Gashapon or Gachapon refer to popular vending machines that dispense capsule toys. ‘Gacha’ or ‘Gasha’ comes from the knob of the machine and ‘pon’ from the sound of the toy dropping. It also can refer to both the vending machine and toy itself.
If you’ve ever been to Japan, Gashapon toys and machines are pretty much a staple in most places. From malls to supermarkets, Gashapon machines pretty much infiltrated every establishment in the country. These machines are similar to the coin-operated toy vending machines found around the world but with far better quality. They more than often contain more detail and are very popular with kids from all ages and collectors. Some of these gashapon can also fetch a pretty high price when resold depending on their rarity.
These highly detailed toys have a lot of types from key chains, mini-figures, cars, animals, etc. Some of them are not targeted at kids so don’t be surprised if you see a fully grown man fiddling with one of these machines in your local mall.
Many of the gashapon toys are often licensed from popular Japanese anime, video game, and manga characters. In addition, most of them are released in ‘sets’ which each series having a number of figures to collect. This makes them a very popular choice for collectors. Add to that their ‘blind purchase’ feature wherein people do not get what they want and may end up with a figure that they already have. This can lead to frustration but it also adds to its allurement.
Gashapon can cost anywhere from 100 yen to 500 yen. Basically the larger the capsule, the more expensive they can be. So whether you’re an aspiring toy collector or a kid at heart, gashapon can be a great way to start!
Guest post written by David Balway.