A look into the world of Japanese capsule toys

A look into the world of Japanese capsule toys

by Live Japan
Live Japan

Capsule toys originated in America under a different name.

Then, in 1965, they were imported into Japan and were called "Gacha gacha" or "Gachapon".

Gacha gacha were installed at places such as video game arcades and shopping centers and became a household name for children due to their cheap price.

However, the winds of change have begun to blow for the Gacha gacha industry!

Let's take a look at what is happening with Japan's Gacha gacha.

Just how big is the Japanese Gacha gacha market?

"According to the Japan Toy Association, of the 8,031.1 billion yen Japanese domestic toy market in 2016, 277 billion (roughly 3%) of it came from sales of Gacha gacha."

So what makes them so popular?

Reason 1: Even adults love them!

Naturally, the featured toy merchandise includes anime characters, but there are also cute and creepy things with a distinct aesthetic and surreal ones that garner a laugh--both are great hits.

These are no longer mere toys; they can be considered elaborate art.

There's even collectors who won't rest until they have them all...

Reason 2: They are installed at airports and major train stations

In recent days, many Gacha machines are even installed throughout airports and train stations in Japan.

As of September, 2017, Narita Airport has 162 Gacha machines and Kansai Airport has 145.

From character merchandise renowned around the world, to toys with designs original to Japan, capsule toys are even a hit with travelers.

What sort of changes can we expect in the future? Be sure to keep your eye on the Gacha gacha industry!

Illustrations courtesy of Manga de Japan

Via Live Japan

Subscribe to our Stripes Pacific newsletter and receive amazing travel stories, great event info, cultural information, interesting lifestyle articles and more directly in your inbox!

Follow us on social media!

Facebook: Stars and Stripes Pacific
Flipboard: Stars and Stripes Community Sites

Looking to travel while stationed abroad? Check out our other Pacific community sites!
Stripes Okinawa
Stripes Korea
Stripes Guam

Related Content

Recommended Content

Around the Web