Capsule toys in Japan are great for unique, fun and cheap souvenirs to bring back. In Japanese, these capsule machines are called gachapon (ガチャポン). You can get capsule toys of all varieties here in the Land of the Rising Sun!
At the normal end of the spectrum, you’ll be able to get keychains, cartoon figurines and magnets from these capsule toy machines. We’re not here to talk about that. We’re looking at the other end of the spectrum. The not-so-normal one. Some would say they’re even weird!
Because there are so many types of gachapon, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to find weirder ones on a random street in Japan. But for now, here’s a list of the top 7 commonly weird gachapon toys you can find in Japan!
1. Fuchico on the Cup
The first one is Fuchico on the Cup! This iconic gachapon series started in 2012. It’s not your usual keychain or fridge magnet. This one can interact with your day-to-day life…by sitting at the edge of your cup.
A manga artist called Katsuki Tanaka designed this tiny office lady character after noticing lots of food pictures on social media. To him, those pictures were boring, and wanted to make it more interesting. And so, Fuchico was born, to sit at the edge of cups!
Those who weren’t into gachapon became into it after this release. To this day, this gachapon series has sold millions! She comes in various designs, and some people even collect them!
2. Fake food
Who doesn’t like food? Well, put it on a keychain and people go crazy! Of course, they’re not real. They’re fake food! Fake food gachapon is extremely popular. You can get anything from fake sushi and fake ramen to fake croissants and fake cakes.
They’re 100% fake, but they look so real that you might think it is!
Recently as well, fake fruits and desserts are getting so popular. But they all fall under the same category of fake food. This type of gachapon can range from as low as 100yen to 300yen! Sometimes, you would have to try a few times in a machine to get the one you want, so make sure you have enough coins on you!
3. Bottle panties
I have to say this is the weirdest one yet, but hey, weird things become a hit. Just like how vending machines sell disposable panties, gachapons have panties too, but for your bottle!
Now, here me out. No dirty thinking. It’s just an accessory you can put at the bottom of your water bottle. It’s like a coaster substitute since they’re super absorbent. These bottle panties come in a variety of colours and patterns, so you can go on a hunt to collect them all. Dress up all your bottles!
4. Themed Animals
Animals are the cutest, aren’t they? You can easily find animal keychains in gachapons, but what we’re talking about here are themed animals! You can get pugs handing off the edge of your glass or bowl, or cats sleeping in a bookshelf. Think of any random situation and you might just get an animal gachapon in that theme.
One common collective is office working animals. Yep, you read that right. Animals are holding props like reading the newspaper, working on their laptop and drinking morning coffee. Some people collect these office-working animals and set up a mini office!
5. Mini games
My personal favourite weird but fun gachapon item is mini games! You can find a lot of games in miniature size! That crocodile teeth game? I have a few colours of them at home. Remember that game where you have to stick knives in a barrel and a pirate will pop out? Yup, they have those too.
These miniature games are so handy and convenient when you’re travelling. When you have time to spare waiting for your flight or train, you can whip this out and play with your friends and family.
6. Miniature furniture
Speaking of miniature, one of the most intriguing gachapons I’ve ever seen is miniature furniture! You can find any piece of furniture in mini size! From tables and chairs to lamps and teapots!
I heard that people collect these pieces to create a miniature home. It’s like building your dream home but in miniature form. Think of it as Lego for adults…I mean, kids can do it too!
Last but not least of weird gachapons is mannequins. One of the newest gachapon creations is by Tokyo-based capsule toy maker So-Ta. Mannequins of various poses are sold in small capsules called “Nude”. There are six poses altogether. With each one of them, you can freely change the poses as the mannequin is made up of multiple ball joints.
There are three colours available: black, white and “stripe” where it’s mainly white with blue accents outlined in red .
While it might be a weird idea in the first place, it can be used for artists who need a physical representation of a human pose, but can’t afford to purchase the big ones.
Which weird gachapon do you want to buy?
I have to admit, all of these seven weird gachapons caught my attention. So they did their job well! When playing around with gachapons, don’t limit yourself to the normal and boring. Go out of your comfort zone and find fun and quirky ones like these!