Sep 2, 2016
I need some silly this week. Let’s do this.
Roughly once a month I make the bold statement: “THIS. This is the best gatchapon that could possibly exist. I no longer need to buy gatchapons once I have bought this particular gatchapon.” It’s my version of when you were in college and you had a rough night and were all “I’m DONE drinking forever… until Amber manages to smuggle another brick of Milwaukee’s Beast into the dorm.”
Amber was SUCH an enabler.
(Did you have a Amber in university?
Or were YOU the Amber of your friends?
Tell me in the comments!)
What’s a 'Gatchapon' you ask?
Toys, Trinkets, Small Accessories, Chachkies*. The type of “high quality choking hazard” items you might have gotten in a McDonald’s Happy Meal, or pulled out of a prize chest at the end of your Dentist visit because -unlike myself as a sugar-sucking child-monster- you sometimes flossed.
Mac likes gatchapon capsules (minus the gatchapon inside) as a fun puzzle.
I stick cookies inside and hide them in the house. He gets a brain teaser, I get a toy. Everyone wins.
They’re sold in little capsules from magical little contraptions similar to gumball machines. And one can find those machines in collections by the dozen, stacked together in large banks in the middle of the mall, next to the cash register in most restaurants, in any arcade, literally just randomly out on the street while you’re walking around
Rows and rows of Gatchasssss
Gatchapon machines are everywhere, they usually travel in packs (as I type that I realize that I’ve never seen just a single Gatchapon machine out by itself. If there’s one Gatchapon, there’s at least a dozen more nearby. Gathapons: the cockroaches Japanese retail.) and each Gatchapon machine has a theme. There will be up to a dozen different items in the machine that all fit the theme, and when you put in your 100¥ coins and turn the dial, you’re rolling the proverbial dice to see which of those items you will get to further enrich your life.
As you might remember, I happen to be a adult woman. And as such, you might be asking yourself; Why, KpMcD, would you purchase what are clearly toys meant for small children? And why would you keep doing that?
How DARE you. I would argue they’re not all for children. Non-kiddie-centric themes I’ve encountered (I say that while fully acknowledging that I buy the ones for kids too. A wind-up walking pikachu toy? I mean, come on.):
- enamel pins that commemorate that one time you visited any number of Japanese tourist hot spots (I collect these)
- tiny underwears for your water bottle (to catch condensation sweat)
- business card holders shaped like anthropomorphized world landmarks (like lady liberty)
- suction cup shaped like a Mario™ Chain Chomp that props up your cell phone
- stickers featuring holographic pictures of “attractive” Japanese Pop Boy Band members
- small plastic women posed to best show off their cleavage and their panties, which are made to perch on the rim of a beer mug
- hats for your pets
(haha they haaaaaate me.)
What’s the weirdest Gatchapon YOU’ve seen?
Tell me in the comments! (bonus internet points for pictures)
Long story short, I’ve amassed quite a collection of Gatchapons. And while I put on a good dramatic show about it; just like Amber’s not done tricking you into one more frat party, I’m not done sheepishly explaining to the cashier at the nearest store that I need my change back in 100¥ coins so I can buy more little plastic trinkets.
today's little language lesson
Watashi wa betsu no chīsana inu no bōshi ga hoshīdesu
I want another tiny dog's hat.
*I maaaaaaybe used the word "Chachki" just because it reminded me of Violet Chachki, which in turn reminds me of RuPaul’s Drag Race, which makes me excited to catch up on All Stars season 2** after I post this***
***Can someone explain to me why World of Wonder has put regional restrictions on their videos? If you’re going to post the whole episode online but only for people in the states, then A. You should be called US of Wonder, and B. You should just know straight away that it will only take about 20 minutes for someone to rip that from your site, where you get viewing numbers and stats, and repost it on youtube.
The name is Kp or KpMcD (Kristin, actually, but for the sake of continuity let's stick with the nickname, shall we?) Hailing from the Midwest US and living in Nagoya with my husband (The Mister), my dobermutt (Mac) and an elitist marmalade tabby who answers to no one (Bubba).
Hahahaha your pets / pet hats. GachaGacha are baby level gambling but so entertaining.
I love Gatchapon! I couldn't figure out how to get a pic on here, so it's on twitter: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CrWL-6AUAAAdndZ.jpg These are my best ones, and I guess they say a lot about how long I've been here. Back when Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out, I got a bunch, including the ark of the covenant. I didn't know I'd still be in Japan 8 years later. The chicken on the other hand is a recent acquisition, came in an egg, and lights up when squished, but the lighting mechanism is a bit insensitive, so it's had to take a bit of abuse to light up at all. Still good for 200 yen and it occupies the toddler really well. I envy you the chain chomp though, and the pin collection. Also, awesome use of the pet hats!
@JTsuzuki Those are awesome! A tiny Indiana Jones ark of the covenant... I'm legitimately jealous. Thank you for sharing!