If there’s one thing Japanese people like to do it’s collect things. And when those things are small, cute or quirky characters, you can bet your bottom dollar that they’ll fight to get the entire set!
In the land of gachapon (onomatopoeia for the sound of a turning mechanism followed by the drop of a ball or capsule) capsule toys and free collectable figures, mobile phone charms and stickers, confectioners Furuta are well known for their Choko Eggu (choco egg) series that include a collectable toy inside the chocolate shell, not unlike Kinder Surprise eggs sold in Europe and Canada.
Since 1999, the company has produced collectible figures including Disney, Marvel and Nintendo characters as well as scale models of automobiles and cars. The figures are always of incredibly high quality and, with the chocolate eggs being sold for just a few hundred yen each, they’re a big hit with children as well as adults. In 2006, however, the company’s animal figure series, which features everything from cute rabbits to ferocious-looking dinosaurs disappeared from shops, much to the disappointment of collectors.
But now, to delight model fans and kleptomaniacs alike, Furuta’s figures are being brought back to the market as stand-alone models, and Japanese collectors are already going nuts.