This week I tried out the new Avatar: The Last Airbender ramen bowls that recently dropped on Fun.com. I fully love the bowls- but there is a small problem with the chopsticks.
Fun.com sent a free set of Avatar: The Last Airbender ramen bowls to review. The opinions are my own.
I’m old enough to remember when adult fans of geeky stuff didn’t get much attention. Fandom lines were designed for the under 12 set, with a few nods to teen fans thrown in. Don’t get me wrong, I love toys and shirts and hats, but sometimes I want to elevate my fandom merch. I want the things I use every day to be as nerdy as I am. These Avatar: The Last Airbender ramen bowls hit that sweet spot for me.
If you want the Cliff Notes version of this review, check out the unboxing video I did. There is a small cameo from my new kitten, Nimbus, who unlike my other animal friends is not afraid of the camera setup.
We’ve reviewed things from Fun.com every now and then in the past. Given how consistently I love the ideas of what they offer us, I have a sneaking suspicion that they creep our articles sometimes to see what kinds of things we’d like. We don’t really do paid advertisement posts here. We accept things to review, but once it’s in our hands we’re off the leash. (You know I’m going to recommend Bekah’s drone review again. I cry-laugh every time I remember it.)
But I love ramen and ATLA, so I was really excited to try these. After 2 days of trying them here are my main three conclusions:
The bowls themselves are fantastic.
The Avatar: The Last Airbender ramen bowls are exactly the kind of thing I’d buy for my kitchen. They’re the right size for my normal ramen with room for a veggies and egg. I like how solid and durable the bowls feel. They’re listed as dishwasher safe and so far that’s holding up.
The decals also held up, which is awesome. There’s nothing worse than buying nice fandom gear and then having to baby them because the designs are peeling off. That happened to a set of Doctor Who glasses I got from the Hot Topical a few years ago. Major bummer. It’s only been a couple of days, but I think these will last.
Well… most of them will last. Which brings me to my second conclusion:
The chopsticks were possibly designed by someone who’s never used chopsticks.
These are a typical Chinese-style chopstick of the usual length, each in a complementary color to the bowl. Very pretty, and they do feel fancy and delicate when you hold them.
Except- who in the world would choose ceramic as a chopstick material? Wood, yes, bamboo sure, stainless steel if you want to get edgy, but ceramic? That’s like combining the slipperiness of plastic with the abject terror of using something that could break off into your delicious lunch.
And break they do! Half of the chopsticks in our set of Avatar: The Last Airbender ramen bowls arrived broken into multiple pieces. I’m not even sure Fun.com could do anything to package them better. Maybe individual bubble wrap envelopes? That might be wasteful- they’re already in a formed plastic tray inside a box inside a padded outer box. Pretty secure, and yet they broke. They’re really sharp when they break, too.
In the interest of fairness, I did give the chopsticks a try. NEVER AGAIN, they bumped into my teeth with the most awful sensation and my whole soul left my body.
The unbroken ones do look awesome in my hair, though, so there’s that.
So, do I still like these? On balance, here’s my opinion:
The Avatar: The Last Airbender ramen bowls are quality enough to balance out the Chopstick Situation.
I love these bowls. Seriously.
I very rarely recommend a set if one element is as bad as these chopsticks are. However, as I see it the chopsticks that come with these ramen bowls are more or less set dressing. They look nice with the bowl and make a pretty gift set if you’re giving it to a fellow fan, but don’t stress if they show up broken. Chopsticks are cheap and easy to find in more suitable materials.
You do not want to dig into your noodles with ceramic chopsticks, anyway. Trust me. I can still feel them against my teeth.
The bowls, however, are exactly what I wanted. They’re fandom merch with an elegant design that don’t look out of place in my nice dishes cupboard. I can throw them in the dishwasher without stressing. I’m sure if I drop them straight on the floor they’d break, but I did accidentally punt one fairly hard across the counter and it survived.
If you also enjoy noodles and nerdery, this is a good choice for you. They’re not just good fandom bowls- they’re good ramen bowls, period.
You can get your own set of Avatar: The Last Airbender ramen bowls at Fun.com in either the full 4-bowl set or individually. I personally like the full set since friends can eat with me (or they will when I can be within 6 feet of my friends again), but live your best life.
Khai is a writer, anthropologist, and games enthusiast. She is co-editor (alongside Alex DeCampi) of and contributor to “True War Stories”, a comic anthology published by Z2 Comics. When she’s not writing or creating games, Khai likes to run more tabletop RPGs than one person should reasonably juggle.
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