Scary enough to make you uncomfortable, but small enough to put in your pocket!

Today I learned a new word — coulrophobia. Coulrophobia is a fear of clowns, and while I don’t personally suffer from it, I have a good friend from the U.S. who absolutely does. She visibly cringes every time she even just sees a picture of a clown, and coming across one in real life? Forget it. Sweaty palms, nausea and a whole load of nope.

Coulrophobia is pretty common in some countries, but here in Japan, people tend to be pretty chill when it comes to clowns. Even when it comes to what is perhaps the most notoriously terrifying clown, Pennywise from Stephen King’s IT. So petrifying is Pennywise that some people claim him to be the source of their coulrophobia, but Japan has ways to make even the most creepy of clowns adorable.

But however adorable Pennywise merchandise may have been in the past, this gacha-toy-capsule Pennywise sticks to the depiction that was first shown in the 2017 remake movie. The time for cute Pennywise is over; this may be the most terrifying gacha capsule toy Japan has ever created. In fact, these capsule toys are so scary that there’s even a “not suitable for under 15s” label on it, just in case you thought gacha capsule toys were just for kids.

▼ We’re even getting chills from the picture.

▼ The IT Pennywise Collection (300 yen/US$2.89 each, four types to collect)

Our non-caulrophobic Japanese-language writer Saya Togashi managed to get her hands on three of the four toys available, which were released earlier this month. First up was a twisted Pennywise figurine, which came in separate parts for you to assemble it yourself. For some reason, Saya found the pieces quite stiff, and it was difficult to slot the different pieces into the holes. She ended up pressing the figurine against the floor to insert the arms and legs. Pennywise loves to snack on children, and Saya, while still very much in her prime, is not a child. “Maybe that’s why he’s being so difficult,” Saya mused.

This figurine (called ‘IT-in-a-Box‘) is taken from a particularly nightmare-ish scene in the movie where Pennywise jumps out from a fridge to scare the Losers Club. Those who have seen the movie will be familiar with Pennywise’s freaky movements and seemingly endlessly flexible body, and the figurine depicts the clown perfectly. Yuck.

▼ Ta-da!

Next up is the “Terror Face” figurine. This one is a bust figurine so no assembly is required, but check out the intricate details on the teeth! The wrinkled skin on the forehead is also particularly impressive.

▼ Terror Face

Finally, the ‘Pennywise’ figurine. This statue-like figurine is probably the most instantly recognisable of the bunch.

As Saya assembled Pennywise, she was shocked at how realistic it looked. They got all the details right — the grubby looking clown costume, the hunched back, the disturbing expression on his face… if you looked at it for long enough, you’d almost believe he was swaying slightly. You can almost hear him saying “You’ll float, too!”

▼ It looks pretty real, but don’t be fooled – it’s only about 10 centimetres/4 inches tall

By the way, we mentioned that there are four different kinds of IT capsule toy to collect. Saya was unable to get the fourth figurine, which is hauntingly called ‘Pennywise in the water’. The figurine features the evil clown partially submerged in the water, looking gruesome with his trademark red hair stuck to his face.

Japan is heaven for gacha capsule toy fans, and even the most skeptical person might feel their heartstrings tug a little when they see a particular gacha that they like. For the most part, however, the gacha toys get opened, admired for a few minutes, and then seldom looked at again.

These Pennywise toys are not just something you’ll get bored of easily. Despite the parts being a little tough to assemble, these toys are really good value. The quality of these collectibles is really high, especially when you consider they’re only 300 yen (US$2.89) each. The face and hair details are intricately painted and they’d make for perfect photos, no matter what angle you shot them from.

The toys were released earlier this month, but when Saya went to get some they were already low in stock, so be sure to grab a gacha or two soon! The coulrophobics out there might want to stick to something a little cuter instead though, like this bottle cap cat gacha!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]