Hi Woodsie, we were discussing Gashapons -the Japanese prize capsule/balls that come in vending machines and i mentioned I had one, here it is!
It is also referred to as gachapon.
Both gashapon and gachapon are Japanese onomatopoeia, made up of two sounds: "gasha" or "gacha" for the turning of a crank on a toy vending machine, and "pon" for the sound of the toy capsule dropping into the receptacle.
It's an original machine bought in Australia, but I've done a bit of cleaning up and customizing on it.
It as originally a 3 unit stack on wheels, but I separated the units and ended up giving the others to some of my friends.
Here's the distinctive curved front cover removed so you can see the supply of balls inside
Here's the business end with coin slot, turn knob and delivery chute, along with all those cool original Japanese labels!
It's quite easy to buy full sets of figures on eBay, but the advertising card usually doesn't come with them, so I downloaded the web art and tweaked it heavily in Photoshop before printing it out at the right size to fit in the curved front window.
And here's my most egregious modification to the original machine, a new top cap with a clear bubble salvaged from a defunct clothes dryer door!
Genuine machines often have a display bubble featuring what's for sale inside, so I put my full set of "Star Wars characters hanging down" figures (can you identify each film this happens in?) along with an H R Giger Alien that happened to be in the same pose!
The long horizontal picture is a printed list of all the characters available in a particular set and is coiled up inside the prize ball along with the toy.
P.S. I also have a "Space Battleship Yamato" Pachinko machine that dispenses similar prize balls if you hit a high enough score!
Hope you enjoy these pics (can you spot the various Gerry Anderson things in the background?)
All the best for the New Year,