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Making Money Off Naughty Souvenirs

“Hi…just some info for you.

The boxed cups have been valued at $300 a set from an auction valuer.

Thought this may be of interest to you to know what full sets are worth if in perfect condition. 😁” – Anna

I recently received the above email from Anna. She had read an article I had done on “Film Cups” and written to me asking if I knew how much they cost since she owned a box herself. I informed her that I had no clue but since they are slightly naughty and kind of out-there, it can’t be much.

Oh! How wrong was I?

Now, it’s not exactly a fortune that I’ve made, because let’s face it, if that were true, I’d be somewhere in Bora Bora right now typing this – I am not, just to make it clear.

I do remember paying something around 20 Euros for the whole box of 6 cups sometime in the early 2000s, so at $ 300 it’s a nice little profit no doubt.

Also, if I would have titled the article as “Making a few dollars off naughty souvenirs” there’s a good chance you would have skipped it altogether, so here’s your lesson number one in Click Bait Marketing, and it’s for free, but I do accept comments as gratitude.

Seriously though, who knew there was money in naughty souvenirs?

I still have them, hidden – from the kids and the wife – in the depths of some almirah in the basement and I think I’m too embarrassed to go out and sell them – apparently not embarrassed enough to write about them here. I haven’t used them till date and considering they are worth something now, don’t plan on taking the risk either.

Pottery Show Film Cups

Going back to how I came to possess the mysterious little cups, I can never forget the multicultural setting of it all. Here I was, an Indian, with my friends who are Finnish and Swiss, in Fuengirola, Costa Del Sol, Spain, eating at an Asian restaurant and picking up these Japanese film cups.

Don’t get impatient. I know you are wondering what the big hullaballoo is over these cups?

What tickled my fancy – there’s always tickling involved in anything naughty, you know that don’t you? Stop smirking, people are looking at you funny – about these cups was that besides the somewhat pretty cool “Oriental” design on the outside, it held a semi-transparent “marble” on the inside. Initially, it reminded me of that coffee mug with a cow in it, and as you drink from it, the cow becomes visible – I have that too by the way, but these pottery show film cups were a different story altogether.

Pottery Show Film Cup Marble

There is some debate over whether the cups are Japanese or Chinese in origin. If memory serves me right, we were eating in a Chinese restaurant, but there was a conversation about having Sake in these cups, so it’s quite possibly a Japanese invention.

I’m getting there, hold on to your pants.

The story goes, as told to me, that when men (being men) would want to have a little fun while at a party, at someone’s house, or at a place where a person is expected to be respectable, they would use these cups for their drinks.

To an average eye, these are regular drinking “glasses” with a plain and homey look, but once a clear liquid is poured in them, say Sake, the little glass marble in the middle, like magic, displays a photograph that is “adult” in nature, to say the least.

Kinky, Kitsch, and Kinda cool all rolled into one.

Film Cups on Display

There is, however, a small design flaw; say if your wife were to wash the dishes – I’m not saying she should, but let’s assume you passed out from all the fun and giggling from the previous night and she picks them up – and pours water in the cups… imagine her shock.

The moral of the story is that whenever you plan on using the film cups, make sure you have the couch ready too.

Now, since I have the cups, and they seem to be getting costlier and hard to find day by day, I think I’ll let them be for the time being. Maybe, in a few years, someone else will message me and inform that these pottery cups are worth $3000, –

One can dream, right?

Making Money Off Naughty Souvenirs - Pottery Show Film Cups

Till then, the very thought that I have something so naughty and exclusive in the house is a good enough reason to occasionally have a private laugh, and then again, the show cups do make for a fun conversation starter with friends – too risque with strangers I would say.

And of course, a special thanks to Anna, wherever in the world you are, for informing me about the film cups.


  • Lisa
    Posted 29 October, 17 at 11:06 PM

    I’m not a big souvenir collector, so it was interesting to read this. The cups look great, though I’m not an expert. May look out for something on my next travel.

  • James
    Posted 30 October, 17 at 1:11 AM

    You made a good buy with these naughty souvenirs. I felt whilst reading this I was watching a David Dickinson antiques show! I hope the value continues to rise for you – they are definitely a conversation piece!

  • Abigail Sinsona
    Posted 30 October, 17 at 8:39 AM

    That is quite an interesting set of cups! This is the first time that I’ve heard there is such a thing. It’s no wonder they would cost that much because I would imagine they would be 1) rare and 2) be hard to create these days!

  • Deni Verklan
    Posted 30 October, 17 at 8:42 AM

    Haha this is too funny! I can’t say I’ve ever heard of film cups before, but that’s crazy that these even exist in the first place! Probably best that you were able to sell them though before you gave the wife & kids a scare! 😛

  • Mel Butler
    Posted 30 October, 17 at 2:09 PM

    What a funny post, it reminds me of the times of bought souvenirs that are either not good or I shouldn’t be buying them at all. I have never heard of film cups before and I didn’t know they were so rare even with the way they look. I love the fact you have the cups hidden from the kids and the wife inthe basement. I never thought about looking in my attic to see if my husband has anything in there they he should not have bought

  • Sheisnotlost
    Posted 30 October, 17 at 4:20 PM

    This is a very different read. Great idea of converting the souvenirs to sale. I loved the film cups. I am not a collector as I Travel more for experience and do not come back with stuff. I used to do it once upon a time and had big collection which I gave away a few years ago. If I read your article a few years ago I could put it to some use. Ha ha.

  • Kim
    Posted 31 October, 17 at 8:33 AM

    What an interesting set of cups! Never would’ve thought they were “naughty”, they just look like innocent tea cups. I will have to be on the lookout for interesting souvenirs on my next trip. Hope the cups increase in value over time!

  • Ha
    Posted 1 November, 17 at 12:26 PM

    What a nice read! I don’t collect many souvenirs so haven’t thought how to make money from them. Those tea cups look great, so $300 may be a good price!

  • MakeTime2SeeTheWorld (@VickiLouise86)
    Posted 1 November, 17 at 5:01 PM

    I love buying souvenirs – although I think I may have been a bit shocked when I found out the what these cups actually were! You have a great story to tell from them though! And making $300 isn’t bad at all!

  • Linda
    Posted 19 November, 21 at 4:38 PM

    hello, I have a set in excellent condition, still sealed in their box and never used, I would like to sell them, is anyone interested? or can you tell me where to put them on sale? thanks and I hope for your feedback

    • Post Author
      Ticker Eats The World
      Posted 20 November, 21 at 10:33 AM

      Hi Linda, I am leaving your comment here, in case someone reads it, and wants to buy it. You might want to leave some form of contact detail (not sure what – maybe a social media link or something), but it’s your call.


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