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 come to realise that not even Japan is safe from Minions.
If you insist on enjoying flashy and expensive figures, you should check out All Your Monies.
KITAN☆CLUB, 6 to collect, ¥200
Euri: It’s bizarre creations such as these that make me really happy that gachapon exists. Someone was tasked with coming up with a new toy range, it was pitched to a group of co-workers, and here we are with cat sushi keychains. Three sets of them, no less! Each cat comes with a sushi plate as well, so you can make big sushi towers for your sushi cats to play on. Basically what I’m saying is that it’s lucky I have no money right now.
colons: Why are the cats all so sad, I wonder? Perhaps they have realised they have taken the place of their prey and are experiencing a sudden overwhelming empathy with the fish they have killed in the past. I’m pretty sure they could break out of the seaweed if they wanted to. Either way, I don’t think these things could have a place in my life.
Café de Hamu
Epoch, 6 to collect, ¥200
Euri: There are two designs here that you’re going to want: the ham coffee and the ham sandwich. The ham donuts are okay, but you know you’d be reaching for another 200 yen if you saw one of them pop out of the machine. As odd and morbid as that ham sandwich is, I think it perfectly encapsulates Japanese kawaii culture, and I somehow can’t help but want a few of them.
colons: YES YES YES
Rating JODAN Eye Mask
Eiru, 6 to collect, ¥200
Euri: If you don’t fancy having figures littering your home, how about a collection of face masks to trick your friends into thinking you have particular fetishes? To be fair, these look like they might be good to have on-hand if you’re playing board games that require players to be blindfolded, or if your friends have a knack for passing out on your sofa and you want some photos for their social media accounts.
colons: I’ve never been fond of blindfolds. I’ve yet to encounter a pair that are either comfortable or effective, so I’m out even before the art not being especially interesting. Hey, at least 200 yen is cheap.
Crow and Rat: Growth
Epoch, 10 to collect (+1 secret), ¥200
Euri: The next time someone tells you that your figures are trash, take them over to your collection of gachapon trash, and wait for their reaction. There have been many gachapon sets over the last few years that aim to be props for other figures, particular figmas. At least, that’s my explanation as to why we’ve had multiple sets of foldable chairs. I’m not sure if this is meant to be a parody of those, but creating scenes with bad characters sitting in actual trash is becoming more appealing as I keep thinking about it.
colons: There was a set of crows, rats, and trash out around the time we were in Japan last, but we missed it, and that made me sad, because these look like excellent figure diorama material. I already have some suitably dumb ideas for the old discarded cooking equipment in this set.
Minions Mini Mascot
A cow that is coloured PANTONE Minion Yellow™, 14 to collect, ¥200
Euri: No one is safe. Nowhere is safe. Bring Frozen back.
colons: I’m a monster, I know, but I saw the Minions movie and liked it, so in theory this is right in my wheelhouse. Unfortunately, though, these look like misshapen, poorly printed trash. When they can’t even get a good-looking shot for the promo art, that should put some pretty serious doubts in your head.