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. In this instalment, we discover that we finally have an affordable way to become a Japanese cop. The only question is, how many animal noses does it take to convince ordinary members of the public?
If you insist on enjoying flashy and expensive figures, you should check out All Your Monies.
Dragon Quest: Sleeping Soundly Monster Figure
SQEX Toys, 6 to collect, ¥300
Euri: The recent set of Pokémon sleeping gachapon are going to take a lot to top. I do love Dragon Quest, but I feel there are better monsters and better ways to show them sleeping. We’re not seeing Pikachu levels of cute here, and as much as it’s definitely a Dragon Quest thing to do, having repainted figures is a big shame. There’s already a line of plush toys featuring sleeping DraQue characters (I own a Slime!) so it’s not like they’re stuck for ideas. Hopefully we’ll see more variation in future sets, especially when monsters like Dracky and Goodybag exist.
colons: I’m willing to put money on Euri buying at least five of these if we encounter a machine selling them on our next trip to Japan. Who’s willing to take me up on this?
Katsushika Police 24 Hours! Security Police Version
Takara Tomy A.R.T.S, 7 to collect, ¥200
Euri: My dream of joining the J-Police is now within reach. It’s actually quite hard to get the Cool & Cool box, Spooky Glasses and Police-Issue Lightsaber anywhere else, so it’s good to see an affordable option now exists. I’m genuinely curious about the sizes of these items, because they have to be able to fit into a gacha ball, and even the larger gacha balls are considerably smaller that an actual pistol.
colons: Remember that episode of CSI Akihabara where they had to infiltrate a group of insomniac yakuza and they used those glasses with eyes printed on them to fit in? Yeah, it was a good one, and I look forward to reenacting it with glasses that fit in a gacha ball.
Poison Mushroom 2
Shine G, 12 to collect, ¥300
Euri: This caught my eye for two reasons, and neither of them are because these are mushrooms with legs. The first is that they are listed on Rakuten as “Shineg Shing poison when the child 2”, and the second is that there is a rather large warning on the poster that says “Don’t eat”. I mean, I understand that a lot of small toys have ‘do not eat’ warnings in the packaging, but did they honestly think that people would just eat random mushrooms from a gacha machine? Like, forget they have legs for a moment. None of these look healthy.
colons: I relate pretty intensely to most of these poses.
Pi-chan on a Smartphone?
Konno Sangyo, 9 to collect, ¥200
Euri: Straight out of the capsule, these are nothing to write home about. They look fine for ¥200 figures, but there are weirder things out there to be spending your money on. However, what makes these things cool is that they can plug into headphone jacks, meaning you can totally make calls to your friends while a budgie chills out on the top of your phone. Tell me that isn’t cool, I dare you.
colons: Birds! Birdsbirdsbirds. Bird lying on back wanting a belly rub! BURDS.
Takara Tomy A.R.T.S, 5 to collect, ¥200
Euri: This is why gachapon exists. I can’t think of any good application for these things, but I love that the exist and I really want some. Maybe I should stick the cat nose on my cat’s butt with a pair of googly eyes. It’s (close enough to) Halloween, after all.
colons: I can’t even think of a funny bad use for these. I guess maybe you could stick one on something that looks like it’s got a hole in it to imply the animal is poking through, but the image of ‘animal nose stuck to flat surface’ does not spark my imagination particularly, for self-sufficient decor or as part of a larger whole. I’d love to be proven wrong.