We are going to talk about something today that is so vast and popular you may well already know a little about it already if you have been to Japan before. I’m talking of course about Gachapon. The toy capsule vending machines that are as popular in Japan as collecting Marvel comic books in the United States of America. This is the perfect introduction guide for anyone who is interested in Gachapon. But we will focus on people who are just beginning to find their love of it. So, read on for a glimpse into the world of vending machine toy capsules for adults.
What is Gachapon?
Gachapon, or Gashapon, is simply a toy in a capsule dispensed by vending machines in Japan. That’s the simple explanation, now for a little more information. These little toy capsules refer to two words in Japanese. Gacha which refers to the sound of the vending machine arm turning. And Pon which refers to the capsule falling to the bottom of the machine. One of the main manufacturers is Tomy which you may have heard of before. Tomy produce a lot of toys for Disney and Pokemon along with the highly popular Transformers toys. In the United States of America, though, they are primarily distributed by the Bandai Company for which the word Gashapon (with an s) is a regestered trade mark.
There is a massive variety and collectors are hugely competitive hense why it is extremely popular with adults.
Difference in Quality
The quality difference between Gachapon and other vending machine toys is quite extensive. The machines around the world generally have cheap toys for children that are made from cheap materials. These toys generally do not attract adults or serious collectors. In Japan though they are much more detailed and made of much more durable materials. This is the thing that makes them stand out from the rest of the worlds toy vending machines. They are said to be made from high grade PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) plastics. This puts the prices between one and six United States Dollars. Which is different to America themselves who have the cheaper ones for sometimes only twenty five cents each. It is these toys that are easily breakable made from plastics that are usually hollow and very thin indeed.
The variety of these toys is so extensive it would take a whole book to talk about them all so here are some of the most popular types. First of all we have what is named blind boxes. This simply refers to the selling of the toys in sealed packages. These are not ones in vending machines but are sold in stores like general stores or comic book stores.
Next up we have bottle cap figures. Bottle cap figures are highly sought after. They are figurines attached to a bottle cap. This type of toy can be bought in a vending machine and in blind boxes.
Along with the physical toys there is also a huge market for online games that directly relate to the toys themselves. Liken this to that of sporting card collecting and having the companion smart phone game along with it. There are many of these games relating to the different types of Gachapon. Some of these include mini games and toys from video game series such as Zelda and Mario. They also relate to Manga and Anime such as Gundam. Some of the most popular are Pokemon related toys and companion games. This along with Yu-Gi-Oh! accounts for a massive part of the market.
There are also extremely rare collectibles relating to the video games Resident Evil 4 and 5. If you find these then you will be very popular amongst fans.
Why for Adults?
So, now you know more about the whole world of these vending machine little toys. You may still be thinking, why adults? Well the complexity in the storylines and vast number of characters and collectibles lends itself to the adult ideals of collecting as a hobby. It is primarily this that will not lend itself naturally to children. Especially younger children who would be to young to fully respect the art of the toy and the fullness and contentness gained from collecting them instead of using them to throw around like cheaper toys.
Monetized games on smart phones are also more popular with adults than children. And within the last decade there has been an influx of these games. The most popular being that of Final Fantasy.
Some of the best Gachapon for adults are maybe not what you’d expect. Below is a list of three kinds of Gachapon that are particularly great for adults.
As we all know, Pokemon is huge all around the world. As children many of us grew up watching, collecting and playing various things related to it. These fantastic litte toys are no different. Call it nostalgia if you will but I call it passion. Passion for something that helped shaped the person you are today. This love of Pokemon transfers right into adult people showing their continuous passion for it via Gachapon.
Much like pokemon people grew up watching this. Maybe the people slightly younger than that of Pokemon but the fans still have that same passion. Yu-Gi-Oh! fans in Japan flock to the machines to collect all their favourite characters. This along with Pokemon has some rare collectibles in it that go for a lot of money. Whilst we may have outgrown the anime a little as adults we can certainly still appreciat the figurines.
3. Resident Evil
Resident Evil is a whole franchise of video games and graphic novels. It is strictly for adults due to its content. It follows, then, that the Resident Evil Gachapon’s are extremely popular. Some of the rarest of all Gachapon are included in the range dedicated to this franchise. If one person ever collects them all they will be very very happy indeed.
The easiest way to describing the popularity of these toys is to liken to things you may already know. The idea of collecting comic books in America. The idea of collecting action figures and keeping them in their boxes. The collectible model making kits that are huge in the United Kingdom. If you know of the seriousness in which people take these in their respective countries then you will have no problem trying to comprehend the Japanese adults collecting Gachapon.
It lends itself, then, to being popular over the world. Whilst there may not be many of these machines in the United Kingdom or mainland Europe, there are still a few if you know where to find them. Airports are usually a great place to find these machines.
In the United States of America, though, they have fully taken on board the whole idea of Gachapon. In comic book stores all over the country you can find these machines and you may even be able to find a forum or two to meet fellow fans of these toys and maybe even trade if you have more than one of the same figure. The main reason it garnered such popularity in America is because of some of the biggest Japanese exports. I’m talking of course of video games, manga and anime. Things like Pokemon, Mario, Sonic the Hedgog, Final Fantasy ETC. are just a few of the things that the Americans fell in love with.
So, there you have it, the magnificent and crazily popular world of Gachapon. You may well find a lot of adults around the world who share your new found love of collecting and you may even find a lot of people who have been collecting for a long time now. So, whether you are an absolute beginner who has yet to purchase their first toy. An amatuer that wants to brush up on their knowledge. Or even a pro that just wants a little refresher. I hope you found this article interesting and informative and get researching some of your favourite characters in Gachapon form. Happy collecting adults of the world.
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