For decades, Akihabara has been home to the world’s cutting edge consumer technologies, acting as the launching pad for Japanese companies’ videogames, VCRs and TVs later to be sent around the world. But, with home appliances now made cheaper and better in Kuala Lumpur and Canton than Kanto, outlets like Gachapon are encroaching on some of the priciest real estate on earth with their brand of what many are saying with be Japan’s next great wave of exports. Gachapon is a tiny store literally packed to the rafters with dispensers brim-filled with capsule toys, plastic spheres containing all manner of items. Inside Gachapon’s 350 toy machines are all variety of collectibles, running the gamut from snap-together models, miniature furniture, food, furry dolls, action fictions, whoopee cushions, adult sex aids, as well as the tacky trinkets like breakfast cereal giveaways.
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