I've noticed that roughly since spring this year some purikura makers have started offering free gifts and incentives to get people to use their machines. Personally I only really care about how good the machine is and I think a lot of people feel the same way. Anyway I thought I'd do a post on the gifts and things I've seen so far...
The only two machines I've seen that actually offer free items are Bambi-na (both versions) and Essence. The most common gift is eyelashes, which at first I thought was kinda cool, they are cheapie ones though and if you take purikura often you end up with loads. You do find them lying around the game centres or just left in the drop box because girls already have them. There are a few different types though, so far I have three versions (but lots of pairs as I'm a sucker for a freebie haha!)
The most dramatic one, and I think the most common one is this:
A more natural one:
And the most natural one...
Definitely a gift for the target market but with little variety these gifts get real old real quick.
Next up is less common but a different gift from Essence and Bambi-Na, the cotton set...
In Japanese fashion magazines aimed at gyaru they sometimes have "What's in your bag/make-up kit?" articles, I love things like this because I love peeping into other people's lives! At least a couple of the models will have this useful little purikura freebie on them. It's the same size as the eyelash boxes and inside is:
...cotton buds, a plaster and heart-shaped cotton pads. I always have one in my make-up pouch and as it's a usable item I'll always want another one!
The third and final item is scented beads. They are the same size as the other gifts but I have only seen them once and I have a feeling that it was on a location test. So there's a chance that they didn't make it to the rest of the country. They smell floral and quite nice so I put mine in my sock drawer. :)
Moving on, IMS is part of the Ponta Point Terminal which has the bear? beaver? mascot. Other companies in that group include GEO, Lawsons, KFC and Bic Camera. So if you have a card for any of them it works in all the companies in that group.
So far only Day&Night and ICON give you points but I assume their future machines will as well. You can get 2points each time you play but I think only one of you can do this. There's a swipe slot under the graffiti screen of those machines.
And lastly there is purikura point cards from the game centres. Eggnam in Shibuya has a point card system where you can save up points to get an Eggnam exclusive badge or mirror, which I want very badly but am not sure I go to Tokyo often enough to get points (sometimes points are timed). I shall do my best though!
Taito stations have recently introduced point cards too. I've got one for the Shinjuku one and one for my local one. Unfortunately the Shinjuku one expires after only three months so I don't think I can use it enough.
The Shinjuku one gives you one point per play. You show them your purikura before cutting it and they snip a corner off and give you your stamps. If you take a glittery print purikura you get a bonus stamp.
My local one doesn't seem to have a limit on it which is nice. They also give one point per play but with various other incentives, like we took purikura on a rainy day so we got double points. 10 points gets you a free go on the purikura.
I'd say the gifts from the companies are ok but not enough to make me choose one machine over another. The point cards from the places themselves are a great idea though because I will definitely try to get enough points to get a free go and because I really want that mirror!
I was trying to think about what gifts I would want and I think things like a keychain or keitai charm you can put your purikura on would be a good idea. Or sticker sheets with extra frames you can add your purikura too. But the point cards for a free go is the best, I mean what better free gift for a purikura-lover than purikura??