Gachapon are a multi-billion dollar a year industry in Japan and can be found almost everywhere across the country – in shops and shopping centres, outside game centres, at major tourist attractions and even on street corners. There are always lots of different gachapon to choose from and they change frequently. My favourite gachapon are San-X, Sanrio and Disney gachapon.
If you’re not familiar with gachapon machines, they are a little like old-fashioned gumball machines. However, instead of finding gumballs inside, you will find little toys and accessories. Usually a gachapon machine will be filled with toys from a particular set. The set might have five to ten different toys. When you put your money in the gachapon machine and turn the handle, you will get one of the toys from the set shown. But it’s a surprise. You don’t know which toy you will get from the set until you open it up.
I always try to find as many gachapon machines as possible when I’m in Japan. You never know what you might find inside them. Sometimes there might be lots of machines but no toys of interest inside them…and other times, it’s like hitting the jackpot!
I found a really fun Disney gachapon machine on our shopping day in Osaka. It featured a set of Disney sticker flake boxes. I was so excited. Silly, I know! But I love Disney and I love collecting sticker flakes!
There were six boxes in this Disney collection – Alice In Wonderland, Bambi, Cinderella, Snow White, Dumbo and Pinocchio.
I ended up playing this Disney gachapon machine five times. I was very lucky as I only ended up with one duplicate (which I gave to a friend). I was tempted to keep trying until I had the complete set, but it was becoming a little too expensive. Besides, I had the one I wanted most of all – Bambi. I also got Alice In Wonderland, Cinderella and Pinocchio.
My second favourite set is Pinocchio. I was a little disappointed that Cleo and Figaro do not feature on any of the stickers though.
And finally, there’s Cinderella. I am a big Disney fan, but I’m not really into the princesses, so this one is last on my list. I do love the mice in Cinderella, but sadly, they aren’t on these stickers.
Despite having favourites, I really do love them all. I guess I love all Disney gachapon, especially when they are stickers. I particularly like the postage stamp / snail mail theme running through all of these stickers too. Do you have a favourite? If so, I’d love to know which one it is. Please leave a comment below or Pin your favourite to Pinterest.