A line up of Gundam Gashapon Figures

Via. Gundanium Gateway

Hello all, Nick Twist here aka @toysnfigures on Gemr. Today I’d like to discuss my personal method for constructing gashapon.

Gashapon (gachapon or capsule toys) refer to a lot of vending machine dispensed toys popular in Japan and other Asian destinations. These figures are won through crane game machines, selection vending machines, and blind box selection machines. They are most popular in Japan, but I’m sure there might be places throughout the U.S. (and the world) that you may be able to find machines selling these items.

“Gashapon” is derived from the sounds “gasha” for the hand crank action the actual vending machine makes, and “pon” for the toy landing in the tray for collection.

My favorite gashapon is the type that requires assembling. Assembling a figure gives a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that I love. I must elaborate though, as assembly (in my experience) is not always flawless.

To begin, sometimes the posts that fit into the pieces for assembly don’t quite make the grade. In my opinion, these details are imperative. I like for my figures to have the tightest seams possible when putting them together. Sometimes a post is too long, or it may be too thick; to compensate for that, I recommend an xact-o knife or a craft knife similar to these.

A box of craft knives. The lid has pictures of famous anime characters placed inside

I customized the box I keep my craft knives in

Once you have your comparable blade, shave down the post slowly if necessary (after test fitting the pieces), and be sure to take off very little plastic at a time. Check your fitting with every cut to see if your piece will fit perfectly or not. You don’t want to cut your post too much, as that will destroy its integrity when it comes to holding the piece for its intended placement.

A craft knife showing how to shave down a post which does not properly fit into its hole.

Once you have your post properly trimmed (again, if necessary), apply a very small dot of Gorilla Glue (or a comparable super glue) to the post tip and a tiny bit to its side.

an image of a bottle of gorilla glue.

Now, I’m sure the purists out there will attack me and say that by altering the gashapon and fitting them perfectly destroys the actual factory release of the figure. To that, I can only ask, “are you collecting for you or for reselling?”
Collectors want to keep their items and prefer them to look their best.

RESELLERS should not even bother constructing the figures. Sell it don’t build it!

So, as to continue; be sure to secure any important alignments on the figure when you glue it into place. Figures require a specific alignment and it’s important to get that right. Using an online visual reference is invaluable here, and I highly recommend looking for one.

Despite the fact that you are using a “super glue” to affix each piece of your figure, be sure to allow ample drying time between each addition of a piece. I personally recommend 10 to 15 minutes between each glued piece of a figure. (Gashapon are not necessarily designed to need glueing or cutting, but in my experience they benefit from it)

After assembly, you may notice certain parts don’t sit right or are out of sync. For this, I recommend a low heat gun. (This is the one I use)

A picture of a green heat gun for working with figures.

Heat the part (or parts in question) with indirect heat: move the heat gun over the area sparingly. Gradually bring the temperature up to a malleable level where you can reshape the plastic, not melt it. It helps to heat the plastic then shape it where you want it to be on a cold surface, as to lock it in place where it needs to be. This can be tricky to achieve at times, but the results are fantastic after you get the piece or pieces where you want them! Less is more with heat, and you can always heat it further to achieve the result you are after.

the end result. A completed gashapon figure. The seams all line up perfectly, and there is no bent plastic thanks to the process.

I hope this small tutorial is helpful and I want to see all of your gashapon finds in your collections in the near future! Thanks for checking out the blog and always ask me any questions (@toysnfigures) on Gemr, where collectors collect!

Written by Nick Twist
My name is Nick Twist I'm @toysnfigures on gemr. I love to collect a variety of things, especially Japanese import figures. I love comic book related things, anime, art toys, action figures, buttons, pins, and I dabble in antiques from time to time. If it's cool to me, I collect it! I've been a collector of all things awesome since about 1992 and my collection just keeps on growing. I love seeing what others collect as well!