Japan’s Capsule Toys Capsules That Absolutely Won’t Open: Understanding the Phenomenon

In Japan, the process of acquiring a capsule toy is filled with excitement and anticipation from inserting coins to twisting the crank of a gashapon machine. As the capsule descends, the urge to pop it open is almost irresistible. 

Bandai, however, challenges this impulse with its innovative Zettai ni Akanai Gashapon series, translating to “Capsules that Absolutely Won’t Open”.

These aren’t your typical capsule toys; they are intricate puzzles that require careful disassembly through a series of correct maneuvers. Here’s what you need to know about them:

  • Variations: Available in white pearl and black metallic.
  • Difficulty Levels: There are three levels of difficulty.
Difficulty LevelDescription
Level 1Basic design and relatively simpler to solve.
Level 2Incorporates additional components.
Level 3Complex and highly challenging.
  • Packaging: Each puzzle capsule comes wrapped in plastic without an external capsule.
  • Contents: Unlike typical gachapon, these do not contain mini-figures. The pleasure lies in solving the puzzle itself.
  • Availability and Price: These gachapon are available in various locations, including Tokyo Gashapon Street and Akihabara Gachapon Kaikan, with each piece costing about 300 yen.

These toys blend the joy of gachapon with the thrill of puzzle-solving, catering to both collectors and those who relish a good challenge. Whether you’re a fan of pop culture or simply enjoy unique experiences, these Bandai creations offer a new twist on Japan’s beloved gachapon tradition.

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Opening Techniques for Japanese Toy Capsules

When faced with the challenge of opening Japanese toy capsules without causing damage, gentle methods are preferred. Start by carefully twisting both halves of the capsule. If it resists, applying warmth with your hands can sometimes make the plastic more pliable. Some collectors also suggest gently squeezing the edges of the capsule while twisting to dislodge the seal.

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Reusability of Japanese Toy Capsules Post-Opening

Yes, upon opening, these toy capsules can often be repurposed. They snap back together, allowing for storage of small items or to create unique DIY projects. The key is to open them gently to avoid breakage or warping.

Special Tools for Opening Collector’s Toy Capsules

High-end collectible capsules may demand more caution; however, in most cases, no special tools are required. 

Steady hands and patience are the primary tools. For extra tight capsules or those with complex locking mechanisms, some collectors might purposefully use tools like rubber grips to aid in opening without damage.

Identifying Regular vs. ‘Flat’ Gashapon

Distinguish between a standard gashapon and a ‘flat’ one by examining the shape and the dispensing mechanism. ‘Flat’ versions usually have a more streamlined, less spherical appearance and may dispense differently from machines, often without the satisfying ‘gacha’ sound.

Troubleshooting Stuck Bandai Gacha Capsules

For a stuck Bandai gacha capsule, begin by gently rotating and applying pressure to the capsule’s seam. 

If this fails, you can try to run warm water over the capsule or use a rubber grip to increase your hold without applying excessive force which might cause damage.

Opening Methods Across Different Brands

Different brands may design their capsules with slight variations, which can affect the opening method. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but the common theme is to apply gradual force without harsh impact. Check the brand’s website for any specific directions regarding their capsule products.

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