Fancy a pandemic souvenir? Japan has hand sanitiser stand gacha capsule toys
These “Antibacterial Disinfection Mascots” are a sign of the times.
If there’s anything that sums up the past year or so, it’s the endless SafeEntry QR codes and forehead-scanning thermometers we encounter daily. And of course, the hand sanitiser stand.
In true Japanese fashion, gacha capsule toymakers have made this sobering sign of our times into a novelty collectible item. Officially coined as “Antibacterial Disinfection Mascots”, these hand sanitiser gacha toys come in five variations at 300 yen (S$3.70) each.
Gacha machines are those that pop out random little toy collectibles in a plastic egg after you twist the crank.
Snagged the last one! �� pic.twitter.com/YeFkmhUTTN— Jenny In Japan (@JennInJapan) July 10, 2021
The ones in Japan offer a range of toys, from the cutesy to the truly bizarre – with some machines even selling keychains of botched art restorations.
The "mascots” don’t actually contain any sanitiser, but eager fans are still snapping them up for the novelty factor.
Regardless, the bleak iconography of the hand sanitiser stand sums up the reality of the past year, and serves as a worthy memorabilia for the COVID-19 era. We wonder what future historians will think when they uncover this particular relic.