Almost as common as vending machines are those machines that dole out little plastic balls. We have them in Canada too, and typically the balls open to give a Winnie the Poo key chain or a cell phone straps. In Japan, there is more variety and better machines for otaku to spend their loose change on; I was tempted to buy a lot but Pauline made me buy drinks with the change instead.
I did spend ¥300 on one, in a toy store, when Pauline wasn’t looking, and that was a ¥300 well spent! I don’t know where my character is from, but it’s designed really well – the legs connectors are different shape so you don’t have a mutant figurine! The best thing about it, even though it wasn’t even $3CDN, is that it’s very detailed. Here’s a better picture:
I also picked up a lego case of Coke, although this wasn’t from a vending machine. We were in the corner store looking for a drink and they were clearing out this “special” serving of Coke. For the same price as a 500ml bottle, we received this lego set and a 300ml bottle of Coke!