Disclaimer: This video was taken before the COVID-19 virus started to spread around the globe…
We had the opportunity to create a publicity stunt type of video in Akihabara. Our plan was to spend 100 000 yen on capsule toy machines, or “Gashapon” and then give them away to people on the street. Gashapon are stored in crank-type machines and only accept 100 yen coins so after a lot of trouble we ended up with a bag filled with one thousand 100 yen coins! We visited various shops around Akiba like the famous Gachapon Kaikan, Yodobashi Camera as well as more hidden spots with Gashapon machines lining the walls or buildings and alleys. We spent the entire day filling garbage bags with hundreds of colorful capsule prizes.
What made this experience special was the fact that we spent most of the money on other customers. We went up to strangers and offered to help them win whichever prize their hearts desired. We’d challenge them to see how many tries it would take until their specific capsule came popped out. Other times we’d try to empty the entire capsule machine just for fun (and to get every single Kirby prize). Most people were happy to have unlimited tries to win a toy while others were more apprehensive, perhaps thinking we were running some kind of scam. But when they saw our bag filled with so many shiny 100 yen coins, they gave in and decided to give it a shot.
Overall, it was a fun video project and we still need to return to Akihabara one day and give them all away. But in the meantime, I’ll need to try to keep my closet from overflowing with hundreds of tiny Pikachus.
Read the detailed article about our experience here: