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.
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
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.