Bandai Toy Makers Find Tax Relief in Vending Machines

Business In Other News - March 25th, 2014

Bandai Co, Japan’s largest toy maker, will offer collector item capsule toys ahead of the planned sales tax hike next month.

Starting March 31, a day before consumption tax rises to 8 percent from 5 percent, Bandai vending machines will feature GashaPon capsule toys in larger cylinder-shaped containers. The capsules, about the size of can of soda, can contain larger and more expensive toys.

The first wave of GashaPon Can vending machines will distribute two types of toys based on “Ressha Sentai Tokkuger,” the latest train-themed superhero series in the Super Sentai Franchise, for 400 yen each.

“We want to overcome the headwind of the tax hike by selling valuable items (for higher prices),” Keisuke Okada, a Bandai executive officer, said.

The toys will be sold in increments of 100 yen ($1), so it will be difficult for the company to make the vending machines accept several 1-yen coins to cover the tax increase, reports The Asahi Shimbun.

Most conventional GashaPon toys pop out in spherical capsules and fetches for 200 yen.

Bandai has about 400,000 GashaPon vending machines across Japan which sells about 180 million units per year, amounting to 70 percent of market share.

By Maesie Bertumen

Image: “Gashapon” by Dick Johnson/Flickr