There are certain places in Japan where you can pretty much always find capsule toy vending machines. Electronics shops, for example, usually have a row of them near their entrance or in the corner of their toy/model section, and they’re common at major train stations and airports too.
Now, though, you’re going to be able to find capsule machines in a very unexpected place: buses in Tokyo. We don’t mean at bus stops or depots either, but actually inside the bus.
Soon, select busses operated by Tachikawa Bus Company in Tokyo’s Tachikawa City will have their own onboard gacha machine. The promotional photo shows it installed on a flat section of the interior that passengers are ordinarily asked to keep clear, so it doesn’t look like it’ll be taking up any space that would otherwise be used for seats or baggage.
Pricing appears to be 400 yen, in line with Japanese capsule toys found in stationary locations. As for what’s inside the machine, the buses’ initial gacha inventory will be made up of capsule toy maker Toys Cabin’s Bus Stop Button Series.
These compact replicas reproduce the buttons that line Japanese bus interiors and which passengers push to signal the driver that they want to get off at the next available stop on the route. Unfortunately, that means that only one person gets to push the button for each stop, and only one time. For many people, that’s not nearly enough to satisfy their instinctual urge to push a button when they see one, which is where the Bus Stop Button Series comes in to provide that tactile sense of fulfillment.
The first capsule toy machine-equipped buses started service on September 16. If the response is positive enough, maybe we’ll see Toys Cabin’s mini Japanese calligraphy sets go on sale in Tachikawa’s buses too.
Source: PR Times via Animage Plus via Livedoor News
Insert images: PR Times, Toys Cabin
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