Okay, so all of these figures have straps attached and could technically go to the straps section, but I figured (HAHA) they're special enough to get a page of their own. Onward!
I believe these were the first Oofuri figure straps ever made, as a collaboration between Afternoon and the figure company Kaiyodo, back in 2005 and 2006 - before the cartoon came out! The boxes they come in are roughly comic book-sized.
Additional images: Box fronts, box backs, inside the boxes, closeup: Mihashi and Abe, closeup: Tajima, closeup: Hanai
Released in September 2007 by Tomy Yujin, these highly adorable SD (super deformed) figures, simply called 'figure straps', were the first figure straps released after the cartoon came out! They were sold in mystery boxes so you wouldn't know which strap you got before the purchase. Sneaky, huh?
The figures available in the set are Mihashi, Abe, Tajima and Hanai, as well as an extra cowering version of Mihashi, and two SECRET straps which turned out to be alternate versions of Abe and Mihashi.
Additional images: Unopened box, boxes-in-a-box, closeup: Mihashi, closeup: dweeby Mihashi, closeup: Abe, closeup: Hanai, closeup: Tajima, closeup: secret Mihashi, closeup: secret Abe
You're all familiar with gachapon machines, right? You know, capsule machines - insert a coin, get a toy. This series was released shortly after the figure straps above, simply called 'mascot keychains'. Also by Yujin and using the same molds as the figure straps, at a first glance, they might look identical - but as it turns out, the mascot keychains are wearing their training uniforms, while the figure straps wear their game uniforms. The cowering Mihashi even has the number one Tajima scribbled on his back!
Additional images: Booklet, comparison: Mihashi and Abe, comparison: Tajima and Hanai
Before I go on rambling about this set, I'd like the world to know that it makes me kind of sad that Oki, Suyama and Nishihiro were left out. I'll give the toy makers the benefit of the doubt and hope they had a GOOD REASON for leaving them out, like... I dunno, Oki's tremendous nose not being able to fit into the blister pack or something.
ANYWAY, this lovely figure set, titled 'mascot figures,' was available for sale during the 02/17/08 Oofuri event, "Orera no natsu wa owaranai." It's even a special limited edition of 2500 sets! Mihashi, Abe, Hanai and Tajima were made from the same molds as the previous SD figures, although Izumi, Sakaeguchi and Mizutani are brand new! I am SO delighted to see more characters getting figure versions, and am eagerly hoping for more.
Additional images: Closeup: Izumi, closeup: Sakaeguchi, closeup: Mizutani, comparison: Mihashi, comparison: Abe, comparison: Hanai, comparison: Tajima