Tomy Flip Flap Solar Powered Plant Review

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Product Requirements:
A source of solar power


Tomy Flip Flap Solar Powered Plant
is a product that almost makes me sad.
Imagine working in a tiny cubicle with no room for a live plant. Or let’s say that
instead of a green thumb, yours happens to be black. Maybe you are the type that
when you walk into a nursery, the salesman hides the live plants and points you
towards the silk flowers. If you fit any of those descriptions, but you really
want something green in your work space, then I suppose that you are the
consumer for whom this item was created.

The Flip Flap plant arrives in a clear display case that can be either left
on or removed.

The instructions are tightly folded into one side of the base…


…with the other side holding the special message templates that the plant
can display with the included message holder.


It’s a good thing that the plant is pretty easy to figure out, since I am not
exactly fluent in Japanese.

Released from its case and on the removable display stand, the plant measures
approximately 4.5" tall x 5"long  x 4" wide.


Available in green, yellow, orange, blue, white or pink, the Flip Flap
resembles an oversized bean sprout that instead of actually growing, gently bobs
in one of three rhythms as long as there is some sort of solar light available.
Changing the rhythms is accomplished by briefly holding one of the leaves down
with a fingertip. Upon release, the new pattern of bobbing commences. I bet that
cat’s would love this…

The bobbing action can be turned off from the bottom of the plant.

There are warnings on the packaging advising "no watering, " I guess they are
there just in case you are a total doofus.

One of the advertised features of the plant is the ability to display
messages. As I previously showed, there is a page of templates as well as a
plastic message holder which can be inserter in either the front or rear of the

I am not sure if the writing on the page said anything I would want to
display, since it was in Japanese, so I cut out one of the message templates…

…inserted it in the holder, and I was in business! Ha!

I found it interesting that you could buy multiples and stack them, according
to the instructions…

I mean, if you have enough room (and money) to buy a flock of these,
then maybe you should give a real plant a try.

The Flip Flap plant is cute, but pricey for what it does. I can’t imagine a
thumb so black or a office so small that this would be the owner’s only option.
However, I am sure that there is someone out there looking at this toy wondering
why I don’t "get it." That is the person that should get one of these from
for Christmas!


Tomy Flip Flap Solar Powered Plant
is available from
Audio Cubes and other retailers

Price: $49

Cute & small
Black thumbs are okay



Product Information

  • Cute & small
  • Black thumbs are okay
  • Expensive

13 thoughts on “Tomy Flip Flap Solar Powered Plant Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. I’m one of those unfortunate black thumbs. I kill weeds. I encountered these on a trip to Japan and fell in love with them. I have a little apple green flipflap that bobs away on my desk and makes me smile when I look at it. Yes, I gagged at the price, but it’s a plantish thing I can’t kill and never have to water. I adore it.

  3. I have recently traveled to Beijing and saw these and bought three of them. Basically, I asked about the price and the vendor said 90 Yuan each (about 12.80 USD) and after a bit of negotation, got them for 30 yuan (about 4.20 USD) and later that day saw them on a street/sidewalk vendors balnket for only 20 yuan ($2.85 USD) and you can be sure he was still making some profit. However, I like them a lot. One works great, the 2nd seems to need lots of light and the 3rd barely moves. The age of them might be old – cannot be sure.

  4. So, My older sister brought me back one of these flip flaps after a recent trip she took to China. I don’t know where you are purchasing these, but she got mine for like $5 and it’s the real deal.

  5. Just bought a flip flap toy plant for my grandchild.Put it out in the sun to activate the plant but it did not move even after an hour out in the sun.Push the flap and it moves for a few seconds and stopped.What happened.Please help otherwise I think I better discard it.

  6. I bought one of these when I was in China because i thought they were really cute. I CAN NOT BELIEVE that they would really cost almost $50 here in the US. I bought three for less than $10 here. then again, I had a Chinese friend negotiate the price, but still.

  7. i also want to open it to do some repair,
    i got one from an ebay chinese seller, pretty cheap at about USD 1.5, but the flower doesnt move !!
    most youtube videos show that the flower can sway also,
    anybody knows how to repair this ?

  8. i bought my plant from thinkgeek. it was 5 bucks but 12 after shipping. it doesn’t really move, and when i got it, it was half assed, and iam not kidding. talk about a Japanese puzzle! but managed to figure it out, its a pretty simple design, just easy to fall apart when the covers are off. iam going to radio shack and buying a solar kit. it will not be as cute, but at least wont need perfect conditions.

  9. There may be holes in the sides where four screws hold the plastic halves together. Remove the screws m with small Phillips head screwdriver. You can also remove the top and bottom plates which are not attached, and the flower will waggle without them. The flower and one leaf are attached together. Lift it out carefully, and the magnet driven by the coil will be visible. The other leaf on mine does not wag at all, that’s why I took it apart.

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