I recently made an order from NapaJapan with a bunch of new Japanese snacks, and somehow I managed to theme my entire order around cheese and custard...minus one exciting citrus soda pop. They'll all be reviewed in due course, and you can see for yourself my apparent obsession with 'the three C's' of Japanese snacks.
Today I've sampled the Toppo Whip Milk Custard, by the sweet luminaries down at Lotte. Did you know Lotte is actually a massive company, with interests all over the world in chemicals, hotels, baseball, and insurance? In addition, of course, to snacks and confectionery. I was quite surprised, I had expected to find just a list of different kinds of gum and pretzel sticks when I read their Wikipedia article...Nah, they're huge! So Toppo is in the same ballpark as Pocky, Mikado, Lucky Stick--a biscuit tube either dipped or filled with chocolate. Nice playing field, if you ask me.
Interestingly, the cream has a cool feeling while you eat it, which combined with the taste combination would've had me guessing vanilla ice cream was the intended flavor.
I think these were most similar to Pucca, except for that Pucca doesn't seem to have a vanilla version...at least anymore. There was a Salty Vanilla flavor at one point that I think would've been a good match and perhaps easier to find in the UK since Pucca is stocked in Longdan and other Asian grocery stores. Unfortunately imports from Japan to businesses took a huge nosedive after the nuclear disaster, and haven't really recovered since. Most of the Japanese snacks in Cybercandy and the Japan Centre are now imported from Thailand and other areas where they are also manufactured. So you can still get the big players like Koala March, Pocky, and Pucca...but the stuff that is Japan-only has become much harder to come by. I hope that this changes soon, and that restrictions (self-imposed and otherwise) in the EU are lifted soon.
Until then, if you're looking for a Japanese snack fix I can only say positive things about NapaJapan. Shipping was quite quick even with SAL (about a week and a half from door to door), the customer service has always been brilliant for me, and they update regularly. Also, the prices are quite reasonable, especially for those of us in the UK--home of the consistently decent exchange rate!