When you travel in Japan, you sometimes see small machines that look like vending machines. These machines have a slot to put coins in, a dial, and display pictures of figurines, popular anime goods, miniature animals and cars, mobile phone straps and key chains. These are capsule toy vending machines called Gacha Gacha.
Buying a Gacha Gacha is simple. Insert the amount of money shown on the machine (around 200 yen – 500 yen), turn the dial and a capsule will come out. Inside the capsule is one of the toys from the series displayed on the machine. Which one of them you will get is a mystery until you open the capsule. There are several toys for one series and many fans like to collect them all.
Gacha Gacha machines are found in places such as electronic retail stores, toy shops and supermarkets. In Tokyo, the famous “Gacha corner” is located on the 6th floor of Yodobashi Akiba, an electronic retail store directly connected to Akihabara Station. Gacha Corner has more than 200 kinds of Gacha Gacha available regularly. In addition, each area has limited toys sold only in that area. See if you can find them!
Gacha Gacha items sell for only a short period, around 2-3 months, or until they sell out. A second set may be released if the series is popular, but if you find a toy that you like, your better off buying it on the spot.