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Japanese trend pops up at Metrocentre’s Namco Funscape

A craze that has taken Japan by storm has landed at Metrocentre Gateshead with the opening of a Namco Gashapon pop-up. Situated within Namco Funscape in… View Article

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Japanese trend pops up at Metrocentre’s Namco Funscape

A craze that has taken Japan by storm has landed at Metrocentre Gateshead with the opening of a Namco Gashapon pop-up.

Situated within Namco Funscape in the shopping centre’s yellow mall, the pop-up enables visitors to discover a range of Bandai vending machines filled with mystery items and collectables.

The first of its kind in the North East, and one of only two pop-ups in the UK, the space features Gashapon machines that dispense capsules containing highly collectable figurines and characters, usually from popular TV shows, anime or pop culture.

Shoppers only discover which items they receive once they open their the capsule.

In Japan there are entire stores dedicated to Gashapon with one stocking over 3,000 vending machines.

Nikki Nichol, Namco Funscape general manager, said: “Gashapon is a huge trend in Japan and, thanks to social media platforms like TikTok and YouTube, Japanese culture is hugely influential right now.  The pop-up opened at Namco last week and is so far proving to be extremely popular with those using the machines being fully aware of the concept and excited to give it a go.”

Capsules cost £4 and £6 and customers receive miniature figures of manga, anime and game characters, as well as more practical items such as computer and smartphone accessories, only available while stocks last.

Gemma Smith of the Instagram and TikTok account @Dreamlandgem said: “I’m a big fan of gaming culture and collect Kirby merchandise so I was excited to visit the Gashapon pop up at Metrocentre.  It’s great to have something like this right here in the North East and I’m sure I will be back to add to my collection.”

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