this day. The manga series is about a five year old girl called Yotsuba Koiwai. Yotsuba is not your normal five year old, she doesn’t really care about the things a five year old normally would care about. She is described as odd, quirky and strange. The series follows her discovery of life with lots of misunderstandings of everyday life, all put together in a comedic way.
Danbo (ダンボー) first appared in issue 28 from April 2006 as Yotsuba older friend Miura Hayasaka who had dressed in costume as a robot made up of cardboard boxes for a school assignment. Yotsuba discovers Miura’s costume and Miura tries to playfully convince her that she is some sort of “attack robot” that is powered by money that can be inserted in the slot on her chest. Miura names her cardboard box robot Danbo.
Danbo takes over the world
Danbo became internet famous around late 2007 when Japanese company Kaiyodo started to produce small action figues of Danbo with movable arms, legs and head (which also can light up and be removed and replaced with Miura’s head on certain models). Danbo is most known for her photos where people have placed her in different cute situations by their millions and sharing them on the net to sites like flickr. A simple google image search will show just how popular she is. Danbo has several name variations, like Danboard, Danboru, Danbooru and Cardbo, but by far is best known as Danbo.
Lots of Danbo versions and products have been made since the first action figure back in 2007. As a fan of Danbo we bought our first Danbo back in 2010 after seeing loads of cute pictures online. We just had to have one! The one we got happened to be the Danbo mini amazon.co.jp version, which was a hard to get a hold of and cost a lot more than what it would have done nowadays, or if we had been in Japan to buy it. We’ve done two unboxing videos, which can be seen at the end of the post.
If you can’t travel to Tokyo, we would say check online. Places like amazon have a great and not so expensive selection of products – from the figures to the very popular battery pack.
If you do get the chance to visit Tokyo, then jump on the train and head to Akihabara (electric town). There are at least two shops that we know of that sell Danbo products. The first is the newly renovated Radio Kaikan, which has lots of smaller shops inside. You will find Radio Kaikan just outside Akihabara train station. It’s a mega store with all your otaku dreams come true. We found a couple of shops selling Danbo products in there, even though one only had a small miniature figure for sale. The other store, which is more worth checking, out is on the 5th floor and is called Kaiyodo Hobby Lobby Tokyo. It had a couple different products, one being the limited edition Danbo with Japan post covering her. Check out the display of all the limited Danbo we found outside the store.
For the other store you will need to cross over the road to the back street of Akihabara. The shop is called Kotobukiya and has a great selection of Danbo products to buy. If you love Danbo I would recommend this shop. We found lots of different products to look at and buy, and there is even a life size model of her to been seen.
Hope you enjoyed our guide to Danbo! If you have any other tips on good places to buy Danbo products please let us know.