The results are “shocking!”
It seems like there are gacha machines for everything these days in Japan, from wagyu beef to perfumes and more. Our Japanese-language reporter Mariko Ohanabatake heard about another fascinating gacha machine where you can win high-end kitchen appliances or camping supplies, among other luxury items. These particular machines are nestled in a corner on the second floor of the Marui Annex department store in Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighborhood.
There are seven genres of these so-called “1/30” gacha capsule machines since you have a one in 30 chance of winning big. Here are the genres and their price per capsule:
1. Brand Gacha: 2,000 yen (US$15.50)
2. Cosmetics Gacha: 2,000 yen
3. Perfume Gacha: 2,000 yen
4. Camp Gacha: 2,000 yen
5. DIY Gacha: 2,000 yen
6. Home Appliance Gacha: 1,000 yen
7. Food Gacha: 1,000 yen
Mariko was impressed that they went beyond just brand-name fashion and perfume to genres like camping and DIY. Another way they tempt you is by promising a consolation prize in every capsule that isn’t a big winner, such as an accessory. Your 1,000 or 2,000 yen won’t totally go to waste.
You know you’ve won a big prize if there’s a key inside the gacha capsule — it’s used to open the prize case located near the machines. What are some of the big prizes, you ask? For home appliances, a high-end humidifier and air purifier is one of them.
With the Camp Gacha, you could bring home a Coleman dome tent.
And for beauty goods, high-end roller massagers are in the prize bucket.
Mariko decided to try her luck at the Home Appliance Gacha. She inserted her 1,000 yen bill and hoped for the best.
Out came the pitch-black capsule, too opaque for her to see without opening it. Her heart pounded as she held the orb in her hand. A curious couple standing nearby also waited to see the results.
Maybe it was the added pressure of an audience, but she really struggled to get the capsule open. Her clumsy hands couldn’t do the trick, so she did the next best thing: stepping on it.
Finally, it opened! And what was inside was…
…a “shocking” black bracelet!
She wasn’t exactly sure what was so shocking about it other than the fact that it wasn’t a key to a shiny new appliance. Oh well, maybe she’d fare better at the Food Gacha. Surely she couldn’t go too wrong with food?
In went another 1,000 yen, and out came another black capsule. Again, she stepped on the capsule and rolled it to get it open.
Oh! It looks like something metal — a key? Mariko’s heart palpitations grew stronger.
In the end, Mariko spent 2,000 yen on a black bead bracelet and nail clippers. She probably could have gotten them for 200 yen at a regular store…
The nail clippers didn’t even cut well, she says. Mariko mulled over the delicious lunch she could have bought for herself for 2,000 yen, or a decent makeup product. She could have even taken that 2,000 yen and used it to buy a whole bunch of lower-priced and more reliable capsule toys, like Totoro figures, macho chess pieces, or hamster monaka cases.
Still, if a chance at those big-winner prizes is too tempting for you to pass up, feel free to try your luck at the 1/30 machines. Just keep in mind that even the consolation prizes aren’t really much consolation.
Shinjuku Marui Annex / 新宿マルイアネックス
Address: Tokyo-to, Shinjuku-ku, Shinjuku 3-1-26 2nd floor
Open 11 a.m.-8 p.m.