From novelty cat cafés to famous cat islands like Aoshima, Japan definitely has a thing for cuddly kitties. So, it’s no surprise that each year Japan’s capsule toy industry continues to release an ever-growing number of oh-so-cute cat gashapon. While there are many purr-fectly charming Japanese products available for kitty lovers, we’re here to let the cat out of the bag by showcasing nine of the most kawaii collectibles to ever come rolling out of a gacha gacha machine.
Anicolla Series Buneko Keychains
Despite how adorable cats look walking around the house all dressed up, they don’t always fully appreciate just how cute they really are in their color-coordinated onesies and bonnets. If your cat frets over feline fashion, these Anicolla Series Buneko Keychains are the perfect way to fulfill your urge without chasing after your pet. Playing off the disgruntled Japanese exclamation “bu,” each Buneko cat wears a less-than-pleased expression on its face that is sure to bring a smile to yours. The series’ most recent release Buneko-pan features grumpy cats with their faces framed in a slice of bread—a nod to the humorously popular “in-bread” photo trend of 2012.
Anicolla Series Neko Café Keychains
What are you craving: Shaved ice with a little shorthair on top? A feline-filled macaron? Coffee with a splash of cat? Anicolla Series Neko Café turns a seemingly simple combination of confections and kittens into a cat collector’s addiction. Each of the 11 limited-edition releases have been snapped up fast, so be sure to treat yourself to a tiny sweet that’s too cute to eat before they’re all gone!
Neko Dorobo Cat Bandanas
Created by the masterminds behind Cup No Fuchiko, the “Cute, Cute Cat Thief” Neko Dorobo Cat Bandana series by Kitan Club is determined to make your kitty the most kawaii “cat burglar” in town. The adorable bandanas come in polka dot and scrollwork patterns with three different colors to complement your cat’s fur. Gently place the bandana around your pet’s head (no tying required) and kickstart a new fashion fad among your feline friends.
Neko Atsume Gashapon
Close on the heels of the original 2014 Neko Atsume smartphone game, the Neko Atsume gashapon series puts the charm of the original mobile app literally in the palm of your hand. Collectibles from the 10 available releases range from miniature toys to acrylic keychains, letting you recreate your cat’s digital living space anywhere you please.
Nekozushi Sushi Cat Keychains
Japan’s penchant for surreal humor is perhaps most apparent in Nekozushi’s ingenious concept of combining sushi and cats. Lounging upon a cushion of rice, these cats look straight ahead while seemingly posing the existential question: Why am I sushi? The series began with a collection of themed stationary and calendars, but the addition of these delectable gashapon keychains has proved to be their most popular merch yet.
Nyanko Kitchen Gashapon
Nyanko Kitchen is an adorably creative series of cat collectibles that can also double as the perfect accessories for doll houses and anime figure displays. Each toy in the series features impressive functionality for its tiny size, making them irresistibly fun to play with. Whether baking donuts, rolling out cookies, or serving a cup of coffee, these gashapon will soon have you craving the whole set!
Pico Mao Cat Gashapon
Pico Mao Cat has an impressive pedigree for a capsule toy series. Its creator TOUMA is a popular Japanese toy artist whose unique blend of disproportional cartoony characters and pop art color schemes makes his work a cool mix of classical and contemporary styles. TOUMA’s collaborations with big-league brands like Marvel, Star Wars, and Power Rangers, along with making a name for himself through several international exhibitions, have further established his credibility as one of today’s leading toy designers. The artist’s 2013 Pico Mao Cat gashapon have become coveted collectibles since their release, and his follow-up 2014 collaboration with the hit anime One Piece had fans of the Straw Hat Pirates digging for even more of TOUMA’s buried treasures.
The Gomen Neko gashapon series by Shine-G gets its name from the clever combination of Japanese words “cat,” “sleep,” and “sorry,” because a cat that hides its face behind its paws while sleeping looks as though it’s offering a traditional Japanese bow of heartfelt apology. Available as either phone straps or magnets, the Gomen Neko series makes the perfect “I’m sorry” gift when asking for a little furry forgiveness from your favorite cat lover.
No matter the height, cats love to climb anything they can get their claws into—furniture, fences, and… fingers! Walking in the paw prints of the original cup-clinging Fuchiko figure, Fuchineko pairs the Japanese words “edge” (fuchi) and “cat “(neko) for a fun play on words. The gashapon come in a variety of colors and poses, each mimicking your cat’s movement with lifelike accuracy. While there are a few different series available, the limited-edition 2017 re-release of the Café Veloce Fuchineko, featuring a set of five all-black cats in different poses, has proven to be quite popular among collectors who missed out on the initial release in 2015.
Where to Buy Cat Gashapon
For more Japanese gashapon that will make you feel like the coolest cat around, try using FROM JAPAN—a proxy service that helps you easily get all your favorite merchandise shipped from Japan to our doorstep without a hassle. And be sure to read our selection of 11 Innovative & Fun Japanese Cat Products that can help your feline friend get the most out of its nine lives.