Gashapon. The name, often thought of as being synonymous with Japanese capsule toys in general, is actually a registered trademark of Bandai Co., Ltd. As many capsule toy fans surely know, it was mainly inspired by the Japanese onomatopoeic combination of the sounds you hear when you turn the machine's handle (Gasha!) and the capsule pops out (Pon!).

Since Bandai entered the market in 1977, this year marks the venerable capsule toy franchise's 45th anniversary. To celebrate the occasion, the company is releasing a series of Gashapon machine Gashapon toys!

You read that right! Imagine turning the handle of a Gashapon machine, and out pops a capsule containing another Gashapon machine...

It even has a working handle with mini Gashapon capsules that come out!

Unfortunately, those mini capsules cannot be opened.

Who knows, maybe a miniature artist will make one with a mini-mini Gashapon machine inside.

The lineup features a total of 6 machines based on actual models that Bandai put into production, each one accurately reproduced at a 1/12th scale. In addition to the BVM100, Bandai's first Gashapon machine released in 1977, the other five are reproductions of the Gashapon Station, Bandai's most current machine, in five different color variations. This is the first time that Bandai is releasing Gashapon machines as Gashapon toys!

Here are the machines in the lineup:

BMV100 (1977)

Bandai's first Gashapon machine.

Gashapon Station (current)

The Gashapon Station machines you can see in Japan come in white, black, blue, orange, and yellow:

These Gashapon machine Gashapon toys cost 300 JPY each (tax included) and will first go on sale from April 29th, 2022 at nine locations, including the Gashapon Department Store main store in Ikebukuro, the largest capsule toy store in the world, before becoming available at other Gashapon machines and stores throughout Japan beginning in mid-May 2022.

The other eight locations are the Gashapon Bandai Official Shops located in: Tokyo Solamachi (Tokyo Skytree) and Shinjuku Marui Annex in Tokyo, Vivre Yokohama, Kanazawa Forus, OS Cinemas Kobe Harborland, Canal City Hakata, Fukuoka PARCO, and SAKURA MACHI Kumamoto.

In addition, if you buy three Gashapon machine Gashapons at one of the nine abovementioned locations during the pre-sale period, you'll automatically receive the "Gashapon Vending Machine 45th Anniversary Trivia Book" (while supplies last), which chronicles the evolution of Gashapon vending machines from 1977 to 2022. Just like Gashapon, the book is diminutive in size, measuring less than two inches.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.