Gacha! December 3rd 2015

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 it’s pretty hard not to feature toys that cling to drinking glasses. At least we have all these branded food items.

If you insist on enjoying flashy and expensive figures, you should check out All Your Monies

Mini Ramen
Beam, 8 to collect, ¥100


Euri: Ramen is pretty good. It’s become a lot easier to pick up actual ramen in supermarkets, which means no more shitty super noodle nonsense, and full steam ahead on the Shin train. Now, these may be erasers, but I’m more than happy to show my Shin-appreciation with strategically placed miniature noodle packages around my house.

colons: I haven’t written on paper with a pencil in a pretty long time, and these tiny erasers cost more than many actual instant ramen packets would. Were it not for the fact that there’s a Shin variant, I wouldn’t even take a second look at these, but since there is…

Shine G, 12 to collect, ¥200


Euri: As simple as these are, I think they’re surprisingly charming. I’m curious about their size (as they can’t be too long given how big gacha balls typically are) but I think I’d go for one or two of these if I saw them for sale. I’d love a black one to match my very own dogbird, but to be honest they all look pretty pleasing.

colons: Every gacha toy proposal ever: “Hey, people, look; we had a manufacturing incident and some of our moulds got really busted up and we didn’t notice until we’d already rolled through a bunch of thermosetting plastic and we can’t just throw this stuff out. Can any of you think of a way we can sell these?”

Realistic Attack on Titan
Kitan Club, 5 to collect, ¥400


Euri: I would very much appreciate if you could tell me what on Earth these are meant to be. Not only are the toys exceedingly grotesque, but so is the price. Maybe it’s based on something that I’m not familiar with, but the only way I could see myself buying one is for a souvenir for someone else, because it’s weird, Japanese and doesn’t have to come home with me.

colons: One would think the barrier to entry for marketing gacha toys would be higher than that for making a set of LINE stickers. One would be wrong, it turns out. As a person who enjoys sitting in places that aren’t chairs, I can relate to these, but the art style is questionable and Suzu there looks like she’s gonna have some pretty serious spine problems before too long.

Pandering To Your Audience
J. Dream, 5 to collect, ¥300


Euri: I think branded food products on keychains is the next big gachapon craze. I mean, it’s not like it’s a new thing either, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many of them releasing at the same time. I’d be game for some melon bread on my keys, but the reason why I feature this is because of that image. It’s a demonstration that the toys are squishy, but there’s something really funny about seeing a photo of a finger stuck in a loaf of bread.

colons: I would be very interested in the statistics concerning the sale of stuff like this.

Light-up Pumpkin ft Hamada from Downtown
Takara Tomy A.R.T.S, 4 to collect, ¥300pumpkins

Euri: I’ve only recently been made aware of the Downtown comedy duo, and their popular show Gaki no Tsukai, but I think even I could appreciate a keychain of Hamada’s face carved into a pumpkin. There’s a lot of really goofy, subtitled clips from their show on YouTube, so give them a watch sometime. Then decide whether you want one of these keychains, of course.

colons: This is, uhh… hmm. Are the batteries replaceable?

In this Batsu game, Hamada’s comedy partner Matsumoto must not react to anything that the people dressed in black do. It’s, uhh, pretty difficult.

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