Vinyl Artist Gacha: the mini collectible figure series with the most unfortunate acronym ever

Wanna buy some VAG? Yeah, we did try and warn you in the blog title.

Nice figures, shame about the name

Vinyl Artist Gacha is a long-running range of mini figures produced by Medicom Toy. Yeah, that’s the same company that brought us BE@RBRICKS, Sofvi (soft vinyl), and Ultra Detail Figures (UDF).

Same as with UDF, the range got a super literal name. (Ultra detail is right! the ‘figure’ bit… obvious as hell.) And same as with UDF, that full name for the Vinyl Artist Gacha collection is very commonly shortened to VAG.

Awkward for English-speaking collectors or what? Even some Japanese fans of the series noticed the problem and blogged about it. They point out it could also be ‘vagrant’, but by then the damage is done.

You’re better off searching for ‘Vinyl Artist Gacha’ in full online to find all the sets, anyway. No need to burn your search history to the ground afterwards.

‘Look in the box’ never sounded so wrong before

New Vinyl Artist Gacha designs are revealed as sets of 5: the same character, finished in 5 different colour schemes. Some characters already existed, and some were made (or made in special versions) for VAG.

When we wrote this, there were already over 80 sets of characters out there to collect. They’re not always sold as a full set, though. When they’re sold new, you have to get a ‘blind box’ – a VAG BOX, yeah that’s right – and hope the version you want most is inside.

It’s possible to find specific colours on resale online, or all 5 bundled together. That way, you know what you’re getting. Original gacha prices are around 500 yen, but you’ll see some figures reselling for thousands.

Sometimes the colour difference is basic, or they’re all pretty similar-looking models, like with these ones…

…and sometimes it’s a total reworking of the design and colour scheme for every figure, like on these sets.

Always the same face expression and pose, though. That’s what ties each set together. Each figure’s around 6cm tall, and some (like the PicoPico totem poles) are stackable.

It’s art! What a great excuse that is…

The figures are all pretty awesome to look at. And they should be – Vinyl Artist Gacha sets are dreamed up by actual already-famous artists and designers. Some with lots of experience working with vinyl figures (including Sofvi ones), and some who normally design stuff like clothes, shoes, toys, sculptures, or even skateboards.

Most characters are designed by a different artist – it’s a tense wait to see who takes part in each series. Some artists produce several sets, like MIROCK-TOY (Youhei Kaneko) who’s so far done at least 7.

And sometimes the characters come back for another round, too. Medicom asked designer Shoko Nakazawa to bring kawaii mini kaiju ‘Baby Byron’ back for another collection when the first set sold over 10,000 in 2 days.

Get lucky with VAG (nope, not like that)

To find and collect Vinyl Artist Gacha figures from Japan, check the search results on the DEJAPAN website. You’ll also find other Medicom toys like BE@ARBRICKs, those Ultra Detail Figures, Perfect Posing Products, and Sofvi vinyl figures.

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