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15 April 2008 @ 05:14 pm
Gashapon  
I've actually been meaning to show off my collection for a very long time, but the task of photographing them all seemed more daunting than it ended up being in the end. The post is still very image heavy, though, so if you're on dial-up, please beware: 43 pics of my collection lie ahead. I don't actually have a display for them yet (just a crappy little stand with a mirror mounted in the back of it, guaranteeing any picture I took of it would have an unflattering shot of me with the camera in the background) so what I lack in showmanship I make up for in showing the little details in these. I actually only have 23 unique figures right now (hope to expand if I win the lot I'm eying right now). I used to have a lot more, but some I gave away to friends and some were duplicates so I excluded them.

First, for those of you wondering: gashapon translates to "capsule toy", and are a type of small Japanese figure, usually based on anime or video games, although they have expanded to things like Disney and other popular characters, both Japanese and western. The name comes from the fact that these originally came as prizes from capsule machines (i.e. the gumball machines with the plastic eggs with toys inside of them), but lately they more commonly come in small boxes that can be purchased individually or won as prizes in UFO catcher machines (similar to our crane games, only a little more difficult). The boxes they come in tend to be "blind boxes", meaning you have no way of knowing which figure you're getting until you open the box, which keeps some of the surprise aspect of their roots. I tend to purchase them in cases, which guarantee that you will get one of each from a collection, but some sellers will sell individual characters on the condition that the blind box has been opened to verify the character inside. (Most of my duplicates resulted from me getting a blind box at an anime con or as a gift and then later getting a case.) Some of them have been released in America pre-assembled with a normal action figure cardback/plastic casing as well (I'll note which of these were pre-assembled American versions. For the ones that come in pieces, I usually superglue them so I don't lose pieces).


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First up are my Hellsing gashapon. If memory serves, Integra (on the far right) was my first gashapon.

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Detail of Walter, who is a very old character and wears a monocle. These are not some of my better, or more detailed figures, I'm afraid. This is pretty common with gashapon actually, since they're very cheap (a case is between $10 and $20 for 6 or 7 figures).

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Seras, which always bugged me because aside from her gun making her very top-heavy so she's prone to falling off of her stand and her ankles are slightly bent, her gun also seems to be pressing both of her boobs to one side of her chest. She was my first America-purchased, pre-assembled gashapon.

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Integra, which, as I mentioned, was my first. Her cigar is actually a separate piece that had to be superglued in very carefully. The character actually wears glasses, so I was annoyed that they didn't attempt them with her, but thinking about Walter's monocle, maybe it's for the best.

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Mini-busts are another type of common gashapon. They tend to be a bit more detailed, since they're less pieces and less dynamic than the figures. These are more Hellsing characters.

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Detail of the Seras bust, with a more modest (forgive me for saying this) bust line, more detailed face, and her name one the molded plaque at the base.

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There was a weird stylistic decision with these to shade the right side, to create a shadow effect when they're looked at head-on.

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Mini-bust of Integra. As you can see, they included her glasses this time, which were a separate piece that I also had to very carefully glue into place. She used to have a cigar, but I lost it somewhere along the line. This is why gashapon tend to not include very small pieces: they get lost very easily.

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My first of three Fullmetal Alchemist sets.

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Ed, who is all right, and nice dynamic pose. The face isn't terribly detailed and they didn't bother with his red coat that you'll see in the other sets.

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Al, one of my favorite figures, not least of which because, for being one of the two main characters of the series, he rarely appears in gashapon sets (this is the only one I have of him). He's quite large and the most detailed of this otherwise mediocre set. He's also quite heavy, not hollow at all (ironic since the character is a hollow suit of armor).

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Roy, who has also suffered from being a bit top heavy and is starting to fall forward on his base. Some gashapon are just prone to this, when the designers don't factor in cheap materials + heavy tops = disaster.

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Riza Hawkeye, also the only figure I've seen of her. She's holding a gun, obviously. Her face isn't terribly detailed.

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Winry, my least favorite in this set, mostly due to her rather stupid facial expression. The lack of paint for her mouth also makes it a little freaky.

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This is my favorite of my Fullmetal Alchemist sets. This set, although my smallest, is also incredibly detailed.

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Scar from the front. Is memory serves, he had a red energy cloud that wrapped around his hand similar to what you'll see for Ed, but it seems to have vanished. Still, very good detail on his face, including his titular X-shaped scar.

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Detail of the tattoos on his arm, which are both molded and painted.

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A much better likeness of Roy, with a clear stream of flame that encircles him.

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Detail from the back of his glove, to show how closely they paid attention to this stuff.

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Another of Ed. His red coat makes its first appearance, as well as his artificial right arm, and the energy cloud I mentioned that you drape over him. His shirt is also partially torn.

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Detail of his back, including his loose sleeve, the flamel (name of the design) on the back of his coat, and his ponytail.

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Envy, one of the series villains who pops up a lot in these sets. His hair gets in the way of getting good detail of his face.

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Detail of the tattoo on the side of his left leg.

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My favorite in this set, Hughes and a telephone. He has glasses, as you can see, and the most dynamic pose, I think.

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Also, you can pick up his phone!

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The biggest (in terms of actual figure size) collection I've got. With the exception of the one on the far right, they were all purchased pre-assembled at Hot Topic.

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Ed again. The quality of detail is between the first and second sets. Nicer than the first because the set's bigger, but not as dynamic or detailed as the second set.

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The scale of the flamel seems a little off to me, too, although his ponytail's a little better detailed.

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Envy again. Not really much difference from the last set except for the height.

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He also has his tattoo, although it's positioned more to the back of his leg than the side.

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Probably the best and most detailed figure of the set, it's also the only one I've seen of Fuhrer Bradly and it's a terrific likeness.

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The sword scabbards from the back, including the empty one where he's drawn one of his swords.

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The appropriately-named Lust. I'm surprised, considering she seems the most *cough* figure friendly (gashapon have a history of being figures of busty gals) that this is the only gashapon I've ever of her.

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Gratuitous boob shot! I mean, detail of her tattoo, which is the same as Envy's.

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And Izumi, my only Japanese-purchased figure because she didn't make it to the American set. She's actually my favorite of all of my gashapon, partially because of the detail, partially because she's my favorite character in the entire series and I've never seen any other figures of her.

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Another boobie shot! Actually, just showing that they put in her own tattoo partially obscured by her clothes. Her tattoo is the flamel from the back of Ed's coat.

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From left to right: Artemis, Sailor Mercury, and Luna. These were given to me as gifts.

And for some size comparisons, here are my various Ed gashapon standing next to my Ed 6" action figure. Most gashapon range in size from between three and five inches, but some are smaller (they're rarely bigger).

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Since there's no Ed in the Hellsing set, here's Ed with Integra:

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Ed with Sailor Mercury.

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One of my duplicates that I never glued. I took it apart so you can see what these look like when they're not assembled.
 
 
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Supernonamegirlsupernonamegirl on April 16th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC)
I got two Sailor Moon Gashapon at the same time and they were both Chibi-Moon SO I NEVER BOUGHT ONE AGAIN.

That said, I've been really missing anime lately, which is weird because I thought we were OVER. FOR GOOD.

And, I don't know what's hip with the kids these days, and I am soooooooooooooooo not impressed with Naruto. However, if I could score more His and Her Circumstances, I'd consider opening up talks with the anime store. Of course, kids these days just go to Best Buy or something, don't they?
A Guy Named Goo: Simpsons Gooaguynamedgoo on April 16th, 2008 01:14 am (UTC)
Let me put this in a somewhat TMIish way: when I gave Naruto a shot, it was on the promise that I would get laid if I did, and not even that could get me into it (and no, I didn't score). Naruto is just like Dragonball Z and Inuyasha for me: take any three episodes, pull stock footage from it, slap it together, and you have a new episode. It all just looks the same to me.

In general, look for animes that end. 13 or 26 is a good run without overstaying its welcome, although it might just cut off and leave you wondering what the hell just happened since it's a supplement for a manga you didn't read. I can get into series that average about 50 episodes (Fullmetal Alchemist was a beautiful series that I believe ruined the His Dark Materials books for me, because it took so many of the same themes but did them so much better. Anyway, it has 51 episodes, and my favorite series, Get Backers, has 49). Hellsing is very good if you like gothic horror type things, and has 13 episodes so it doesn't ask for much of a time investment. (Hellsing is also great if you like strong female characters. The main/titular character is a female knight who runs a secret vampire hunting organization, and she wasn't designed to be a sex symbol, she has barely a romantic interest if you squint very hard, and she stays consistently strong, intelligent, and all around awesome.) If you like His and Her Circumstances, give Fruits Basket a shot. 26 episodes, and very cute, but at the same time very touching and deep.

Edited at 2008-04-16 01:15 am (UTC)
only1genevieve on April 16th, 2008 03:11 am (UTC)
I'm an admitted anime' ignoramus, but is Hellsing in any way related to the Van Helsing vampire mythos, I'm assuming? If it has good female characters, I'll have to call my brother (he of the far-reaching anime' library) and have him put it aside for me to watch. The only anime' I've really watched with consistency is probably Full Metal Panic because my brother always has it loaded in the DVD player in the work out room. I do think it's cute, though :)

I tried to get into Full Metal Alchemist, but alas, I have a short attention span so I never could get all the way through the first episode. I was also given an FMA manga, and couldn't get to the end in that, either. But the concept seems really interesting to me!

It's so weird but I hit about the third act and - zoink - get distracted by pretty shiney. But just as a side note, that happens also with about 90% of books I've read lately and many movies, too, so it's nothing against anime in particular, just my own rapidly depleting attention span (thanks, Intarnets!).

A Guy Named Goo: Shoesaguynamedgoo on April 16th, 2008 10:16 am (UTC)
Hellsing is, indeed, based on the Dracula/Van Helsing mythos. It's an alternate universe where instead of killing Dracula, Van Helsing enslaved and imprisoned Dracula and was rewarded by being made the Crown's official vampire hunter. Far into the future Sir Integra Hellsing (you'll see it spelled Integral sometimes) becomes the first female head of the organization, which comes with knighthood and the family secret, which she becomes the first in almost two centuries to free (by accident when she was thirteen).

Seras is eyeroll-worthy busty, and she can come off as somewhat annoying sometimes, but she's a pretty good character. The manga actually gives her a great deal more character growth, but then the anime also cut out the pesky Nazis from the manga (unless you watch the three episode Hellsing Unlimited OAV. And you very well could: it covers the beginning of the manga nicely and you don't need to be familiar with the anime). Hellsing is also an anime where I recommend you watch the dub instead of the Japanese version. The Japanese cast is great, but the British cast of the dub is perfect.
tamadolltamadoll on April 16th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
Egads, the baby doll behind Izumi.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )