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By Ray H.


Stampede.jpg - 23545 Bytes Ahhh! It's a stampede!!! They may look small but don't let your guard down. These crazy little buggers pack quite a bit of bang (for the buck). Welcome to the crazy Gundam Gashapon section, Gashapon are basically little capsule toys that come out of vending machines. These guys are fun to collect cause there's lots of them, they don't take up a lot of space and there fairly inexpensive (at least in Japan. I see some stores really overcharge for this kind of stuff over here). A very nice way to fill the little spots of space you have left in a collection.
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These are made by Banpresto, which is a sub division of Bandai. You get quite a collection to choose from you can go for Super Deformed figures, or regular theme Gundams, they even offer some of the human characters from Gundam this way. For the size and price they also have a pretty good amount of detail. They come out with a new "set" every couple of months for release, so there's no lack of product. The SD ones are about an inch tall while the regular theme mobile suits are usually about 2 inches tall. These go between about 75 cents to $3 each in Japan, but here in the US you can usually get them as a "set" for $15 to $20.

Also check out the magazine Hobby Japan (which is where quite a few of these images come from) in many of the issues they offer cut out, pop up "play scenes" for the super deformed Gundam sets, providing a really neat way to display them. Give it a try! gashapon.jpg - 12638 Bytes

Banpresto has allot of other merchandise they offer as arcade or claw catcher prizes, and some candy toys, it's usually PVC type figurines of assorted sizes. Some other neat stuff too like coin banks, flashlights keychains, wind up walking Gundams. the list goes on forever. Just be sure to keep your eyes open for it, its some pretty keen gear.

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