Pac-Man Bank

Yellow version Pac-Man Bank

The Pac-Man Bank (パックマン貯金箱 Pakkuman Chokinbako) was a novelty coin bank created by Tomy in 1974, making it the oldest known Pac-Man to exist.

The bank consisted of a spring loaded arm and a mouth that would open and shut. The user had to use skillful timing to fling the coin into Pac-Man's mouth with the arm. The bank is rather small, about the size of a small cup.

These banks were rather popular toys; their popularity led to the release of a board game and a water game several years later.


Several models of Pac-Man banks exist. They include:

  • Pacman Bank - The original, released in 1974. Came in a multitude of colors, the most common being red, green, and yellow. Referred to as "Je Je" on packaging.
  • BIG PAC MAN - Presumably a larger model. Has a bowtie and an indented head.
  • SKÖL! - A red Pacman sitting in a barrel. Seems to involve putting coins into the barrel rather than Pacman's mouth.
  • Tomy Pac Man - U.S. model, released in 1982. This one is considered rather ugly looking, featuring raccoon-like eyes and a strange mouth shape.
  • Packman - Mid-2000s reprint of the original 1974 model. Came in several new colors.
  • "Bottlecap" Pacman Bank - The most recent model, from 2013. Stores bottlecaps rather than coins. Appears to have a speaker as well, so it might make sounds.

Connection to Pac-Man

Of course, Pac-Man is most commonly associated with the arcade game of the same name, released in 1980. However, that game was created by Namco, and had no connection to Tomy whatsoever.

It is unlikely that both products were just coincidentally similar, as the banks were rather well-known at the time, and both involved eating. It is believed that the initial Namco usage of Pac-Man was unauthorized; but the video game was so successful that no legal action was taken. Rather, Tomy purchased the exclusive toy rights for the arcade adaption of Pac-Man in Japan - this lasted about 10 years. Meanwhile, Namco continued to release Pac-Man video games until the company's closure in 2006.


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