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Ground Control To Capsule Toys

Modern postscript: Please thank my 2006 Sony Clie for these crappy photos!  I loved that thing.  Maybe as much as I love my Iphone.  I know that’s blasphemy.

 

Here is the bank of capsule toy machines in Singapore, with a child pretending to fight a cutout robot. They are the sophisticated, collectible cousins of the machines that sell useless crap in American supermarkets. The uselessness of the toys is not different, nor their intevitable fate as something unpleasant to step on in the dark, but the marketing and interest is much different. There are some “rare” toys that are more desirable, and entire sets can be bought at stores at huge markups, just to keep from having to pump dollar coins into the machines. There is a large box next to the arcade of toy machines to collect empty capsules for reuse. Here are some of the most special displays.

Sure, every kid wants a trinket of Dig Dug, a game from when his parents were in elementary school.

How can you think that the sound of a dog barking is How How?” This is one of the capsule toys that doubles as a cell-phone trinket, for the 8 year old that wants to distinguish himself apart from just having a Nelly ringtone.

Please note some of the things the frogs say as they are driving their vehicles: “I love surfing!” and “I am No. 1!” That’s what it is to be an American.

Why would a child want an automatically sliced wooly Mammoth steak?

A capsule machine from my favorite weird Sanrio imitator, San-X. That bunny is also a mummy, or possibly he’s just horribly injured.

This one is a panda machine operated by another, tiny panda, and it reads “Let’s try to find our future!” If my future involves evil dual Panda overlords, I don’t want to find it.

Little boys still like sex, right?

When lucky dragons attack! Holy Shit!

Step right up and get your Golden Dinosaur!

Jack Skellington’s career keeps on going in Asia, just like Roy Clark’s does in Branson, MO.

This one was so mysterious that I had to plunk three dollar coins in. What was it? Am I really gonna get a hunched-over, vomiting cellphone charm?

And that’s exactly what I got. This one is vomiting up a tiny Flying V guitar, which makes him the “Rock” Hackman. If you are what you eat, surely you are what you later vomit up.

Bizarre small-world postscript: A friend was in Tokyo a week later, and met Hackman’s designer, who sent me another a Hackman capsule. She explained that Hackman comes in twos, because when you are sick, your friend will come to your aid.