Confusing? Yes. Cool? Very.

There are few things better in life than the simple joy of opening up a capsule toy. The thrill as the coin slides into the slot, the wheel is turned and the capsule comes tumbling out. What treasures await inside? Will you get something tender and sweet? Or something creepy and gross?

Usually, once the capsule is opened, the adventure into the unknown ends and the rush of excitement subsides as you find out which collectable you have received. But for our Japanese-language reporter Saya Togashi, the excitement continued, as even after she paid her 300 yen (US$2.70) and opened the capsule, she was none the wiser as to what was supposed to be inside.

As Saya opened the capsule, two ghostly white hands popped out, each in an unnerving pose. What on earth had she ended up buying? Was this a capsule toy or was this a murder scene?

As she looked closer, the hands were smooth and beautiful, with intricate detail, with even the fingernails carved into them. And there was something else in the capsule too…

The capsule also contained what looked like a plinth for a statue, with ‘pigeon‘ emblazoned on it. While pigeon is a word all of our SoraNews24 readers understand, it is a pretty tough word for someone who isn’t familiar with English, and Saya was left scratching her head as to what the statue was representing.

Saya quickly figured out how to assemble the piece, thanks to the small grooves along the edge of the hands. But even as the two hands joined together, Saya was still at a loss. Just what was this figurine supposed to represent?

But as she positioned the figure in front of a light, it all became clear. An absolute textbook shadow puppet pigeon! A staple of many a childhood, the pigeon can also easily be transformed into a butterfly with just the wave of your fingers.

You see, Saya had bought a capsule toy for shadow puppet figurines.

Feeling nostalgic for her youth, Saya tried to recreate the pigeon shadow using her own hands.

▼ A pretty faithful recreation from Saya!

Pigeons are pretty much entry-level in the world of shadow puppetry, so even a child could make one. Saya wanted to challenge herself more with the next capsule toy. We’ll crop out the name of the figurine so you can try and guess what it will be, just as Saya did!

▼ Can you figure out what it is?

▼ Maybe the assembled piece might help…

▼ Ta-da!

Yes, that’s right — the second toy to come out of the machine was a goat! Saya marvelled once more at the attention to detail — the horns, the ears, the eyes — even the little goat beard. Goats are slightly higher on the difficulty scale for shadow puppetry, but Saya wanted to try it out anyway!

▼ Sadly, Saya’s attempt with her own hands wasn’t quite as crisp as the figurine.

The third and final figurine from Saya’s capsule collection started out looking like this. Can you figure out what animal it will become?

▼ How about now?

▼ Oh?

The third capsule toy was a cute little rabbit! Everything about this capsule toy was absolutely spot on, from the shape of the body right down to the nose. This was a shadow puppet move those faint of heart would never even dream of attempting.

So Saya had to give it a go.

▼ Uh…

▼ Well, you can certainly say she gave it a go.

The rabbit may be a technique that alludes both novices and pros alike, as the intricate finger positioning is quite difficult for a regular person to achieve. Even though it looks simple enough, give it a go and see how rabbit-like your creation ends up looking.

All in all, Saya had fun returning to her childhood days of shadow puppets, and is hoping to collect the whole set of five (the missing figurines being ‘wolf’ and ‘deer’). Whether you’re a shadow puppet master or just want an original and unique capsule toy to keep you amused, grab one of these and the torch from your cellphone and have some finger fun!

Photos ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]