Erasers tend to be quite functional and boring items. After all they aren't items that last forever. The more you use them, the more you wear away at the design until eventually they cease to exist. In this regard Gomu Eraserland is quite a curious concept. It's a collection of over 100 erasers that you collect in batches of six. The goal is to collect them all, which means that you can't really use them.
Each pack has four erasers that you can see and two which are hidden away. This is where the collectible element kicks in. The unknown erasers could be the ones you need to finish a set, or could be duplicates. When you get duplicates that's the sensible time to finally use the erasers, as it doesn't matter if you use them up at that point.
In a way it seems odd to test the Eraserland range to see how good they are as erasers. It goes against everything I've been taught for collectibles. Keep everything in mint condition and never use it, those are the rules for collectible items. In the case of Gamu you are being encouraged to use the collectibles. It's not the case of taking an action figure out of the packaging and hoping you can put it back without damaging it. If you use a Gomu you can't pretend it's mint condition later.
With this in mind it was with some trepidation that I opened the box. At the very least I had to see what my two secret rubbers were. I got the following erasers in my pack:
Quite a good selection, and the shoe / drum kit were the secret items, which are clearly better than the rest. If you're like me then you'll pick your least favourite to use as actual erasers first.
I tried out the calculator first as it seemed the most like a normal eraser shape. It was a little surprising to see that it actually worked as an eraser bit it did the trick. The other erasers all worked, although the odder the shape the harder they were to actually use. The seahorse was very fiddly to use as an eraser but was the cutest of all so I'd imagine it's rare it gets used by other children.
Also included in the box was a leaflet showing me the other items in Series 1 that I could get, to give me an incentive to go out and try to collect more. To tease me further there are two items that are ultra rare, with 100 of one and 1000 of the other in circulation. What's the betting the kid who gets them uses them as erasers?
Gomu Eraserland is an odd concept. As a collectible it's well put together, and using rubber for the models is very unique. The fact they function as erasers feels more like an added bonus. I can see it appealing to both kids who like to collect or kids who just need an eraser for school, but not necessarily both at the same time.