Merchandise Overview – April

4.1

[Pokemon Center] New Pokedolls (Rockruff, Alola Raichu, Alola Vulpix)
[Pokemon Center] Big Can Badges – Johto Edition
[Ichiban Kuji] Pikachu & Friends – Happy Beach Time

4.3

[Gacha] Pokemon School Backpack Collection (Bulbasaur, Charmander, Eevee, Gengar, Pikachu, Squirtle)

4.6

[Banpresto] Pokemon Sun & Moon Large Plush – Komala
[Banpresto] I Love Eevee – Large Plush (Jolteon, Sylveon)

4.8

[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Little Tales Part 4
[Pokemon Center Online] 1st Year Anniversary Campaign starts: get 1 of 3 canvas bags for every 10,000 yen spent

4.13

[Banpresto] Kororin Friends – Large Plush (Mew, Mewtwo)

Mid April

[Gacha] Pokemon Connecting Charms Part 2 (Gengar, Metapod, Mew, Pikachu, Slowpoke)

4.15

[Pokemon Center] Kuttari Series Promotion
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon The Movie: I Choose You Promo
[Pokemon Center Online] Pre-order period for custom phone case orders starts
[Pokemon Center Campaign] Pokemon Movie Pikachu clearfile campaign starts
[Merchandise] Paper Theater (Pichu/Pikachu/Raichu, Mew/Mewtwo)

4.20

[Banpresto] I Love Eevee – Large Plush (Flareon, Vaporeon)

4.21

[TCG] “Beyond New Challenges” Power Booster Pack
[TCG] Special Card Set w/ Alola Vulpix promo card
[TCG] Pokemon Card Game Sun & Moon 30 Card Battle Set” – Ash vs Team Rocket

4.22

[Pokemon Center] New Pokemon Sun & Moon Plush (Decidueye, Incineroar, Primarina)
[Takara Tomy] Shoulder Pikachu Plush – Sun & Moon Ver.
[MonColle] Moncolle EX Figures (Pikachu, Raichu)
[MonColle] MonColle Get Vol 7 (Meowth, Alola Meowth, Marowak, Alola Marowak, Sandslash, Alola Sandslash + three secrets)

4.25

[Banpresto] Pokemon Sun & Moon Large Plush (Vulpix, Alola Vulpix)
[Banpresto] *NAMCO EXCLUSIVE* Pokemon Sun & Moon Pokeball Mascot Plush (Pokeball, Great Ball, Ultra Ball, Master Ball)
[Banpresto] Kutsurogi Time Plush (Pikachu, Charmander, Bulbasaur, Squirtle)
[Banpresto] Kutsurogi Time Big Plush – Pikachu
[Banpresto] I Love Eevee – Huge Plush (Eevee)

4.27

[Takara Tomy] Mocchi-Mocchi Plush (Marill, Psyduck)

4.29

[Takara Tomy] Talky Rotom Pokedex Plush

Merchandise Review – Pokemon Kids (VS Tapu Koko)

Merchandise Review – Pokemon Kids (VS Tapu Koko)

It’s almost the end of the month, and that means…

…the monthly Patreon bump! Supporting me on Patreon, even with only a few dollars a month, helps ensure the continuation of this blog and will also help towards me creating an even higher quality blog with better content.

Of note, I will be in Japan for about a month starting from April 18th, and so I added two Japan exclusive rewards to my current reward tiers!

My Patreon rewards include: access to Japan related blog posts, unwatermarked photos, access to a chat where you can suggest content for my blog or social media accounts as well as specific requests for photos, and cute original postcards created by me, among other fun stuff!

Here is a sample of the Patreon artwork rewards from March.

Along with the postcard artwork for March and two random pictures by me for an idea of the type of art I do.

Any and all support is appreciated! Check out my Patreon here!

And now the main attraction: Pokemon Kids! The Bandai Pokemon Kids series was seemingly discontinued for a long time and we thought we’d never see them ever again (along with Pokedolls) but they made a surprise come back at the end of last year with “Alola Adventure!” Everyone was overjoyed when we heard the news, but then the big day arrived and we realized to our shock and horror, Kids figures were suddenly blind packaged. Kids figures have never been blind packaged, and it made no sense why they would suddenly change it other than for some reason everything is blind packaged. So we were happy but depressed at the same time.

Fast forward to the second set of Sun & Moon Kids figures. We all assumed they would continue to be blind packaged but lo! and! behold! They’re back to being not blind packaged! And everyone rejoiced.

Unlike previous Pokemon Kids boxes, each box does not feature artwork of the figure inside but instead of the main Tapu Koko figure art. However, the name of the Pokemon inside is clearly written in the green bar below Tapu Koko. The name is also included on the top of the box.

Here is the side of the box and the back, which shows all the Pokemon included in this set (Tapu Koko, Bounsweet, Alola Raichu, Alola Rattata, Gumshoos, Pyukumuku, Mimikyu, and Bewear).

Each figure comes with a little sticker that lists the Pokemon’s name and Pokedex information. The beloved ramune candy has been replaced with gum, so if you hate gum like me but loved the ramune candy, shed a silent tear.

Here are the rest of the figures and their little stickers. For eagle eye observers, you might notice the paint jobs are sort of hit or miss which is pretty normal for Kids figures but is still a little frustrating.

I’m really happy with how Mimikyu turned out in this set! I love my little Mimikyu to be a little pudgier and it seems like most of the official merch makes him too long which makes him a little less cute. Aside from my little 3DS case, this Mimikyu figure is the first official Mimikyu merchandise I own, and it’s one of the cutest so I’m happy!

What do you think of this latest batch of Pokemon Kids figures?

What Pokemon would you like to see in the next set?

Until next time~ (Alola!)

Pokemon Center Report – Ditto Transform! Part 4

Pokemon Center Report – Ditto Transform! Part 4

This past weekend saw the release of the fourth installment of the Ditto Transform! series. Amazingly enough, the release date was almost exactly a year from the release of the very first Ditto Transform set of plush (March 26th, 2016). Funny how time flies!

Unlike the first, second, and third releases, this time we got more than just plush and mascot plush, which was exciting. But we can’t forget the plush so let’s start off with them!

The Pokemon featured in this set of plush were Koffing, Jigglypuff, Magnemite, Gloom, and Snorlax. I forget how cute the Ditto plush are every time until a new batch is released and then it’s a struggle not to buy them even though I don’t even collect these Pokemon. But look at them!

The mascot plush are somehow even cuter just because of the size. They’re so tiny and their little faces! Looook at theeem! I want to say “this Pokemon is especially cute” but honestly they’re all adorable in their own weird way.

Something I wasn’t prepared for: how cute the tissue box cover is?! Look at it! It looks so soft, and that little Ditto and that little Pikachu, they’re just so cute! There is no way to be miserable, even while blowing your nose once every five seconds, when your tissues are covered in this soft cuteness.

There was a bunch of reversible items, playing off the Ditto transformation theme, and one item that surprised me was the reversible drawstring pouches. I assumed they’d be the same size as the usual bags (what I usually refer to as dice bags) but these are huge?! Pikachu can be turned inside out to reveal Ditto and Espeon turns inside out to reveal Umbreon.

Another cute reversible item: this Snorlax cushion can be turned inside out to reveal Ditto (although this Snorlax is precious so you might need two so you can just have Snorlax and Ditto on display at the same time).

More reversible items! Each pouch can be turned inside out to reveal a different design on each side. The Bulbasaur pouch hides Squirtle and Charmander while the Pikachu pouch hides Raichu and Pichu. All the pouches are super soft as well for an added bonus.

The tea cup and bowl set proves that you can eat your soup and drink your tea, too. Or if you want to spice things up, tea soup!

For a while, having earrings in a Pokemon promotion was a rare treat, but it seems like this might become a staple promo item soon if not already (great news for people with pierced ears who like Pokemon!) For this promo, there was also a non-pierce version for people who like earrings but not holes in their ears.

Pokemon Center socks are my favorite socks in the entire world. As with every single sock sale in all of Japan since forever, the Pokemon Center was only selling these in sets of 3 for 1,080 yen (after tax). Get three different socks or get three of the same one so you can have two to use and one to save forever in mint condition.

A couple miscellaneous but equally cute items. Aside from the clearfile set, the small hand towel and phone case were two other items you could buy that featured the main Ditto Transform artwork (which ps is adorable). And speaking of phone cases, it seems like the flip phone case, designed to hold any medium sized phone, is replacing the very specific iPhone cases the Pokemon Center has been selling for years – I guess because they realize people use more than just iPhones? Potentially good news for some people, although in my case, I don’t like flip phone cases.

Also of note, the pens are erasable.

And that brings us to the conclusion of this week’s Pokemon Center Report!

If you’re interested in buying any of the items mentioned in this post, or pre-ordering items coming out at the Pokemon Center, check out Japan Stuffs for all your Pokemon Center needs!

Until next time~

Friday Pokemon Announcements – April TCG News + Kuttari Plush Series + Little Tales

Hello everyone!

Tonight’s update includes a lot of info and photos, so let’s get started beginning with the most recent TCG news.

The next booster pack set was announced, with a release date of April 21st (Friday). Called “Beyond New Challenges”, is the second holo exclusive Sun & Moon set (SM2+) and the cards in this set are designed to be used alongside “Awaiting Islands” and “Alola Moonlight” to create stronger decks.

Each booster pack will cost 248 yen after tax and includes 5 random holo cards.

A special card set will go on sale April 21st as well. This set features a promo Alolan Vulpix card that you can only get via this set along with 2 “Beyond New Challenges” booster packs. This set will cost 550 yen after tax.

A two player 30 card deck battle set will also go on sale April 21st. As this set is designed for two people to be able to battle each other right out of the box, there is 2 sets of 30 card decks as opposed to the usual 1 set, and features 1 Pikachu GX card and 1 Mimikyu GX card. The set also includes:

44 damage counters / 2 markers / 1 sheet
2 GX markers
1 Pokemon coin
1 playmat
1 instruction manual
1 players guide

This special two player set will cost 1,782 yen after tax.

As with most (if not all?) booster pack releases, there will be a special card campaign starting April 21st. Customers who buy 20 packs of “Beyond New Challenges” or 1 box will receive 1 Olivia promo card, which you can only get from this campaign.

Moving on!

The ever popular Kuttari Plush series is returning with a brand new array of non-plush (and some plush) items, including a cookie tin, towels, bags, and charms. This mini promotion will go on sale at all Pokemon Centers and stores in Japan on April 15th (Saturday).

The fourth installment of Pokemon Tales was also announced, with a release date of April 8th (Saturday). The theme for this iteration is forest living, focusing on Pikachu and their friends everyday forest lives, including little forest parties and picnics. Along with Pikachu, some of the Pokemon included in the item illustrations are: Pichu, Tympole, Bonsly, Hoppip, Skiploom, Clefairy, and a very tiny, hidden Minccino!

The Ditto Transform promotion came out today (March 25th) in Japan, and I already have photos so be on the lookout for the next Pokemon Center Report coming soon!
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Pokemon Center Report – New Pokemon Center Plush + Pikachu’s Easter

As promised in my last post, I’m back with the Saturday release: new plush and Pikachu’s Easter!

First up, the new Pokemon Center plush. Although nothing quite as exciting as Alola Vulpix or Mimikyu, this set featured the ever illustrious Alola Dugtrio (maybe he’s born with it)

Alola Persian

Stufful

Tapu Koko

and Shiny Tapu Koko because why not.

The cute thing about Stufful is that he comes with a fake tush tag and a real one, because you can never have too many tush tags when you’re a bear who looks like a stuffed animal.

The big seller, surprisingly (to me) was Pikachu’s Easter. There tends to be an Easter promotion every year, and they tend to be fairly quiet. Not this year. The scalpers were out for blood this year. The cup and the hair scrunchie (???) sold out within 3 minutes on the on-line store. By the end of Saturday, most stores had sold out of their Pikachu plush. The Era of Scalpers is still going strong in Japan, regardless of buying limits.

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Pokemon Center Report – Pokemon TCG Sleeves + Boxes + Goodies

Hello everyone!

As regular readers can tell, the site is different. I’m currently in the process of fixing up the site with a new theme, so I appreciate everyone’s patience as I stumble my way through here.

But in the meantime, we have exciting new releases ahead of us, so let’s dive right in~

Along with the release of the newest set of booster packs (“Awaiting Islands” and “Alola Moonlight”) a bunch of brand new TCG related items also came out, including the ever popular card sleeves. There were five designs with this release:

Alola Vulpix & Ninetails

Mimikyu

Ditto-chu

Wild Ride, featuring Tauros and Tapu Koko

And the Lycanroc duo!

This same illustration was also featured on a single deck box.

There were two double deck sized boxes available as well, featuring a slightly different Lycanroc illustration

And a super cute Mallow’s Cooking illustration, with Rockruff, Pikipek, and Bounsweet.

There was also three new Special Sets, each featuring a unique promo card that can only be obtained through these sets. One set featured Jangmo-o

One with Komala

and one with Pikachu!

On a side note, the three special sets plus Mallow’s Cooking deck box were the only items to sell out (as of this posting) from the TCG release, which is interesting considering the Alola Vulpix and Mimikyu card sleeves. I guess to be fair, none of the items that sold out were limited, so I can see card people buying as many as possible, but it was still surprising to me. Of the three special sets, Pikachu sold out first (but also to be fair, that illustration is really cute!)

Pikachu’s Easter promotion came out today (along with a couple other items) so stay tuned for the next Pokemon Center Report hopefully coming soon!

Friday Pokemon Announcements – More Pokedolls + Johto Can Badges

Only two announcements from tonight, but they’re exciting, so it’s better than five mediocre announcements!

First up…

The last of the mistakenly announced Pokedolls are finally in sight!

Rockruff, Alola Vulpix, and Alola Raichu will go on sale at all Pokemon Centers and Stores in Japan on April 1st, with each plush costing 1,296 yen after tax.

They look adorable! I can’t handle them!

Next up, the big can badge series continues (also April 1st!) with the Johto region.

Every Pokemon, from Chikorita to Cerebi, will have a badge, and just like the Kanto region badges, they will not be blind packaged.

You want an Umbreon ita-bag? You got it! Make it rain Umbreon badges!

Each badge is roughly 3 inches across and will cost 216 yen each.

(I promise this is no joke!)

Until next time~

——-
New Pokedolls
Johto Can Badges

Banpresto – Upcoming April Releases

The official Banpresto site updated with a list of prizes and dates for April! This post will cover everything coming out, along with the prizes for the Ichiban-Kuji [Pikachu & Friends Happy Beach Time] going on sale April 1st.

There will be three large size plush coming out in April from the general Pokemon Sun & Moon line-up.
These plush will be roughly 24 cm each, or a little over 9 inches.

Komala will be released in Game Centers starting from April 6th (Thursday).
Both Vulpix and Alola Vulpix will be released in Game Centers starting from April 25th (Tuesday).

The I Love Eevee series makes a come-back in April, with a new line-up of large size plush and 1 extra large size Eevee.
Eevee measures in at about 30 cm or roughly a foot, while the other Eeveelutions will be about 25 cm each, or close to 10 inches.

Sylveon and Vaporeon will start appearing in Game Centers from April 6th (Thursday).
Vaporeon and Flareon will start appearing in Game Centers from April 20th (Thursday).
Extra Large Eevee will start appearing in Game Centers from April 25th (Tuesday).

The rest of the Eeveelutions should be available in Game Centers in May, but for now, information coming soon.

The Kutsurogi Time (Relax Time) series also makes a comeback in April with some cute sleepy time plush versions of everyone’s favorite Gen 1 starters (and Pikachu).
The normal size plush will all be roughly 13 cm or 5 inches, while the big sized Pikachu will be 26 cm or 10 inches.

All the Kutsurogi Time plush will start appearing in Game Centers from April 25th (Tuesday).

April will feature one release from the Kororin Friends series.
Both Mew and Mewtwo are part of the Larger Size line-up of Kororin Friends, with each measuring about 26 cm or 10 inches.
These plush are usually super cute because of the roundness and a nice size to hug!

They will start appearing in Game Centers from April 13th (Thursday).

These cute mascot plush sized pokeballs will be available in Namco Game Centers only starting April 25th (Tuesday)!

That wraps up the Banpresto prize releases for April.

Moving on…there will be a new Pokemon Ichiban-Kuji coming out April 1st (no joke!) The entire kuji has a beach theme to it, and the prizes reflect this.
This is the first big kuji to have new generation 7 Pokemon, including Alola Vulpix and Mimikyu.

Each kuji pull will cost the usual 620 yen, and it will be available at game centers, hobby shops, Animate, Tsutaya, book stores, and the Pokemon Center (among some other places). I have a feeling this kuji will be popular, so if you’re planning to play yourself in person, get there early!

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Pokemon Center Report – Japanese Style Pikachu Patterns

Hello everyone!

Along with Charm-mageddon and the Pokemon With You merchandise released Saturday March 11th, a small line-up of Pikachu dominated Japanese style items also were quietly released under the radar.

These microfiber clothes, available as a larger handkerchief and a smaller coaster, feature four different patterns based on the four primary seasons. Along with Pikachu, we also have Jirachi for summer, Cherubi for spring, and Vanillite for winter.

There was two different coin pouches (perfect for carrying around coins for use at game centers!) The bigger size had three designs: pink

yellow

and red.

The smaller sized ones were pretty much identical, but smaller

They included the same patterns as the larger size

Including this super cute sakura themed design

and Pikachu in spaaaace!

The Sakura and Space Pikachu designs were also available as foldable tote bags

(When you want to go grocery shopping in style but want to save the environment, too)

As well as cute pouches

Which are both made of a sort of soft crepe-y fabric, when you love pouches and soft materials.

I love these random releases. They are often overshadowed by the more prominently advertised and proper promotions but that doesn’t make them any less adorable (and often times useful in day to day life).

Until next time!

Pokemon Center Report – Pokedex Metal Charms + Pokemon With You + Lillie Card Sleeves

This past Saturday was Metal Charm Lollapalooza at the Pokemon Center.

But before we dive into metal charms…

The very popular Lillie and Nebby card sleeves were re-released with a higher quality matte finish the first weekend of March. Unlike the original release, these sleeves did not sell out in milliseconds. The artwork is still adorable.

Metal charms!

The Pokedex metal charm release covered all Gen 7 Pokemon + mythical beasts and all Alolan Forms.

Pokemon were grouped together based on evolutions or formes, so depending on the Pokemon and the evolution chain, some were sold in singles, or doubles, or triples (or more!)

Here are three examples of a three part evolution set.

The Rockruff set included both Midday and Midnight forms.

Mimikyu was all by himself (but I promise he was surrounded by his friends!)

The Alolan Forms were not sold as a single (or double) set. All Alolan Form Pokemon were included in a set with their original forms. In this case, you can see both types of Vulpix and Ninetails here. For Pokemon who have three evolutions plus three Alolan evolutions, all of those Pokemon were included in one set for a total of six. Which is kind of annoying if you already had the previously released charms and only wanted the new ones, but such is life.

One thing of note: maybe it’s just my imagination but I feel like quality has gone down for the metal charms. Agree or disagree?

Moving on!

One of my favorite series, Pokemon With You, had a new release of merchandise on Saturday the 11th as well. Incidentally, the anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake back in 2011. (For more information on the history of Pokemon With You, check out this past blog entry.)

The theme for this year’s Pokemon With You line-up was a flowering garden, with one of the items on sale being a seed set so you can grow your own flowers, and the main Pikachu being a topiary hedge…which is cute in real life but maybe didn’t translate so well into merchandise. Hashtag they tried.

Some of the items from the release included (the aforementioned) topiary Pikachu mascot plush

Cute stickers and postcards (note: I always recommend the stickers from the Pokemon With You series because they almost always if not always use non stock-art poses)

A handkerchief

And a memopad, including four different paper designs.

We also got some new Pokemon With You metal charms! The three Johto starters (Cyndaquil, Totodile, and Chikorita)

Alola Vulpix, Alola Raichu, Bewear

Snorlax, Lapras, and Dragonite!

And that concludes today’s Pokemon Center Adventures.
A special shout out to Jen from Japan Stuffs for being a hand model in the majority of these photos. So professional, she makes it look easy.

Until next time!