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Life-sized Plastic Model Pay Phones Installed In Shizuoka, Because They Are A Model City

Plastic model pay phones in Shizuoka

Responsible for over 80% of Japan’s plastic model production, the city of Shizuoka prides itself on being, quite literally, a model city. Besides being home to the iconic Mount Fuji, renowned toy makers such as Tamiya also have their headquarters based there. 

Recently, the city has scaled up miniature plastic models and installed them at Shizuoka Station as an ode to their beloved toy makers. 

Plastic model pay phone kits spotted in Shizuoka 

Plastic model pay phones Shizuoka - plastic model pay phone Image credit: @tamiyainc

At the north exit of Shizuoka Station, commuters have been spotting pretty peculiar pay phones. With the help of Tamiya, these public phones have been deconstructed and transformed into life-sized plastic model kits. 

Plastic model pay phones Shizuoka - children trying out pay phonesImage credit: @tamiyainc

Hobbyists and collectors will be able to recognise the familiar layout at first glance. Inspired by the plastic assembly kits that come in boxes for toy models, the pay phone installation has individual “unassembled” parts that are affixed to interconnecting rods. 

The phones aren’t just decorative – they’re fully functional, despite their unassembled appearance. This means that users can skip the laborious process of clipping the parts free from the rods and painstakingly putting together the pay phone before they can use it.

Part of an initiative to turn Shizuoka into a “model city” 

Plastic model pay phones Shizuoka - map of plastic model kits installations Map of the locations of the plastic model installations
Image credit: @tamiyainc

These playful installations are part of Shizuoka’s plan to “plastic modelise” the city under The Shizuoka City Plastic Model Project (静岡市プラモデル化計画). 

To liven things up, they have transformed a range of basic infrastructure, such as street signs and mail boxes, into pre-assembled model kits around the city. 

Past installations

Plastic model pay phones Shizuoka - plastic model kit installation at south exit of shizuoka station
Image adapted from: @tamiyainc

So far, the city has unveiled four other plastic model instalments, all of which are within a fairly walkable distance from Shizuoka Station. Head to the south exit and you’ll be able to spot two more life-sized plastic models installations in a striking blue colour. 

One even has a human-shaped cut out where you can stand and imagine what it’s like to be a small yet significant part of the kit.

Plastic model pay phones Shizuoka - installation at twin messe shizuoka
Installation outside Twin Messe Shizuoka
Image credit: @smile_zazacity

Plastic model pay phones Shizuoka - post box installation
Postal box as part of a giant plastic model kit

Image credit: @smile_zazacity

For those with time to spare, venture a bit further to Shizuoka City Hall and Twin Messe Shizuoka to complete your giant plastic model kit pilgrimage. 

Plastic model pay phones in Shizuoka

It’s always exciting to see cities put a creative spin on ordinary objects and infrastructure. With the rate at which they are going, we hope it won’t be long before the city is overrun by colourful giant plastic model kits. 

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Cover image adapted from: @tamiyainc and @smile_zazacity