Stash away those pricey idol statues and your thirty amiibos, because we’re about to get cheap and nasty. Gacha! is your fortnightly (or thereabouts) look at the weird world of Japanese capsule toys. There’s thousands to look at but don’t worry, we’re only picking the best ones. In this instalment, we take a long, hard look at the troublesome state of bottle sweating, notably viable workarounds and potential repercussions.
If you insist on enjoying flashy and expensive figures, you should check out All Your Monies.
Desktop Hatsune Miku (Vocaloid)
Bandai, 5 to collect, ¥300
Euri: I’m not sure what’s caused it, but every other gachapon release seems to focus on small figures that can hook onto things. We’ve seen numerous sets featuring that emotionless girl that insists on clinging to your drinks, and even more spin-offs, but this time we get Vocaloids that just want to hang around your stationery. To be honest, these do look like they’d do a pretty good job in livening up your desk space. Just don’t ask about the Rin on the end.
colons: OH MY GOD ALL OF THESE ARE ADORABLE I JUST WANNA EAT ‘EM ALL UP. YES, EVEN THAT ONE.
Capsule Q Museum: UMA Collection
Kaiyodo, 5 to collect, ¥400
Euri: You’ve probably already figured it out, but UMA is just the Japanese term for UFO. This set is a showcase of some of the more famous monsters of legend, from the Loch Ness monster to Big Foot. Also making an appearance is the Kappa and the Chupacabra, as well as the Tsuchinoko, a somewhat lesser-known creature outside of Japan. I think this is a really neat set, which is somewhat reflected in the price. You certainly wouldn’t want to get duplicates.
colons: This is kind of exactly what I go into gachas for. Weird, occasionally horrifying, and perfect for making dumb scenes involving actual anime figures. Steep, but if the actual figures look anything like as detailed as the ones in this shot, justifiably so. I’d be curious to know how big they are.
Legend of USB
Takara Tomy Arts, 5 to collect, ¥200
Euri: Have you ever wondered what you could do to make your USB sticks more Legend? Apparently the answer is to stick them in these miniature pedestals, featuring classic designs such as bamboo, KFC and gravestone. There’s no USB stick included, but if you want some more desk clutter you could probably (maybe?) do worse.
colons: The concern I have with things like this are entirely practical. If I have a use for a stand for a USB stick (I don’t, but stay with me here), I expect it to meet certain standards. It should either have a loose but not rattly grip on the USB port, or it should be heavy enough to not come off the table when encountering friction as you lift the stick out. It should have a non-slip surface on the bottom. I guess I could just blu-tac them down, but it’d be nice to know *before* shelling out the, uhh… okay, never mind.
Sheng, 20 to collect, ¥100
Euri: Check out these not-Puyo not-Slimes! For a measly ¥100 you’ll be getting a big or small squishy ball in one of ten flavours. Now, I’m all for any toy that looks a bit Dragon Quest-y, but you’ve got to imagine that having a bunch of sticky toys is just going to be a gross nightmare when the dust gets to them. Maybe these are more suitable being thrown at siblings.
colons: There was a cool conveyor belt sushi place we went to in Arakawa that had a machine that would run a little lottery for you whenever you fed it five used plates. I won a dumb-looking rubbery puffer fish made of material that looks a bit like this. It was a fun idle distraction; you could wrap it around your finger and bat it with your hand in the air and it glowed in the dark. Unfortunately, by the time we got back to the hotel that evening, the thing had perished such that bits of it were coming off in my hands, it smelt bad, and was sticky to the touch. It was gross. You should be careful with air-filled rubbery stuff like this, or at least not expect it to last.
KITAN☆CLUB, 6 to collect (+1 secret), ¥200
Euri: Well, when you discover a gap in the market, you’ve got to jump at the chance. While looking for the header image, I discovered that some people have bought these with the intention of using them on small figures and plush toys. Perhaps not the intended use case, but whatever works, right? Oh, and the secret is a lacy black g-string, so you better get on that.
colons: I love it when gacha toys serve a practical purpose, and I also love it when they can be used in scenes with figures, and this falls into both categories! Unfortunately, the only place I run into the problem these are intended to solve is at work, where I have a large coaster especially built to handle large glass bottles full of ice, and I don’t have any figures that these would fit on. I guess you could put them on a Nendoroid’s head, maybe?