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Gashapon (ガシャポン), also called gachapon (ガチャポン), is a trademark of Bandai. Among the variety of vending machine-dispensed capsule toys that originated in the 1960s, it became popular in Japan and elsewhere. "Gashapon" is onomatopoeic from the two sounds "gasha" (or "gacha") for the hand-cranking action of a toy-vending machine, and "pon" for the toy capsule landing in the collection tray. "Gashapon" is used for both the machines themselves and the toys obtained from them.
Gashapon machines are similar to the coin-operated toy vending machines seen outside grocery stores and other retailers in other countries. While American coin-operated vending toys are usually cheap, low-quality products sold for a few quarters (US$1 or less), Bandai's gashapon can cost anywhere from ¥100 (US$0.91) to ¥500 (US$4.56) and are normally a much higher-quality product, followed by other Japanese manufacturers. They are often constructed from high-grade PVC plastic, and contain more molding detail and intricately painted features. Many gashapon are considered collector's items, with rare ones fetching extremely high prices in secondhand markets.
Available here and now, Gashapon from the Big Picture Book Collection Insects.
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