Right now in Japan, everyone is on vacation.
Technically speaking, not everyone, but when I went out on Sunday with my S.O. in the hopes of getting in some all you can eat cake action, it certainly seemed like it.
While we didn’t get to eat cake (in fact, we ended up eating lunch at TGIF, which is very much not Japanese), since we were in the area, we made our usual rounds of the local Game Centers to check out the stock and see if there was anything worth winning.
Prize merch for Rascal the Raccoon has suddenly popped up out of nowhere. A week or so ago, these pass cases along with plush pencil pouches came out everywhere. The pouches are gone, but the pass cases remain! Not only are they cute, but they are also a mini pouch, perfect for holding coins.
These mini plush came out last Thursday and are also super adorable. The size of the plush can make them tricky to get, though, depending on the strength of the claw and the height of the shield (the plush barrier at the bottom that makes it harder for you to win!)
I’ve come a long way since I started my UFO catching adventures about a year ago.
Before, I would wander through game centers taking photos of prizes with no hope of ever winning but mainly just because it was fun to see what was available. Now I wander through taking photos and playing the machines, almost at the same time!
Lately, I’ve been busy trying to win Eevee mascot plush from the most recent I Love Eevee promotion (photos here, recap of prize line-up here), but today was fairly quiet at the time I arrived, not too hot, and I had some time to spare, so I decided to make my usual nonchalant rounds along my usual Game Center route.
The trickiest part of sharing Game Center photos is a lot of places don’t want you taking photos. I guess because they don’t want people studying how the machines are set up to manipulate the system? It just means you sometimes have to be extra sneaky, especially since Japanese phones won’t let you turn off the shutter sound.
These hamsters are everywhere and are a popular Amuse character. If you see a stuffed animal in three sizes (small, medium, large) that doesn’t seem to come from a popular anime or video game, it’s most likely from Amuse. I love their plush, especially the Fennec Fox line, I just have no room for them!
This motion sensor lamp caught my eye just because it was so cool and cute at the same time. Of course it’s also one of the harder prizes to win, because if everyone won, it wouldn’t be special.
Grumpy huge owls, looking grumpy and huge. According to my friends, this is a character from Junketsu no Maria (I don’t really watch anime so I don’t know a lot of the characters in the game centers!)
I took this picture for two reasons: I thought it was amusing they just went ahead and dumped two characters from completely different anime/game series into one machine because I guess bunnies, and this set-up is not common for Round One. It looks like a typical bridge set-up but… mini?
Speaking of bridge setups, I’ve been so focused on Eevee prizes that I was surprised to see these new Card Captor Sakura items. Each box has a plate featuring 1 of 5 possible designs. The goal is to get all five plates to combine them to form a sakura blossom out of plates. Ingenious. The illustrations are really cute, and as my luck would have it, the game center already had the Sakura and Tomoyo design out, ready for winning!
I forgot to take a picture of the actual set-up, but it was a typical bridge setting, similar to the Sailor Moon towel in the photo, except of course smaller scale. Usually, instead of using both claws to lift the item, you want to use one claw to drag the item to the side, until eventually it falls through the space. The last couple of times I attempted winning a smaller item in a similar set-up, I failed because the claw was not strong enough, but I decided to give it a go and the claw ended up being very strong.
Also like typical bridge set-ups, they had two prizes next to each other. This can make it difficult to win the prize you want since in order to get the prize to turn, you need to move the claw to the side, and then the other prize gets in the way. This meant I had to ask for assistance, but once the second box was moved, I was able to easily win within 5 tries.
Although the plates are made of ceramic, they are surrounded by plastic casing, meaning the plates can drop down the winning chute and still won’t break. The plate was also much lighter than I was expecting.
My collection of Tomoyo x Sakura prizes grows… very slowly! Now if only Banpresto would make something that was Tomoyo only, I would be so happy.