Magnote, Pitland: The Japanese Magnet Toy!

I was in Tokyo, Japan in March so naturally I hit every otaku & anime store, every hobby store and every toy store I could. One of my favorites was Yamashiroya in Ueno. There is where I bought this collectible stacking set called Pitland.

Naturally, it was hard to pick. Japan is quite expensive and collecting things isn’t as affordable as one may think. With my budget, I couldn’t afford to spend on more than one. But boy did I want to buy more! Out of the few sets they had, I picked the Sweets & Bears set based on how many pieces it brought, colors and price.
Yamashiroya didn’t have all of the sets made by Pitland but below is the Pitland pamphlet listing all the sets they have available. If you go on the Magnote website, you will find the Pitland sets sold online, along with many other toys & crafts sold by Magnote. Keep in mind that the prices are much higher: $19.95 for one Pitland set.

Left:The 2 stacks on the left are the designs on the front back of the box. Right: On the right is the stack I designed!

What is Pitland?
A pitland set is a stacking collectible toy similar to wooden cubes for babies, except these are small, made of metal and are easily sackable thanks to the giant magnet underneath. Each set comes with 12-15 metal pieces (according to their website), a magnet platform, stickers and a pitland pamphlet about their other sets. These sets don’t bring instructions; what you have to do is pretty obvious.

Age restrictions?
The box says that it’s not for children 5 and younger. a lot of the pieces are small and can be easily swallowed or even choke on.

Top: Magnets with stickers in place. Bottom: The sticker set for the the magnets.

Sweets & Bears
This set wasn’t the one I initially wanted but I had to pick something I liked and was a good value for my money. I actually wanted the monsters one and clown one. The Tom & Jerry ones looked interesting too but it brought too few pieces for the high price.

I thought that everything came already together but when I opened the box, it turned out I needed to put the stickers on the metal pieces. To be honest, even though Yamashiroya had several samples stacked for customers to test before buying, I didn’t think the metal pieces had stickers on them, I thought they were painted that way; in fact, I thought the metal pieces were actually magnets.

Price
This cost 1,560Yen = about $14.44USD at Yamashiroya. If you spend a certain amount in some store in Japan, they offer tax exceptions so I didn’t pay any taxes on this and few other items I bought.

My Instructions / Advice!
Since there aren’t any instructions I thought I’d give my readers some advice. It’s obvious that instructions aren’t necessary; how hard can it be to put some stickers on some metal cutouts?

Well, if you look carefully there are 2 sides to each metal piece: a smooth side and a flat side. The smooth side has curved edges and the flat side doesn’t. I initially assumed that I was supposed to put the stickers on the smooth side because the stickers would bend around the edges to prevent them from pealing off.
When I got to the tree trunk piece, I realized that the stickers were supposed to go on the flat side. It was the only odd piece without a line of symmetry so it was easy to tell. I could’ve left the rest how they were but I decided to peal off the stickers and put them on the correct side. This left a few lines on the stickers. They look fine but if you’re very particular, make sure to put them on right to avoid pealing stickers off.

In short:

  • Put stickers on the flat side of the metal (not the smooth side).
  • Make sure to leave a little space of metal visible when putting the stickers on
  • Don’t stick the stickers all the way on the edge of the metal; try centering them
  • Don’t smooth out the sticker until you’re sure it’s centered; pealing it off is hard and will leave lines.

Would I buy another? I really wish it wasn’t so expensive but I like collecting things so I would definitely buy another set.

I can’t speak for kids because I’m not one and I didn’t buy the set to play with it. I like to collect things and these look very neat. This will be something I’ll put on display only. Unless I find a cheaper price online, I think I will wait until I return to Japan to buy another. $14.44 is a lot and I’m not willing to pay the company’s online price of $20.

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