Friday, February 25, 2011

Kawaii Capsule Cuties

A long while back I featured some of Jerrod Maruyama's oh-so-adorable art, which soon had me on a rabbit trail of Kawaii-inspired cuteness.

Ok, maybe less "rabbit trail" and more "obsessive hunt." And you know what that means, right? Time to foist my obsession onto yooou guuuuys! [sing-song]

First off, have you seen the Cutie style Disney characters?

They've been around for a few years now. My favorite, though, is the much rarer *angry* Cutie Donald:

Add a bunch of indecipherable duck swearing, and I am powerless against this kind of cute.

I haven't been able to find much Cutie Donald here in Orlando - much less his angry version - but here's my little cubby shelf devoted to him:

The toy on the left is a solar-powered head bobble, and the globe was a candy container. I also have a small collection of pins on my special "Donald pack" that I bring to the parks sometimes:

If you want to be complimented by random 12-year-old girls, just wear this.

Although my cutie Tigger purse actually gets a lot more use:

I mean, c'mon: it's orange.

Anyway, the Kawaii/Cutie style is still pretty scarce here in the U.S. (except for pins, of course), so you can imagine my envy when I see websites from Japan or Singapore filled to the brim with the most fabulous Kawaii Disney adorbz:

via Capsule-licious

(If you just heard a *thump* that was me fainting over the Donald & Pinocchio charms.)

via Vinyl Aficionada Toy Collection

These are all "capsule toys" (or "yujin") from vending machines, which are quite the rage in Japan. I've yet to find a place online or off that I can buy them. (All the sites I've found only sell to locals - no shipping.) It pains me, guys. It really does. Will someone please open a capsule toy store here in the States so I can throw my money at them?

Ok, two more:

These come with little suction cups! Ack!

If you want to drool and squee some more, check out the three sites I just credited above, or do an image search for "Disney yujin toys." Or leave the "Disney" off, and behold all the fabulous candy-themed, Sanrio, Mario, and Sega goodies, too. Believe me, if you like this style, it's all good.

Oh, and while I was hunting these images down I did manage to find one brand available online: Cosbaby.

They're not cheap - averaging $15-$20 each - but I've seen these on various toy sites from time to time, and also on Ebay. (They're also larger than most capsule toys: about three inches tall.)

Here's the Toy Story set:

Isn't Buzz the best?

I mean, sure, they're not "yujin" cute, but they're still pretty darn cute.

Well, that's all I've got, guys. If you know of any sites selling capsule toys internationally - or even just ones with more photos of them - then please share your links in the comments! My obsession needs feeding. [crazy eyes]

Oh, and if you're ever in Japan, and want to buy me a souvenir, rest assured that I really don't need any more toys, and I'm happy with what I have, and what am I saying get me one of everything! EVERYTHING, do you hear??


  1. SQUEEEEEEEEE! I love the first Kawaii pic of the Disney crew! I'm preggers and I realize that this is what I want in the baby's room! How adorable!!!!! Thanks for making my day!

  2. SQUEEE!! Baby Stitch! ahem... i mean... my wife reads this, not me! i'm googling tools! yoink!

  3. Ohmygosh. Want want want! Yes, we need these toys in the States! Jen, use your blogger royalty status to pull some strings and get them over here!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. I saw some like this when we lived in the bay area... just small stores with vending machines.

  6. Oh man, I was so obsessed with capsule machines when we were in Japan last spring.

    Here's a picture of not quite all of my capsule purchases (keeping in mind my husband had just as many).

  7. The Toy Story ones just made me die from cuteness overload! I. Want. NOW.

    Love your Donald collection even though I am strictly a Goofy girl...and I mean the CHARACTER Goofy...although my hubby has called me goofy a time or two. Heh.

  8. You know, if you happened to have a book signing for your fans in, say, some OTHER country besides the U.S., I bet you'd bring home kick-ass souvenirs.

    Just a thought.

    WV - sompes. See, even the wv wants you to go sompes else.

  9. I really enjoy the 2" Galactic Heroes Star Wars figures, which are influenced by the SD/cute style, although not from Japan.
    Here's a bunch of ours

    Also more geeky cute, have you guys seen these LOTR Plushies!

  10. You should consider signing up with a deputy site like Shopping Mall Japan. has a good tutorial on how to use it. :) It's geared towards using it to bid on Y!Japan auctions, but you can use it with other sites too.

  11. You might want to sign up for a japanese deputy service like Shopping Mall Japan. (Or maybe you shouldn't, you can spend a lot of money on random Japanese stuff that way!) has a good tutorial on how to use it, though it's geared towards bidding on Y!Japan auctions. But you can use it for other stores as well.

  12. Try visiting Asian Markets near you - the two by me have capsule toy machines by the door. I got Animal Crossing and Winnie The Pooh dressed as food (flan and a donut!) that way :)

  13. Actually, you can get those little vending machine toys here in England, mostly in service stations.
    You can get anything from Pokemon, Final Fantasy, to Dragon Ball Z.

  14. Your timing is eerie. I am actually going to Japan in a week and a half. And being such a big fan of yours, Jen, I would be more than happy to pick up a few things and ship them to you when we get back. You can private message me on Twitter and we can get things set up with what you want and such (other than everything, that is). I can't message you because you don't follow me, but you can message me. I'm blissflower1969.

  15. Your post reminded me of this fun site...

  16. My roommate is going on a study abroad to Japan. I'm giving her money so she can bring me back some cuteness. :]

    Also, this stuff isn't too uncommon in Southern California. My hometown has a large Asian population and these capsule machines (basically blue and yellow gumball machines) have every cute Disney/Sanrio/etc. product you're looking for! Have you heard of Peek a Poohs? I love them! I brought them back to college for all my roomies! :D

  17. Overall this isn't really my thing, but Angry Donald and Emperor Zurg had me THUMP on the floor. Apparently I need that special juxtaposition between pizzed off and freaking adorb to fall in love.

  18. is that a Marie from the Aristocats charm? cause..... well..... if it is, i might have to journey to japan just for that :D

  19. I agree in preferring the angry Donald over the regular version. And I kind of want everything that you posted.

    Also, I don't know if it's because I live in a more heavily Asian-populated area, but there are a number of stores with those capsule machines. And depending on what it is you're after, I've seen whole sets being sold on eBay before (like the Peek a Pooh sets).

  20. Bwahahaha! We have capsule machines in the local Japanese store here in Houston, TX. It has had the mini Winnie the Poohs that come in removable costumes (like a pencil! *swoon*), tiny Barbies, and Monsters, Inc. figures in itsy bitsy blister packs, among many, many others. Be jealous, be very jealous. :)

  21. I didn't notice any of the Disney capsule toys but they have other cute things AND they ship AND they're just up in Michigan so shipping shouldn't be insane should you find something adorable.

    Wizzy Wig is a fun store to wander in too. Well, it used to be more fun when they had a bigger store front, they moved to a smaller space and don't have as many awesome things to play with when you walk in. Also, the last time I was there, the girl behind the counter had no idea what was up with my Star Trek shirt so that was a bit sad.

    Also, pretty cute seeing your Donalds on the Generation T book. I have both of them and it's fun to use it to rip tees apart.

  22. @Lindsay I love your Galactic Heroes review! I have three of the packs you reviewed and I agree with everything you said. I love my little tiny Ewok.

  23. I've found some of the toys at Fry's (they have a bank of vending machines) and Super H Mart. If you have a big Asian supermarket around, it's worth a shot to check them for capsule toys.

    I love Strapya World. So many tiny cute things and the prices aren't bad. Shipping is decent and fast.

  24. As soon as I saw the Toy Story Cosbaby figurines I searched for them. My daughters are obsessed! I found a Jessie and a Buzz on Amazon for under $14 each. This will be all they get in their Easter baskets this year.

  25. Holy crap. I just turned into a big puddle of goo over the Chip and Dale charms. The Eyeore with the balloon was really cute, too. <3

  26. These aren't things to buy...they are crafts..but really really cute crafts I want for myself and not my kids..hehe...especially the stickers and papercraft :)


  27. Have you seen Pookalooz? you can get em at WALMART! Here's a linky to see just pictures:
    Also the vids on the sidebar thingy are super cute.
    Here's a bit more info;

    And with how much you and John go to disney, and your everlasting love and no shame of walking into stores like toys-r-us, I'm sure you can have yourself a nice collection!
    <3 Jenna

  28. Some of the boba tea places here in Colorado have capsule machines--if you have a Lollicup near you, or another boba place, it might be worth checking.....

  29. Jen, I live in Guam right now, but I think we are moving back to Japan next year...2012. If you can wait that long, we won't be far from Tokyo Disney(I've been there 3 times already, love it!). I'd be more than will to help a girl out.

  30. Brain is collapsing from sheer cute overload! I would sell a kidney to get those charms! What? No, I do *not* have a Disney addiction, thank you very much.

    wv:reigs - Regis Philbin's evil twin who only comes out at the full moon

  31. the SF bay area has the vending machines all over and they mainly sell "peek-a-poohs"- little winnie the poohs with flexible plastic outfits. Still majorly cute though!
    <3<3<3 the kawaii!!!!

  32. Looks like something they need to add to the Japanese pavilion at Epcot!
    Love Donald Duck especially when he is grumpy.

  33. Speaking of cute mini-characters, have you seen the KreepyKids? Kiddie versions of various pop-culture characters - Buffy, LoTR, Star Wars, Firefly, Twilight .... Adorable. Search for KreepyKids on Facebook.

  34. I wish i'd never seen this... Now I want all of them!!!! I'm dying from all the cuteness

  35. I have friends in Japan - if you want I can see if they'd be willing to let you ship stuff to them and then ship it to you. Just e-mail me if you are interested.

  36. I was looking around at this phenomenon and apparently they are also called "gashapon" - which brings up a lot more options for shopping!

    This was one of my favorites.

  37. Hey, I live in HK and there is plenty of cutie disney in HK Disneyland!

  38. Check out Ningyoushi

    Although they have many more capsule toys in their SF store than on the web site. Call them!

  39. I looove your Tigger purse! My only Disney World regret (I went for the first time last year) is that I didn't buy a Tigger pin. I bought Stitch and Star Wars Mickey, but I firmly cut myself off because I didn't want to get too out of hand, but now I wish I'd gotten Tigger as well! Oh well...hopefully next time. :)

  40. @Deb, found the KreepyKids. Yeah, a bit too creepy for me, BUT they had a Nester, the long-eared donkey, so I have to give them kudos for that!

    I just did a Google search for Japanese Disney charms and here's some of what I got:

    Disney Layer Charms (Donald included!)

    Cars Charm set

    And kinda a charm, and SO Jen...or it would be if it was Donald...

    Mickey Mouse Robot Pendant by Swarovski

    Man, it's crazy the stuff that's out there...

    The Burton Inspiration

  41. I just went and checked the site I use to order bento supplies directly from Japan, They don't have any of the yujin. Alas, no capsule toys, but I did find this geeky goodness:

    Warning: the linked "jbox" site is very, very NSFW.

  42. Try searching for them as Gacha instead of as yujin. That's what everyone called them when I was in Japan. Might have an easier time finding ones that ship here as well.

  43. I live in Okinawa, Japan and I guess I need to get out more, I've never seen those! Well, I've seen tons of vending machines though, I need to look closer :D

  44. Oh I love the Disney Cuties stuff c: They used to have the most adorable scrub tops with them printed on, I was only able to purchase the bambi ones at the time and now I can't seem to find anymore anywhere (even on the internet *sigh*).

    And... That Pinocchio (sp?) charm was just about the cutest thing ever.

  45. Japan gets ALL the cute stuff! Love it all. Fun post!

  46. So, this has nothing to do with Kawaii, but I need some ideas! My Blockbuster went out of business, and they were selling the movie cards that go behind the movies so that when the movie is out, you can still see what goes in that spot and what the cover art of the movie box looks like (You know...the small rectangular plastic pieces that go behind the movies in the movie stores). I bought maybe 30 or so of these in movies that I love, but now I don't know what to do with them! They were 30 for a buck, so I'm not out a lot of money, but I'd love to do something really awesome with them! Any ideas appreciated!!

  47. You could find them on eBay. Might take a hunt, but I've seen such things there.

  48. If you search "Disney Capsules", or "Disney Gashpon" on ebay, you'll find a lot of the ones you are looking for. :)

    Here's a link the Donald & Pinocchio ones you were talking about. The prices range from not bad to &*#%$ that's expensive!!

    Search for Disney Capsules:

    Search for disney gashapon:

    I also suggest searching for Disney Re-ment(, which is stuff sized for 1/6 (Barbie) sized dolls, they have some cute disney stuff though. And sell keychains, and other stuff too.

    Including these adorable pens, that look like ice cream cones!

    Sorry for all the links, hope this helps you out!!

    Love your blog btw, long time lurker. :D

  49. The last time I was in WDW I was shocked to see capsule machines in pizza planet (in MGM), a place I rarely venture into. There aren't many like 6 maybe, if you enter through the small door near the temporary tattoo stand they're right by the door. I know at least one of them was peek-a-poos, don't remember the rest.

  50. I have 6 or 7 of the Disney Sunshine Friend solar powered bobbles. I love them!
    If I ever go to Japan (which could happen for my work), I'll have to look out for the capsule cuties for sure. Maybe I'll even get some for you!

  51. Jen~~

    Hi. I realize this comment has absolutely *zero* to do with today's blog entry? But perhaps I can provide a small diversion from your lack of mini angry Donald with this stellar movie costume site I just found. I'm not so much into steam punk, (was looking at armor, actually, heh) but as soon as I saw these amazing pictures of the custom costumes this guy makes, I wanted to share it with someone and anyone who might enjoy it. I don't work for them, this is NOT a spam or other form of detritus, it's just a fan of yours wanting to give you and other steam punk aficionados a squee. Make sure you're sitting, then feast your eyes on THIS!


  52. I know its not Disney, but I have the entire Edward Scissorhands Cosbaby set. LOVE them!

  53. @ Christine - Pizza Planet? Really? Ok, I'm totally investigating this next time we're at DHS. Thanks!

  54. ok... the plush version of angry Donald? SO want! I don't know how you don't just grab him off the shelf and squeeze the stuffing out of him, he is so darn adorable!

    Once again, thanks for enabling LOL I am doing my best to not search out those Toy Story figures and buy up every one of them.

  55. Dear Jen,
    my entire day has gone to searching for these, my family now thinks I'm crazy. I just about died when I found that there are ds stylus pens from these machines...that are apparently available everywhere but here so I have to order.
    That is all,
    ps check ebay for yujin capsule toys

  56. I live in Japan. :)

    And I agree with what someone said above. I don't think I've heard of people calling them yujin, and I've lived here for about 20 years. They're called gacha-pon, gacha-gacha, or just gacha for short ("gacha" or "gacha-gacha" is the sound of cranking the coin, "pon" is the sound of the toy dropping into the slot).

  57. I KNEW I shouldn't have read this! Now I'm going to be obsessively hunting Cosbaby Aliens!

  58. After I've spent the last few hours on ebay, I'd like to thank you for my new obsession. I was probably better off not knowing about these, lol!

    On a slightly unrelated note, I was feeding my Cheshire Cat obsession and came across the item below. The item itself is cool, but you *really* need to look at the seller's pictures of their Disney collectibles collection - the third or fourth under the listing. I think you might just fall over....

    Unbelievable Disney Collection

  59. Totally off-topic, Anne Hathaway's dress looks a bit Steampunk, eh?

  60. Make that two of everything from Japan please!
    Everything is soo cute but for me it all stopped with baby eeyore. I want it!!

  61. I read the post and two thoughts went through my head:

    1) My boss takes a trip every year to Japan so his wife can visit her parents/family. I wonder if he could pick up some of these (and other cool gadgets that Japan has) for me.


    2) I know of a site located in Hong Kong that ships to the US. It isn't Japan, I know, but perhaps it is close enough that it would stock those things. After all, I've seen some fun Mario etc items on their site. So I searched for "Disney toy" and got this:

    Just... um... ignore result #8. I have no idea how that relates to Disney! :-o

    But this:

    Looks very cool.

    BTW, after typing out this comment, I decided to check up on their Mario items and... well... Ever wonder what a Mario-Mickey Mouse cross would look like? Me neither, but apparently someone has!

  62. I would recommedn checking out this etsy shop. Super cute Disney kawaii bags I am positively lusting after.

  63. Oh man, now you've gone and done it! My daughter has cutie figures of four of the five "main" Disney characters and I've been on a mad seach for Mickey. We can't find him anywhere, but now, I at least have some more places to try.

    Thanks....I guess. lol

  64. Hey Jen,

    Gashapon is the common term for capsule toys released in Japan and is a wordplay on the sound they make when the machine dispenses your item.
    Yujin is a manufacture of Gashapon toys, so is Bandai, Takara Tomy A.R.T.S, System Service and Epoch.
    Japan certainly has cute down to an art form!

    My Husband and I have an online store and a large portion of what we stock is gashapon slings and the mini figures. We offer flate rate shipping in Canada and the US and try to keep prices near the original Yen price when possible.

    Always lovin your stuff!
    Susan Pfeiffer

  65. STITCH!

    I think my Darth Stitch needs a friend.

    I also think getting him one would cause my husband to leave me.

    *ponders the value of my marriage versus the value of CUTE STITCH*

  66. Okay, speaking of attention whores, I mean, people who want comments from random other park-goers...We were visiting WDW this past fall and came upon this "gentleman" who had pins on his Mickey ears hat, vest, geez they might have even been on his glasses. It was amazing and a little sickening since he looked to be about 70 year old. My husband and I would trade off our phones to try and get a photo, but I also figured he must WANT the attention, right? Anyway, if you can tell me how to add a photo, I would be happy to send you a blurry shot of this guy. I mean, really, it was a phenomenal mess! :)
    Shelley in So. Illinois

  67. Aren't these wonderful? :) My kidlet calls them "tiny wonderful things".

    I, too, recommend JList or JBox for online shopping.

    Also, I've been very, very happy with Manika (under re-ment and other miniatures)and with HLJ (under the cards and collectibles category)for mini items.

  68. I was cruising along being all yeah, those are adorable and all, but I don't really want any. Than, you had to go post that Toy Story thing at the bottom. Suddenly chants of WANT! WANT! WANT! starting pouring through my brain. Bribe me with promise that Toy Story stuff will come, and I'll join your capsule toy crusade!

  69. Hey Jen, have you tried looking for ReMent minis? They mostly make Barbie and dollhouse sized mini food and such, but they have a couple sets of Disney keychain type things, and at least one series of Stitch 'helping' in the kitchen. You can find em from various doll and toy shops and they usually cost only $5 a box!

  70. My cousin is currently in Japan with the military. I am sure she would send me some of those if she could find them. I will shoot her an e-mail and see what I can do. =)

  71. Look at he super cute paper egg holders Disney is putting out for Easter! I know your crafy-self can find a different use for them!!;10


Please be respectful when commenting; dissenting opinions are great, but personal attacks or hateful remarks will be removed. Also, including a link? Then here's your html cheat sheet: <a href="LINK ADDRESS">YOUR TEXT</a>