As usual, we cannot resist the lure of a tremendous bargain–even if all we get is useless junk.
Ah, Village Vanguard. How you lure us in with your attractive but useless gag gifts and funky accessories. Every year you get us spending our hard-earned money on your Lucky Bags, and most years we regret it. Yet still we come back for more.
This year is no exception. The 2023 Village Vanguard Lucky Bag drew us in like a moth to a flame–and came with only a handful of interesting items amidst a pile of junk. But what about the 2023 Village Vanguard Outlet Lucky Bag? Though it has an even worse reputation for containing even worse junk…It might have something good inside!
We couldn’t help ourselves.
This year’s bags, like always, came in multiple tiers, but we bought the most expensive one, which was 10,000 yen (US$75.45). It was said to contain about 60,000 yen worth of items. What a bargain, right? Well, it would be if it wasn’t from Village Vanguard Outlet, or VillaVan Outlet as it’s commonly known. But who are we to talk? We still bought it, after all.
For comparison, last year’s Village Vanguard Outlet lucky bag contained 26 junk items and just three not-junk items. That’s 90 percent trash. It was rather shocking for our Japanese-language reporter P.K. Sanjun, who buys Village Vanguard and VillaVan Outlet lucky bags every year and hasn’t seen one quite so bad before.
▼ Last year’s VillaVan Outlet lucky bag contents
But this year’s box had 60,000 yen worth of stuff in it, and P.K. wanted to believe in that dream. He needed to believe. There had to be something good in there. This was the year he would not cry tears of frustration but tears of joy instead.
And with that said, here’s what he got in 2023’s 10,000 yen lucky bag:
・An Eastpak backpack
・A mitchell & ness sports bag
・A LIBE Knit cap
・A Nekoni Blanket
・A Pokémon doormat
・A Sanrio slim clear bottle
・A character towel
・A devil mask
・A smiley face breakfast mould
・A stuffed polar bear
・A stuffed Mokumoku-chan
・A stuffed Nekoko no Goro
・A plum wood plate
・A mini four-wheel-drive keychain
・A Your Name postcard book
・Yoko Fuchigami toilet paper
・A Tekutekupan capsule toy
・A finger cap-shaped mini dishcloth
・A 30-piece ninja
・A fidget toy shaped like a revolver chamber
・A Silk Flame long wallet
(*Note that Village Vanguard Outlet’s lucky bags are expected to all have different items. Yours may differ.)
Altogether the lucky bag contained 21 items. It was a bit hard to tell, but P.K. had to guess that the bags and the knit cap were probably each in the 5,000 yen range, and the Pokémon doormat had to sell for about 4,000 yen.
Altogether that came to about 20,000 yen. The rest of the items couldn’t be worth more than 1,000 yen each, which would come out to 20,000 yen or so, although the demon mask, which frankly would be useless if P.K. worked anywhere else but SoraNews24, was probably worth about 2,000 yen.
A strange golden item that no one could identify at first had the office in a tizzy because we all wondered if it was going to be the true treasure of the lucky bag, but in the end, it was deemed to be a mere fidget toy, which P.K. later learned had a price tag of just 1,000 yen.
P.K. was generous with his estimations, but after all this, the total still came up 20,000 yen short, and the last item left was the Silk Flame long wallet.
With its heavy metal look it wasn’t likely to suit everyone’s tastes, but it had to be the ace of this lucky bag. Wallets could be expensive, after all.
And yet, no matter how much P.K. searched, he could not get any hits on “Silk Flame,” even in this age of the Internet. P.K. searched and searched and finally came upon a personal site talking about the Silk Flame long wallet, which said that the retail price of the wallet was 49,000 yen, while the discounted price was 19,000 yen, which could be even further discounted by 9,800 yen.
P.K. didn’t really trust this source, and the 49,000 price tag was especially dubious, but based on what he knew of Village Vanguard, he guessed they would sell it for 19,000 yen. That would make Village Vanguard Outlet’s claim that the bag had 60,000 yen worth of goods true…speaking optimistically, of course.
Needless to say, just about every item in the bag was junk, but P.K. was especially surprised by the wallet. He had nothing against the design–it was the fact that the coin purse had a velcro seal that really threw him off. “My heart just knows how utterly uncool this wallet is,” he lamented.
In the end, P.K. had to admit that Village Vanguard Outlet got him again. And yet, he still found himself looking forward to next year’s Lucky Bag. After all, you never know when you might find a real treasure!