There are few things in life more fun than gachapon, especially when they’re full of kawaii surprises! I picked up a gachapon lucky bag/box from both Rainbowholic and Tofu Cute to compare them and help you decide which one is best for you. This is not a sponsored review – we have worked with both shops in the past so I feel like like I’m equally biased!
With both products, you choose a theme and receive a random surprise selection. Luckily they both had a San-X option! Here’s what I ordered – a Gachaholic Box with a Sanrio / San-x / Kirby theme (6 pieces) from Rainbowholic (JP) and a Catch-a-Gacha Rilakkuma & Friends Mix Bag (3 pieces) from Tofu Cute (UK). I ordered them on the same day and they arrived within a day of each other.
Packaging & Contents
The Gachaholic box was a cardboard box with a branded sticker and leaflets, plus a mini Rainbowholic gift bag of stationery samples and candy that’s added to all orders. There were even a few origami stars scattered inside. The 6 gachapon were still sealed and most were in special capsules too.
The Catch-a-Gacha mix bag was a mini shopping bag with a clear window, character sticker and info tag. The 3 gachapon were sealed and 2 were special capsules.
What I Got
Time to open them up! On our last trip to Japan, we only found one type of the Capchara style (where the capsule is part of the prize) so I was extremely excited to have spotted some in both.
Inside the Gachaholic box was a Wish-Me-Mell Capchara figure, Rilakkuma mini backpack pouch, Sumikko Gurashi flocked Capchara figure, Kirby & Cinnamoroll mini figures and a Hello Kitty stamp. I thought this was a really fun mix of different types of characters and prizes that I would have picked out myself.
I love both the Capchara figures, the stamp is sweet and the Rilakkuma bag is surprisingly high quality with 2 zip pockets and elastic straps. The mini figures are the least exciting and a bit too similar but the addition of the capsule base for display is something I hadn’t seen before.
Inside the Catch-a-Gacha mix bag was a Korilakkuma flocked Capchara figure, Jinbe San plush charm and a Sumikko Gurashi terrarium style miniature scene. These are all top tier characters I love and I would definitely have tried my luck with these gachapon machines, possibly multiple times!
Korilakkuma is just adorable and the flocking makes it feel extra special. The plush charm isn’t super high quality but very cute and perfect for a bag/keyring charm. I was quite excited about the terrarium but it’s not that great in reality as everything keeps sliding around inside.
Pricing & Shipping
All currency conversions were calculated on 24/03/2022 and are rounded off.
Rainbowholic Gachaholic Box – ¥3,480 (£22 / $29) for 6 gachapon + ¥2,100 (£13 / $17) for Fedex express international shipping. Local shipping within Japan would be ¥500 (£3/$4).
Tofu Cute Catch-a-Gacha Mix Bag – £17.50 ($23/¥2,800) for 3 gachapon + £2.99 ($4/¥480) for Royal Mail standard shipping. International shipping would be £8.50/$11 to the US or £11.10/¥1,780 to Japan.
For me in the UK, that means the cost per capsule was approximately £5.80 ($7.65/¥930) at Rainbowholic and £6.83 ($9/¥1095) at Tofu Cute. In person, most gachapon like this cost around ¥300-¥500 (£2-£3/$2.50-$4) so you are paying quite a bit extra for shipping and shop costs. However, if you look at the listings for Capchara on Ebay, prices are much higher – and it’s also definitely a lot cheaper than a flight to Japan!
Both products were really fun to unbox and let me relive some happy Japan memories of sitting in the hotel room looking back through your haul from the day. I was pleased with almost everything I received, and especially thrilled with the Capchara figures. If you’re a gachapon fan, you really can’t go wrong with either option.
I was surprised that the Gachaholic box actually worked out cheaper overall, considering the express international shipping, so if you want more capsules, it’s definitely worth it. The Tofu Cute bag is a nice pick-me-up and would make a cute gift since it’s already packaged prettily. I think I generally preferred the items included in the Gachaholic box but the Korilakkuma figure from the Tofu Cute bag was by far my favourite item overall so it’s really tough to choose a favourite.
One small issue with both is ending up with a lot of plastic capsules – or worse, parts of capsules, like the front of this terrarium. There’s really no way around this to have the full gachapon experience but without the handy capsule return box you get in Japan, it feels like annoying waste. Perhaps Rainbowholic can start a gachapon recycling project and we can send them back to Japan!
How To Buy
The first batch of Gachaholic Boxes have sold out at Rainbowholic Shop (JP) but new ones should be added each month in different themes. You can follow their new Gachaholic account on Instagram for updates.
Which prizes were your favourite? And would you like to see more comparison reviews like this?
Marceline is the co-founder and editor of Super Cute Kawaii and author of The Super Cute Book of Kawaii. She also designs cute character goods as Asking For Trouble. Having visited Japan five times, Marceline is enormously inspired by all things Japanese and especially loves bunnies, space and any kind of food object with a happy face.