This post will cover the Look Upon The Stars promotion that was released May 20th.
While there were no plush as part of the merchandise line-up, there was still plenty of really neat items with a cute Pokemon night sky twist.
One of my favorite parts of this promotion was the tag art. Lillie’s Bag, originally released as a full-size item when the Pokemon Sun & Moon games were released November 2016, was re-released during this promotion in a smaller pouch form. Personally I thought it was even cuter than the original because I like small things. The tag, if I remember correctly, is the same on both bags.
The Under The Stars hang tag is pretty big, which is both good and bad. Good because you get more art included on the tag, but bad if you like keeping your tags mint and uncreased (the bigger the tag, the easier it is to bend, even just getting it home from the store). To add to it, the tag has a couple bits that stick out, making it even easier to damage. Regardless, I love this art!
The only thing better than the hang tag art, however, is the little Cosmog/Nebby label that appears on most of the items.
I had been pretty excited for this promotion. I love the night, I love night themed stuff, I think Cosmog is a cutie, what could go wrong? Maybe it’s just me but the constellation print they put on most of the items seems oddly blurry, and that coupled with the oddly in focus Cosmog made things look like (to me at least) they weren’t printed well. Jen said it looked fine to her, so it might be that I’m super picky (possible) and in the end it helped me save money, but this cushion is a good example of what I mean by the weird out of focus print style.
Moving on to the merch! Pokemon Center promotions lately have been featuring backpacks as part of their line-up, and Look Upon The Stars was no exception. The backpack features the constellation print and even has little stars on the zippers.
Another neat item: the hoodie! I was conflicted over whether or not I wanted this, as once again, I love constellations and night themed merch, and I also love hoodies, and it’s a dark color which the Japanese Pokemon Center doesn’t make a lot of clothing in darker colors. Plus I loved having the constellation design on the inside.
The downside for me is the print is actually only just behind the zipper and on the hood. The rest of the inside of the hoodie is plain blue, and the material was a little too thin for what I like.
Regardless, it’s still a cute hoodie! And it even features a little Cosmog on the outside.
Some other neat items from the promotion:
A foldable compact mirror featuring the constellation print.
A cute train pass case with the Pikachu and Cosmog illustration
Two types of pens: one featuring the Pikachu and Cosmog illustration and one with the Pokemon constellation art.
A tumbler with an insert that features the Pikachu and Cosmog illustration on one side and the Pokemon constellation art on the other, so you can switch between the two depending on your mood.
That wraps up Look Upon The Stars! Did you get anything from this promotion? What was your favorite item?
This past Saturday (July 15th) saw a multitude of releases, from plush to figures, plus a Pokemon Center promotion, a Pokemon Store grand opening (Okinawa), and of course not forgetting the release of the 2017 summer Pokemon movie: I Choose You!
In short, this weekend was very busy for Pokemon fans in Japan.
This post won’t cover everything, but here is a taste of what came out at Pokemon Centers!
First up: the adorable vacation Pikachu plush and mascot plush from the Alola Festival promotion.
Everything the Pikachu plush is wearing (hat, t-shirt, button-up shirt) was available in human sizes as well, so you could match! Although I don’t collect Pyukumuku, I thought the shirts were especially cute, and I love how the human size hats come with Pikachu ears attached.
As an aside, the button-up shirt release was delayed until August.
Speaking of Pyukumuku, we got a couple plush items of him in the Alola Festival promotion. Along with a super adorable mini sized Pyukumuku mascot plush, there was also a plush drawstring pouch and a plush tissue box cover. I especially love the tissue box covers because they transform any tissue box into a cuddle buddy, perfect for when you’re sick and feeling bad. (You’ll feel less bad pulling tissues out of Pyukumuku!)
There were also two other mascot plush besides Pyukumuku: Alola Marowak and Alola Exeggutor. The Exeggutor unfortunately is a little tiny (even with the neck he is still roughly the same size as Marowak) but I think that just makes him cuter. The Alola Marowak plush is perfect!
There were other items from the Alola Festival promotion aside from plush, believe it or not. The majority of items featured one of two main promotional art, both of which are just adorable beyond belief.
Pictured here is a sheet of stickers, various hand towels and handkerchiefs (the blue towel is a long towel with a bunch of Pyukumukus on it), and a cute Alolan style pouch!
These six Pikachu card sleeves were announced semi at the last minute. Each Pikachu is wearing a different hat from a different region, and each card sleeve pack contained 64 sleeves.
Card sleeves are special but pretty standard for TCG releases, however, the Pokemon Center also gave us mini card folders for storing your cards (how sweet!) There were two designs in total for this release, one featuring Rotom and one featuring Lana.
What were you especially excited for from the multitude of July 15th releases?
First off, a big apology to everyone for sitting on these photos for so long. So much stuff was released my last weekend in Japan and I took so many photos that every time I looked at them all in my little computer folder, I felt overwhelmed. No excuse, though!
I decided to divide the May 20th releases up into three parts: part one (this post) will cover all the plush releases, including the two All-Star plush that came out that day plus the mascot plush.
The 5th edition of the very popular All-Star Pokemon plush series, produced by San-ei toy company, was set to release close to the end of May. For reasons I don’t understand, only two of the main plush came out on the 20th, along with most (but not all) of the mascot plush, with the rest of the plush coming out a few days later, unfortunately after I had already left Japan.
The plush not pictured but included in this set are Rowlet, Popplio, Litten, Bewear, Togedemaru, and Alola Vulpix.
The two plush that were released May 20th were Alola Raichu and Mimikyu.
For curious parties, here is a shot of the All-Star Mimikyu plush (left) next to the Pokemon Center original plush (right). I’m incredibly picky about my Mimikyu plush, and most are a little too thin for my tastes, but the All-Star plush is also very flat. I guess if you like that or not, it’s a matter of taste, but I wish they made more rounder Mimikyu!
Along with the plush, we also got a first: All-Star mascot plush! The full line-up included Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander, Jigglypuff, Meowth, Psyduck, Snorlax, Mew, Mimikyu, and (not pictured) Togedemaru, Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio.
Next up: Pokemon Center exclusive plush! May 20th gave us Bounsweet, Cosmog
And Pyukumuku! (He has a cute little fluffy tail/entrails sticking out the back).
I was pretty pleased with all the plush. Cosmog has the cutest face, and Pyukumuku is the cuddliest. While checking out, I mentioned to the staff that I was buying little Pyukumuku for my sister’s boyfriend and they thought it was the most amusing thing ever.
We also got the first of the Pokemon Center mascot plush, which is a fairly new addition to the usual Pokemon Center plush line-up.
These plush are based off of pre-existing more normal sized Pokemon Center plush. The first set of these mascot plush included Cosmog (to match the bigger plush!), Alola Vulpix, Rockruff, and Togedemaru.
As an aside, I was around for the original Alola Vulpix (Snowpix) plush release back when Sun & Moon was released near the end of 2016, along with the Hokkaido promotion the following month, and I’ve always encountered issues with the snouts. The problem continued into these plush, as seen in the photo here. There are some some more perfect plush but there are also a ton of crooked noses, but I also noticed a lot of the time quality (cuteness?) of plush tend to go down the smaller they are.
At any rate, just some nitpickiness from your resident plush collector.
That wraps up the plush releases for May 20th! Stay tuned for more…
The last day of June and the first day of July both had Pokemon Center releases!
I’ve been looking forward to the Tohoku Center re-opening promotion since the teaser posters started going up back in April. The Tohoku Center holds a special place in my heart and will always be my favorite Center location. Why? One big reason is Victini is one of the Center’s logo Pokemon and I love Victini. One of my favorite Victini plush is a special 1:1 plush that was sold exclusively through the Tohoku Center. I was really hoping this release would have some cute Victini plush, and I wasn’t disappointed!
All of the Pokemon Centers got new poncho Pikachu plush, featuring Rowlet and Victini ponchos in normal and mascot plush sizes.
The Tohoku Center also sold Jirachi poncho plush, but as those were exclusive to Tohoku, I unfortunately don’t have photos to share of them (so you’ll have to imagine).
Along with the usual merch (metal charms and pins), we also got these adorable kokeshi style plush for Pikachu, Jirachi, and Victini.
Along with the cute Tohoku promotional items, we also got a renewal to the Pokemon with You line of merch with the return of can badges! I’m so in love with the new illustrations, not only because they’re no longer stock images but also because the new art is just too cute for words. Jen from Japan Stuffs helped me get some and I will definitely share pictures as soon as I have them in hand!
I really hope they continue the new can badges in the near future because I want more Pokemon drawn in this style.
Two new Pokemon Center plush were released on the 30th of June: Marshadow and Jirachi.
Last but not least, a cute Pikachu themed promotion, called “Pikachu in the Forest” was released across Japan July 1st. The merch line-up included some of the usual suspects, such as different sizes of pouch, but also a bunch of kitchen and home goods, like aprons, cooking utensils, a teapot, and a variety of bowls and plates among other items.
That wraps up this week’s Pokemon Center releases!
I thought this past Saturday would be fairly quiet, but actually, there was a bunch of releases (I forgot about oops) and to make things even more exciting, the extra large Pokemon Center On-Line Lapras plush started shipping! If you placed an order for one of these giant monsters a while back, your plush is probably on the way to you.
Before we get into the release news, I have a small aside. As everyone who follows me knows, I am very active on Twitter and I’ve been using it to share Pokemon photos for years now. Recently, Twitter started implementing changes to how their system filters not safe for work or “sensitive content” media and will auto-tag photos as NSFW or “sensitive” based on algorithms that I don’t understand. Completely innocent videos and images have started being incorrectly marked as “sensitive” which in and of itself seems more like an amusing annoyance, but apparently Twitter can now mark your entire account as containing sensitive material based on the system auto tagging photos or posts.
Over the past two weeks, a couple of my Pokemon Center photos on Twitter were tagged as containing sensitive content when it was literally just Pokemon plush, and then it was brought to my attention that my entire account (@zombiemiki) has been marked as an account containing sensitive material. My account does not contain sensitive material at all, but if you don’t know me and go to my profile to follow me, you’ll be faced with a pop-up stating my account may contain sensitive material, and might be scared off. I’ve tried contacting Twitter support (although it seems like it’s a bot so whats the point of even having it), and I tried submitting a ticket, and I’ve tried checking and unchecking the “my account contains sensitive material” option multiple times, and my account is still tagged as NSFW.
If you’re seeing this and don’t follow me yet, don’t be scared! I’m doing my best to get this fixed; my account does not contain NSFW anything. As stated in my profile, I post about Pokemon and food, and that is not a lie. If you’re already a follower, thank you for your continued support! And to anyone who maybe has friends who work for Twitter, or if you yourself work for Twitter, or know of a way I can potentially get this issue fixed, please let me know.
If you’re a Twitter user, I strongly urge you to: go to settings -> privacy & safety -> under Safety, check the option that says “display media that may contain sensitive material”. A lot of people are being affected by this new change that of course no one has bothered to proof before rolling out, and this helps slightly.
Moving on to Pokemon!
Saturday, June 24th saw two new Mimikyu and Bewear plush, and a bunch of Pikachu stuff in preparation for the summer Pokemon movie. First up, we have three new fuzzy Takara Tomy plush! They all come in the new Pokemon Sun & Moon era boxes and are super soft. If the rumors I heard are correct, Mimikyu is slightly posable, in that you can make him stand up straight or slump over and be creepy.
We also got a super surprise release: more Pokemon Center mascot plush! These are basically tiny versions of previously released Pokemon Center plush, in this case, Mimikyu and Bewear.
Not a surprise: new Pokemon Center plush! This latest batch included Meowth, Corsola, Mareanie, and Charjabug (because why not). For those wondering, the new Marshadow plush will be coming out July 1st.
June 24th gave us two surprise Pikachu plush and two announced plush! The surprise plush are the Pilot and Train Driver Pikachus, and the announced was the gigantic Pikachu plush phone case and (not photo-ed but similar) a plush Pikachu tissue box cover.
Last and certainly not least, the big promotion for June 24th was the Pikachu Album Collection, featuring a cute sort of old-fashioned sepia theme with Ash’s Pikachu. There was a bunch of items designed to look like paper lunch bags, which I think is really cute, including a literal lunch bag that can be used to keep your food cold.
Along with the items photographed here, there was also a cute Pikachu gacha with little Pikachus wearing little hats.
Was there anything from this weekend’s promotion and releases that you were looking forward to? What are you hoping for release wise over the summer?
That wraps up this weekend’s Pokemon Center Report! As always, everything listed here (and more) can be found for purchase through Japan Stuffs. Check them out if you haven’t already!