Crane games (aka UFO Catchers or claw machines) are a big business in Japan. They seem to make up the majority of the machines in Japanese arcades, and there is an entire industry that basically exists to make prizes for people to win in those machines. While most of the claw machines you see in the US have pretty crappy prizes, these prizes are generally very high quality. These figures are a good example of that. While you can sometimes buy them outright, as I did, on Yahoo Auctions Japan or maybe from a seller on Amazon Japan, generally speaking they aren’t available at retail. Instead you need to win them. As you might imagine, this makes them kind of expensive when you are able to find them for sale.
The figures themselves would probably fall under the “super deformed” category, since they have very large heads. They remind me a lot of the “Monstar Shop” garage kit I got last year, which was also from Japan. They are very well sculpted and painted. The humanoid figures are around 3″ tall and they’re made of plastic with no articulation. They each come with a black plastic base, but they don’t really need them to stand up, and the bases are so large that you can’t really display them very well together, so I’m not using them.
Although I bought this set, I was also able to win one of the Jabba figures in a crane machine on the site Toreba.net. It’s a site that lets you play crane games located in Japan over the internet. If you win something, they’ll send it to you. You have to pay for each try, and playing over the internet is definitely not easy, so it can get expensive. In the end it probably cost me more than it would have to buy the figure outright, but I thought it was fun and very cool to actually win one of these in the intended manner.
I made a video showing me unboxing these figures, and it even shows video footage of me winning the Jabba figure from Toreba, so check it out below if you’re interested.
I picked up a few items with this stylized Jabba on them when I was in Japan a couple of years ago, but I recently discovered that they also made this change purse/pouch. It was made by SEGA Prize, which also made the plush crane game prize I posted about earlier, so I imagine that this was actually some sort of arcade prize. It’s a bit of an odd choice since I have a little trouble imagining Japanese girls choosing this design, and it seems too young for older people. They made 5 different designs, and even as a Jabba fan I feel like the Jabba is the weakest of the lot.
It has a clasp on the back, along with the Star Wars logo.
It’s actually a mini-purse, complete with a strap that allows you to wear it over your shoulder. Not that I plan to do that anytime soon.
When I first saw this on Walmart.com, I thought they were selling a much cheaper version of the Canadian-exclusive inflatable figure that I posted about last year — just with the jack o’lantern removed. But on closer inspection it became obvious that this was also a significantly smaller item. Aside from the lack of the pumpkin, it is essentially identical to the Canadian version, but only about 3 feet tall instead of 5ish feet.
Here it is next to the Canadian version and the Morbid Enterprises version. It’s definitely not as impressive in terms of size, and it’s true that having a life size Jabba was one of the draws of the larger figures.
Still, it’s pretty nice and definitely more manageable in terms of both size and price — it’s only $28.88. It also seems to light up more brightly than the other versions (maybe because of its smaller size), which is nice at night.
It’s available on Walmart.com right now. Here’s a video review I made with a bit more detail.
In my recent post about an SDCC-exclusive button from Loungefly, I jokingly asked if Loungefly would be adding some Jabba items to its very impressive line of Star Wars merchandise. I don’t think I can take any credit for it, but I’m happy to report that they will be adding at least one item: the coin purse pictured above. I was tipped off by Jenmarie (@acrossthestars on Twitter) that this item will be appearing in October. I will seriously be buying at least a couple of these. I literally never use cash anymore, but when I travel to Japan it’s still necessary to carry coins around, so it’ll come in handy for sure. It’s probably too much to ask that they make an entire backpack, but I’ll put that idea out there just in case…