(written from a Production point of view)
Furuta Confectionery Co., Ltd. is a candy manufacturer and industrial supply company which produces a large number of "gashapon" candy-food toy lines and is based in Osaka, Japan. It produced two licensed Star Trek product lines.
Star Trek releases Edit
Star Trek Federation Ships & Alien Ships Collection Edit
In 2003, Furuta produced its first small-scale injection-molded plastic models of Star Trek starships and space stations for Volume One of the Star Trek Federation Ships & Alien Ships Collection. Volumes Two and Three followed in 2004 and 2006 respectively. All were sold in "blind boxes" which did not disclose its specific contents on its outside. The first two volumes included a collectible trading card with each model.
|Volume 1||Volume 2||Volume 3α||Volume 3β|
Notably, aside from producing many commonly-seen Star Trek starships, Furuta also produced ships that had been rarely touched upon by other licensed companies before. These included a Species 8472 bio-ship and a Prometheus-, Olympic-, and Nova-class vessel.
The models were pre-painted, surprisingly detailed for their size, and were "snap-fit" models that required no glue for assembly. Furuta's line was larger than its contemporary competitor Romando which released a Star Trek gashapon product line around the same time. Konami and F-Toys also released Star Trek gashapon series in later years.
Star Trek Pins Collection Edit
Furuta released the Star Trek Pins Collection in 2006. It was a gashapon line of enamel pins which featured twenty unique insignia from the Star Trek franchise. Each insignia pin was packed individually in a "blind box" and came with a display stand.
- TOS USS Enterprise Command division
- TOS USS Enterprise Sciences division
- TOS USS Enterprise Operations division
- Films II – VI (with officer's patch)
- DS9 and VOY
- TNG Future
- Cadet (TMP Rear Admiral / Films II – VI enlisted and non-commissioned officers)
- Mirror universe Starfleet
- Bajoran Militia
- Borg Collective
- Cardassian Union
- Vulcan IDIC
- Starfleet Medical
- Romulan Star Empire
- United Federation of Planets
- Ferengi Alliance
- Klingon Empire
- TMP (revised patch)*
Bandai is the company which trademarked the term "gashapon" for the combining of candy and toy models into a single package. The term "gashapon" has become very common in Japan as a generic term for all manufacturers of these "candy toys". More recently, the term "gashapon" has also come to signify "blind box" trading figures, referring to a line of small-scale toys, figurines or models that are sold in identical sealed boxes. This means that many gashapon packages must be purchased in order to complete a toy series.
The combining of candy and toy models is now common in Japan as many candy companies traditionally have included toys with their products as enticers, often packaged in such a way that they can be dispensed from vending machines. "Gashapon" gets its name from the sound the box makes when falling down as the vending machine dispenses it. In the case of some companies, the candy is included so that their toys can be sold on supermarket shelves.
Rarer "secret" or "chase" items are often included in a series to boost sales and are produced in smaller quantities than the regular items in the series. This method of collector-focused marketing has a strong resemblance to trading cards sales methods. Typically, a "gashapon" line is a single and unrepeated release which can cause the more sought-after releases to become highly-valued collector's items.
Warship Collection 1 Edit
- Furuta.co.jp – official site