Last fall we took you to Electric City and a big part of that was bringing apparel and accessories that evoke the electric glee and neon lights of Tokyo’s Akihabara district. We invited you to imagine walking through the streets of Akihabara and hearing the crunching and popping met with joy and happy screams from arcades. But what was the crunching noise?
GACHAPON MACHINES of course!
Image Credit - Photo by CM on Unsplash
This vision so the launch of gacha pins, a companion range of cute pins to Electric City. These were received so well from the community that we just had to bring them back for a Season 2!
We launched our latest collection of very cute mochi inspired gacha pins last week. We thought this would be good time to give you a little insight into the background of ‘gacha’ for those interested in the culture and the history.
Lets establish what this colourful world you are in to begin with.
Gachapon (ガチャポン), are a variety of vending machine-dispensed capsule toys.
On 17th February 1965, gachapon was born when Shigeta set up the capsule vending machine at his shop - ‘Penny Shokai’, located in Kuramae in Tokyo's Taito Ward.
Now Gachapon is a way of life and big money can be made from rare collectable figures or toys. The word actually is onomatopoeic from the two sounds "gasha" (or "gacha") for the hand-cranking action of a toy-vending machine, and "pon" for the toy capsule landing in the collection tray.
The machines are similar to the coin-operated toy vending machines seen outside grocery stores and other retailers in other countries. While western coin-operated vending toys are usually cheaper, products sold with very little value (usually less than $1USD), Japanese gashapon can cost anywhere from ¥100–500 (US$1–5) and are normally a much higher-quality product with some fetching a very high resale value on the secondary market. They are often constructed from high-grade PVC plastic and contain more moulding detail and intricately painted features.
Gashapon toys are often licensed from popular characters in Japanese manga, video games or anime and kawaii characters. These highly detailed toys have found a large following among all generations in Japan, and the trend is filtering to the world.
Virtually all gashapon are released in sets—each series will have several figures to collect. They are, by nature, a ‘blind purchase’; people insert coins and hope to get the toy or figure they desire. As traditional gambling, as westerners know it, is illegal in Japan gachapon and pachinko are very popular alternatives.
This brings us neatly to Gacha Pins season 2. They are all based around the tasty treat of mochi with the squishy, marshmallowy, kawaii feel to them. There is 8 to collect, including that rare golden Phroag.
We have already received fantastic feedback about the new collection and fully expect to be producing more in the future. We love hearing from our community and take all feedback and suggestions on board.
Is there something you’d love to see in Gacha Pins Season 3?
Hope you enjoyed our little history lesson on Gachapon! The Saikou Team wish you good luck and fortune, especially in collecting the entire Season 2 Mochi set.
Until Next Time Stay Safe and Take Care Of Each Other.
Nokorimono ni wa fuku ga aru - Luck exists in the leftovers. Meaning: There is luck in the last helping.