Gashapon!
By MasJ

 

Gashapon is an Onamotopoeia meaning, a word that is created based on the sound that the action it describes produces (for example, the Buzz of a Bee). Gasha (Gacha) standing for the sound of turning the crank on the vending machine, and pon for the sound made by the toy dropping into the receptacle. For years, little had been known about the toy crazy nature of Japanese culture. Before the advent of the internet, all that folks in other countries had mostly seen were cheap models of videogame and anime characters which would usually cost 50 cents or so. However, after the coming of the world wide web, folks in other areas got to see and be a part of this very culture. This was partly due to websites like Lik-Sang.com which help gamers across the world obtain replicas of their favorite game characters for reasonable prices.

Most Gashapon aren't like cheap toys as you would imagine. They are made of high grade PVC plastic and other materials and are highly detailed replicas of actual game characters and anime/manga heroes. I had my first contact with Gashapon courtesy Lik-Sang.com. The following is a brief overview of the Gashapon goodies (and some other collectibles) they sent my way:

 

Lik-Sang.com sent me a Mario Dot Pin Set. This is basically a tiny set, where you have a pin board and a bunch of pins of varied colours. What you can do is pop the pin board onto a stand (it comes alongwith one..) and then create various designs on it.

The pin-board set I had could have a model of Mario, or a Mushroom in pure 8-bit format. Also provided is a guide that will help you place the pins in the correct way so that you can get the design just right.

You could always ofcourse go for a freehand approach and try something different. It's all upto you! All in all, this makes a nice approach to any long time video game fan's room.

Another little toy they sent me (jealous yet ?) were these nifty little street fighter figurines. True to their 16-bit reputation, these figurines are exact replicas of their videogame counterparts. So close, is the resemblance that if any of the characters would carry a bludgeon in the game, it would be the same for these characters.

The colourful little characters end up adding a lot of spice to one's desk area : ).

Inside the box was another rather nice addition to my new collection. This was the Final Fantasy Trading Arts model of Tifa. Well, ahem.. true to life would hardly be an ample description of Tifa.

She looks good, and why shouldn't she ? After all, who wouldn't welcome a high quality good looking model of Tifa into their collection ? : )

The random mario collectible from the Mario series is the thing I liked the most. I got Yoshi! Yoshi's model is definitely something so close to the original (and so much larger) that I quite enjoy having him on my table. The green colouring is smooth and the plastic is very high quality. Alongwith Yoshi there're these little mint candies which smell like mint, but I'm not sure whether they're for me to eat or just for decorative purposes. I guess I'll just have to wait for Lik-Sang to tell me about that!

 

This little classic NES collectible is so cute that you can hardly contain yourself. Wired to this perfectly retro replica of the NES controller is a little model of toad. What happens is that when you press any buttons on the controller, Toad is made to waddle around the area. You can make Toad move faster or slower depending on your preference. Definitely a decent retro collectible for NES fans out there.

A Retro nintendo collectible pouch was also included in the mix. The only drawback in this was the lack of a holding strap. That's because my DS Lite fits easily inside this pouch! I got the Donkey Kong pouch (third from the left), the pouch is a shiny black and is of decent quality, it's not really meant to carry around stuff in as the cloth doesn't seem that strong.

You could ofcourse hang it in your room to give it a really retro videogame kind of look. It works well in that respect : ).

Last but not the least, I got a Sega History Collection model of the Sega CD as well. This tiny little toy has definitely got a lot of allure. The model is really small, yet it's highly detailed.

The SegaCD comes with a bunch of really tiny CD cases as well, to make the set look as real as possible. If you're a Sega fan by any measure, you will definitely adore this model of the Sega CD for it's intricacy as well as it's fine design.

 

The final word on it is pretty clear, I was blown away by the quality of the goodies that Lik-Sang had sent my way. The most impressive part of this being the fact that they offer these items for very reasonable prices. Try and make it a point that the next time you buy something from Lik-Sang.com, you order atleast one Gashapon for yourself, be a part of the culture, you won't regret it : ).

 

 

 

 

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