Giant plush alpaca from Japan09 June, 2012 by Chad
Learned of these Japanese UFO Catcher toys some time ago. Amuse’s Arpakasso series of giant alpaca plushies can be seen in many an amusement center in Japan. Unfortunately, the adorable alpacas are mostly available only as prizes in such machines so getting one can be quite a pain (unless you have extraordinary hand-eye coordination).
As luck would have had it, a friend managed to grab a couple of Arpakasso during a recent trip to a Alpaca farm in Hokkaido. Seems you will be able to purchase them at such places at least. Others have had some luck ordering them online through resellers who manage to sneak in a few extras when purchasing them to fill up catcher machines, though availability is scarce.
Pictured here is a standard sized one, which is about half a meter in size. There are large meter tall, fat arpakassos, though getting one of those would be a much bigger challenge. Designs usually rotate with season to keep prizes interesting.
I remember seeing some 48ish ones in Akihabara earlier this year, complete with yellow and pink plaid uniforms. They’re no Duffy, but make a wonderful gift nontheless.
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