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Premium Gashapon: When Gashapon Is No Longer An Impulse Buy

Bandai will be launching a new capsule toy brand called “Premium Gashapon” at the end of January. Premium Gashapon will be a “premium Gashapon that has never been seen before”.

What is Gashapon?

Gashapon is a type of vending machine that sells capsule toys without using a power source. Instead, you put your coins into the machine and crank the circular wheel round until a prize falls out. Normally, Gashapon that you can find in supermarkets, stations and even airports cost around 300 or 400 yen (US$2.90 / US$3.85).

Unlike in the west with most of these toys aimed at children, the items inside can be high-quality, limited-edition trinkets from a favorite piece of pop culture, making them popular among collectors and casual fans alike. Here is an example of what a Pokemon gashapon set looks like:

What makes Premium Gashapon, Premium?

Bandai wants to go beyond the normal something truly special. They have created vending machines that are designed to take 500 yen (US$4.82) coins, and not just the normal 100 yen machines.

As you may have guessed, these premium gashapon will cost more — up to 2,500 yen (US$24) for one spin.

The new machines will also be designed with larger capsules that can be up to 8cm in diameter. However, they will still use that satisfying crank technology.

What’s in the lineup?

So, what’s in the capsules? Well, it looks like Bandai is playing it safe to start off by focusing on well-known anime series. First off, in January there will be 3 figures from Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba. Then in February, Dragon Ball, and finally in March, Kamen Rider.

Bandai isn’t going all out with a 2,500 yen price tag to start off with, fortunately. The Demon Slayer figures will only cost 800 yen, and for that you will get a 7.4cm static-posed figure.

In February, things ramp up with an “Ultimate Luminous Son Goku” figure. This will cost 1,500 yen and will have LEDs to light it up.  Likewise in March, an “Ultimate Luminous Kamen Rider Saber” figure will cost 1,500 yen and has LEDs to light up the eyes.

We can only guess what a 2,500 yen capsule will contain, but it will likely feature electronics and may have moving parts. What series would you like to see? Let us know in the comments!

Check out tons of gashapon at HobbyLink Japan!

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Video editor and co-host wherever he’s needed. British. Connoisseur of dried squid. Probably loves buttered toast.

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