Capsule toy vending machines are very popular in Japan. You can find them at many convenience stores, on the streets or even at airports all over Japan. I wrote about this during my previous trip to Osaka. Taiwan is heavily influenced by Japanese culture and and capsule toy vending machines can be found in many places around Taiwan as well.
JAPANESE CAPSULE TOY
Today I was around town with friends and saw this massive pink sign for a capsule toy shop. I hadn’t been in one since my Osaka trip and since I had some time spare before dinner, I thought why not?
The inside of the shop was pretty sinple. On one side of the shop was one big bank of vending machines. There were three rows of machines lined up along the wall. I reckon there must be nearly 100 here. Each of them consist of different toys and cost between NTD50 (USD1.60/ GBP1.20) to NTD150 each (USD4.80 / GBP3.60). The prices depends on the popularity of the toys, the quality and scarcity of them, and whether they are currently a hit item such as appearing in anime movies or comic books.
On the other side of the shop was a desk for the employee, or owner? I wasn’t sure. Anyway a guy was there on his PC, probably surfing the internet. The whole setup is very thoughtful. They have a change machine for coins as the machines only take coins, and there’s this white ‘box’ next to it. I thought this white box was a brilliant idea. If you don’t know what this is for, I’ll tell you in a minute.
WHAT CAPSULE TOY DID I GET?
Each of the vending machine contains a certain range of toys which usually come in 4 to 6 different variations, such as different colours or style. They all looked so cute. I choose a scooter because scooters are very popular in Taiwan. This vending machine cost NTD100 and there are six different colours. The poster on the front of the vending machine showed the pink scooter. It looked really cool and I was hoping the vending machine would drop out a pink one for me.
The change machine came in really handy as I realised I didn’t have any change. I slot one NTD50 coin in and turned the knob, but it wouldn’t move. Now I understand why they need an employee there. It’s for silly noobs like me. Apparently you have to put both coins in (see the green arrow on both sides??) and then turn the knob. Duh! Anyway, here’s me with my capsule toy. Suspense….. I wonder what colour I got? Let’s see….
Drum roll ………… yes!!! I got a pink scooter!! How cool is that!!!!!
Back to that white box from earlier on. Do you think these close up shots of my scooter look professional? The box with the smooth white interior is what people use to take close up photos of their products to create a professional look. Taiwanese loves to take photos, and I think this is a great idea for people to show off their capsule toy. Kudos to the shop!
Have you seen these these type of capsule toy vending machines before? Do you have them in your country? And if so, have ever used them before? Was your toy as cool as mine?