Friday, March 12, 2010

Capsule Toy Dispensary

Inside a shopping complex in Sannomiya I happened upon a small but densely packed section of hobby stores. These stores catered to all types of collectors: musical instruments, vinyl records, anime, manga, toys, video games (classic and contemporary) and some stores devoted exclusively to specific themes like Godzilla, trains, Gundam, and My Little Pony. The narrow halls were also lined with gashapon. Gashapon toys are often based on popular character licenses from video games, comics, anime, Japanese icons, movies, Disney and it is not uncommon to see vulgar and explicit sets themed for adults. Virtually all gashapon are released in collectible sets and are, by nature, a 'blind purchase' which lends to the slot machine feel of each purchase; the addiction costs between 100円 and 500円 per twist.

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