Last week I talked about some of the gashapon capsule toys that Mark and I discovered while travelling through Japan. We brought back quite a variety, ranging from adorable to downright weird. But we discovered one series of gashapon toys that we both fell in love with – Cup No Fuchiko, or Fuchiko on the Cup! If you missed it, you can read Part 1 here.
Cup No Fuchiko is a series of small figurines that perch on the edge of a cup or glass in different poses. A manga artist named Katsuki Tanaka created and designed the Fuchiko character. She is typically dressed as a cute office lady. But she can also be found wearing other clothes, such as traditional Japanese garb, and even seasonal costumes.
This is her most common look:
Notice the details. She even wears tiny earrings!
We first noticed Fuchiko on the Cup in a Loft store in Osaka. Not only did they have Fuchiko-filled gashapon machines, but they also sold them individually in boxes. The boxes were just as mysterious as the gashapon machines. You knew what series you were purchasing from the pictures on the box, but not which Fuchiko figurine you were going to get. As with other gashapon toys, Fuchikos are collectible, meaning that each set, or series, has 6-8 different figurines.
Mark and I thought we could perhaps use them as wine glass charms. But we discovered that they sit rather precariously, and would most likely fall into the glass. Still though. Look how cute (and acrobatic) she is!
The Fuchiko character first came to the gashapon world in 2012. She’s now one of the most popular and collectible gashapon toys available!
As I mentioned earlier, Fuchiko is usually styled after an office lady. But sometimes you can find her dressed in a school girl uniform:
The Fuchiko below came from a series depicting her as a nurse. I tried numerous times to make her sit nicely on a cup, but she would have none of it. So I put her back where we keep her and all her friends – perched on our picture frame collection!
Since we were in Japan in October, they had some Halloween Fuchikos in the gashapon machines. We thought this one was pretty cute. She’s wearing a ghost costume that actually comes off:
But her real face is even more terrifying than the costume!!
There were two series in particular that I gravitated toward. The Japan collection, and the Onsen collection. Onsens are hot springs, and there was a whole series dedicated to Fuchiko enjoying the spa experience. We snagged these three, which I felt were a nice souvenir of our first visit to Japan. The geisha is from the Japan collection, and the Fuchikos on the right and front are from the Onsen collection. I love how the Fuchiko on the right is splashing her foot in the bath water:
But I think my absolute favourite Fuchiko is this one. She doesn’t perch on a cup so we have her lying down in front of our picture frames.
But Fuchiko is not the only “on the cup” character. You can find these contorted hanging figures designed as Star Wars characters, Disney princesses, Where’s Waldo, hamsters, cats, etc.
Some “on the cup” toys are from Putitto, which we also purchased. Because I felt like Fuchiko could use some male companionship:
Two Fuchikos and their Putitto.
Then there was this non-Fuchiko girl, holding a lemon wedge. Anyone know what character she is? I wasn’t sure. But she’s cute!
Don’t think that Fuchiko on the Cup managed to escape the “weird and wacky” category, though. There was one series in particular that fit the bill. It was squashed Fuchikos. Fuchikos who had the misfortune of getting their hands, arm, leg, backside, or face squashed by a wine glass. We didn’t want one of those.
Correction. There was only one in that series that we wanted. It happened to be a “bonus” figurine of sorts in the collection. But it was also the least disturbing. And guess what? We got it on the first try!
See? She’s not squashed, only her umbrella is! This is what it looks like under a wine glass:
So where did we find the best selection of gashapon machines, including those featuring Fuchiko on the Cup? This would have to be a store called Gachapon Kaikan in Tokyo’s Akihabara district.
It was nothing but gashapon machines, stacked 4 machines high. I couldn’t even reach the top row!
This is also where we found another great Fuchiko souvenir. It reminds us of our experience of going to a maid cafe in Akihabara!
If there are specific gashapons you’re looking for to complete a collection, look no further than any of the anime shops. They all have rows upon rows of pre-opened, plastic wrapped gashapon toys, including Fuchiko on the Cup. Of course, you pay more for the knowledge of getting exactly the ones you want. But really, where’s the fun in that? 😉
Another option is to sign up for a gachapon subscription box from Japan Crate. Aside from gachapon boxes, you can also sign up for stationary boxes, candy boxes, etc. They also offer free international shipping.