(written from a Production point of view)
The Furuta Confectionery Co., Ltd. is a candy manufacturer and industrial supply company which is based in Osaka, Japan and was founded in 1952.
The company produced two licensed Star Trek gashapon candy-toy lines between 2003 and 2006. F-Toys, another gashapon manufacturer, was founded by Toyohiko Furuta in 2001, following his retirement from the company.
Star Trek releases
Star Trek Federation Ships & Alien Ships Collection
In 2003, Furuta produced its first small-scale injection-molded plastic models of Star Trek starships and space stations as Volume One of the Star Trek Federation Ships & Alien Ships Collection. Volumes Two and Three followed in 2004 and 2006, respecively.
Notably, aside from producing many commonly manufactured 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, well detailed for their size, and were "snap-fit" models that required no glue for assembly. Each item included a display stand. All of the standard items were sold in "blind boxes" that did not disclose their specific contents on their exteriors. The first two volumes included a collectible trading card with each model.
Furuta's starships were generally larger than its contemporary competitor Romando which released a Star Trek gashapon product line at about the same time. Konami and F-Toys also produced Star Trek gashapon series in later years.
|Star Trek Federation Ships and Alien Ships Collection – Volume 1, 2003|
Blind box Volume 1
|Deep Space Nine||1:15700|
|Species 8472 Bio-Ship||1:437|
|USS Defiant NX-74205||1:1250|
|USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A||1:2400|
|USS Equinox NCC-72381||1:1625|
|USS Reliant NCC-1864||1:2125|
|USS Stargazer NCC-2893||1:2800|
|Klingon Attack Cruiser||1:4200|
|Romulan Warbird||n/a||"Secret item"|
|Star Trek Federation Ships & Alien Ships Collection – Volume 2, 2004|
Blind box Volume 2
|Jem'Hadar Attack Ship||1:1250|
|USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (TOS)||1:2175|
|USS Enterprise NCC-1701-B||1:3200|
|USS Enterprise NCC-1701-C||1:4875|
|USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D||1:6300|
|Future USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D||1:6300|
|USS Farragut NCC-60597||1:5775|
|USS Prometheus NCC-59650||1:2975|
|USS Voyager NCC-74656||1:2700|
|USS Enterprise NCC-1701-E||1:5125||"Secret item"|
|Star Trek Federation Ships & Alien Ships Collection – Volume 3α, 2006|
Blind box Volume 3α
|Shuttlecraft Galileo NCC-1701/7||n/a|
|USS Excelsior NCC-2000||n/a|
|USS Grissom NCC-638||1:2000|
|Star Trek Federation Ships & Alien Ships Collection – Volume 3β, 2006|
Blind box Volume 3β
|USS Enterprise NCC-1701 (refit)||n/a|
|USS Pasteur NCC-58925||n/a|
|USS Rio Grande NCC-72452||1:306|
|Borg Cube & Sphere||n/a||"Special item"; red LED-illuminated cube; delayed addition after Vol.3 was already released, as is evidenced by the earlier style stand|
Star Trek Pins Collection
Furuta released the Star Trek Pins Collection in 2006 as a gashapon line of enamel pins, featuring twenty unique insignia from the Star Trek franchise. Each insignia pin was packed inside of 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*
- DS9 and VOY
- TNG Future
- 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 that trademarked the term "gashapon" for the combination of candy with a toy model, together in a single package. The name is derived from the sound of the cranking of the dispensing mechanism ("gasha") added to the noise that the box makes when it falls out of the vending machine ("pon").
The term "gashapon" has become very common in Japan as a generic term for all manufacturers of these "candy-toys" and has also come to be identified with "blind box" trading figures, product lines of small-scale toys, figurines or models that are sold in identical sealed boxes. Commonly, many gashapon boxes must be purchased to complete a toy series, as collectors will inadvertently purchase many duplicate items.
Gashapon are now commonplace in Japan and many candy companies include toys with their products as enticers, often packaged in such a way that they can be dispensed from vending machines. In the case of some companies, the candy is included so that their toys can be sold on supermarket shelves as food items.
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
- Furuta.co.jp – official site