Leolani Bean Acoustic Sopranino Ukulele

My Tourist Tat

Omi International Bean tourist mini ukulele
Kidney shaped Leolani dolphin pocket Ukulele
Leolani Dolphin hawaii piccolo Ukulele
It has cheap and nasty strings on and is tuned a~D~F#~B

Omi International hawaiian importer

Someone else's
with all the fins and a funky box
I didn't get the funky box

Leolani Bean

On the face of it I should have avoided this like an ex-girlfriend who now works for the tax office. Its classic tourist tat from Omi International. Yes it was brought in Hawaii but it was made in China and probably very cheaply. However, like that ex-girlfriend with a "Croydon Facelift" and in a slightly see through, slightly too small white blouse, it's quite cute in a guilty sort of way... well I think so anyway. It's a Mini scale and I have a soft spot for them even if they are tricky to play It's a novelty shape half pineapple, half figure 8; a bit like a kidney bean (or a hospital kidney bowl) Can't say I'm completely sold on the dolphins (and I do find the kitsch decorations can grow on me sometimes; but I know the Hawaii at the bottom never will). I saw a couple of these go through on ebay before I bought this and when I looked they all had a proper bridge with a proper saddle and a proper looking nut, so I thought "hey maybe it isn't as bad as I fear?" The American ones I let go because the shipping was just too much but someone brought it back to the UK from their Hawaiian Holiday and had decided they didn't want to keep it. I paid a few quid more than I wanted too but I though I won't see many on sale in the UK and it was still pretty cheap.

And Hey every collection should have at least one tourist trap to remind you what a good Ukulele is

Truth is now I have it, it is a piece of tourist tat. Yes it has a proper bridge and everything and yes its playable - just but it is fairly low quality and is more "wall art" than a proper musical instrument. Sadly for its "wall art" credentials it has not been loved in the past and is a bit beat up, (not its fault), there are a few chips and one of the dolphins has lost a fin

When I do play it, it's not very loud, possibly due to the little wooden dolphins stuck on the soundboard, (not a good idea), possibly due to is size and overall quality? One thing that is odd and noticeable though it when you hold it to play your are resting on the soundboard reduces the volume too, more noticeably than any other Ukulele I have played?

Still its at Ukulele Corner now so I shall love it anyway, just not play it very often. And like I said earlier "every collection should have at least one tourist trap to remind you what a good Ukulele is"