|Two ’80s era Kstoon erasers|
One of the most memorable gifts I received as a little boy was a green refillable eraser marketed under the brand name ‘Kstoon’. This eraser was a gift to me from my mom, who bought it – along with two pink and yellow Kstoon erasers – at a mall school supply shop here in the US back in 1984 or 85. On the eraser casing were some pictures of baby kawaii chicks just like on the yellow eraser above. Sadly enough, my green eraser fell victim to a school bully in the third grade, but the other two erasers have survived to this very day.
Recently I found these two erasers while rummaging around in a desk drawer that has been crammed with all kinds of junk for years. Ever since I found them, I’ve been curious about their origins. They were obviously manufactured during the time when kawaii culture was on the rise in Japan. However, there isn’t any mention of a country of manufacture or any other identifying marks on the erasers other than the obscure brand name and a product number. And there is virtually no info available about them at all on the Internet.
The only scraps of info about Kstoon erasers I could find was a picture of identical erasers posted by a person on Flickr (who is apparently an eraser collector). And this is where the mystery deepens. The erasers owned by this person weren’t marketed as Kstoon, but as Soundy erasers with the product number 9002 rather than Kstoon’s 6002! Otherwise, there is no difference whatsoever between these erasers and the ones my mom bought nearly 30 years ago.
These erasers are obscure little pieces of both early kawaii culture and ’80s culture, but they pose some interesting questions.Were they made by a subsidiary of some bigger-name company? Were they intended for the Japanese market or the international market as kawaii culture started to gain worldwide attention? Were they intended to cash in on the growing trend and export “Kawaiidom” abroad? Unfortunately we may never know the origins behind these erasers, but for at least some of us who grew up in the ’80s, these erasers brought smiles to our faces and gave us a lot of happy memories as we used these erasers to erase scribblings off the kitchen table or struggled to learn cursive handwriting!
If any of you out there have any background info about Kstoon erasers or have your own happy memories you’d like to share with us, please do so in the Comments below!