Merchandise Overview – April

This post will be updated as information is released.

4.11

[Pokemon Center] Monthly Pikachu – May
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Center Exclusive Plush – Raichu, Mega Latios, Mega Latias

Mid to Late April

[Pokemon Merchandise] PokeMikke – Ice Cream Series

4.16

[Banpresto Prize] Large size Torchic plush
[Pokemon Store] Ōita store opening

4.17

[TCG] Emerald Break Expansion Megapack

4.18

[Pokemon Center] Pikachu Focus Promotion
[Magazine] Pokemon Fan Magazine Vol. 41

4.23

[Banpresto Prize] I Love Eevee – Mascot Plush Set 1
[Banpresto Prize] I Love Eevee – Eevee Towels (3 designs)

End of April

[Shop Exclusive] Village Vanguard Ghost Type Tote Bags

4.25
[Pokemon Center] Re-release of Mega-Tokyo Pikazard plush and mascot plush
[Pokemon Center] Mega-Size Pikazard plush

4.27

[Bandai] Pokemon Kids – Rayquaza Edition

4.29

[Pokemon Store] Narita Airport Terminal 2 store opening

Friday’s Pokemon Announcements – More Pikachu, Ghosties, and PokeMikke Round 3

We got several merchandise announcements on Friday, April 3rd.

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Village Vanguard (a Japanese store similar to Spencer’s in America) will be exclusively carrying these three ghost-type Pokemon tote bags. These bags are designed to be used in place of plastic bags when buying from stores, so you can protect the environment and show off your love of ghost Pokemon at the same time.

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The PokeMikke line of mainly stationary and other related accessories announced their next line-up of merchandise, this time with an ice cream theme instead of socks.

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Not new, but we did finally receive the full list of items sold as part of the Pikachu Focus promotion. The promo features three distinctive art styles: Pikachu (simple), PIKACHUUUU! (comic book), and Pikachu in the farm (European, as described by the official site). This series has tons of cute Pikachu goods, perfect for any level of Pikachu fan, and even offers both a 40 inch size Pikachu plush (27,000 yen) and 28 inch plush (13,000 yen).

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April TsumTsum Release – Easter Version

Wednesday was my first time experiencing a tsum tsum release at the Disney store!

I originally got into tsum tsum back when it was only available on the Japanese Apple store but lost interest since I had no friends to play with. After it’s release on the American store, a lot of my friends got into it and pulled more mutual friends in, which prompted my own re-emergence. I’ve tried to keep from collecting the plush, although I’ve been collecting the special straps from the arcade version of the game that was recently released.

Tsum tsum is a slippery slope.

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The Easter series includes 8 minis wearing bunny ears – Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore, Piglett, Donald, Daisey, Chip, Dale,

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Medium sizes of Bunny Donald and Bunny Daisy,

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And a medium Bunny Daisy plush bag containing 4 alternate pose mini tsums – Daisy, Donald, Chip, and Dale
(Picture credit: the official Disney store)

Unlike the Big Hero 6 tsum release, these plush definitely did not sell out within the first day. I know that not all stores had limits, but the store I went to within Tokyo had limits on all the new release plush, including only allowing customers to purchase up to 20 mini tsums at once.

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I recently became infatuated with Bumblebee Pooh, thanks to playing the tsum game, and so I had to get a bunny Pooh, because he is equally as adorable. Although Eeyore came in a close second!

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Unsurprisingly, there is a lot of tsum tsum merchandise at the Disney Store, but these candies caught my eye. Of course, they had them in easy reach to the check out line, but while I was tempted, I was able to resist… this time.

Pokemon Center Report – April 1

The Pokemon Center usually releases new items on Saturdays, so it’s always a little weird when something is released during the week.

Because of that, all day today I’ve been thinking it’s Saturday instead of Wednesday. Hopefully by the time I wake up tomorrow, I’ll realize it’s Thursday and not Sunday…but maybe not. Can we just skip to Sunday?

That it was Wednesday instead of Saturday put a damper on my morning commute. Even on the weekends, the trains are crowded, but rush hour during the week?

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I ended up arriving a little too early. I was expecting at least a couple people to be there, waiting, and there was no one. Cue two hours of wasting time.

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Finally, the Pokemon Center opened at 10 am. The “big” new release for the day was Gallade card sleeves.

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As opposed to most card sleeve packs, which are sold as half decks and contain 32 sleeves per pack, these Gallade packs contain enough for a full deck (60) plus 2 extra sleeves.

There was an entire wall full of sleeves when I arrived and only a few people buying, so there is a good chance these sleeves will last longer than a week at the very least.

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On the way to the registers, I noticed this display for the up-coming Cynthia Nendoroid. I love how Garchomp, her Pokemon companion, is as big as she is, especially considering how Red’s Pokemon companions were all tiny.

There are no releases this weekend, but we have official news on Friday to look forward to, and the weekend after will have lots of Pikachus and Raichus!

Friday’s Pokemon Announcements – Pikachus and More Pikachus

Today’s announcements from the Pokemon site did not skimp on the Pikachus.

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First up, a new mini Pokemon store is opening up in Ōita city, Ōita prefecture (大分県) and will sell a Yukata wearing Pikachu plush and mini mascot plush exclusive to the store. In order to get one, you will have to either travel to Ōita, find a friend living in Ōita, or buy second hand through sites such as Yahoo!Japan auctions or Ebay.

The new store will open April 16th.

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Although not new, the site officially announced the next Monthly Pikachu, dressed up in traditional Children’s Day attire. Children’s Day is celebrated May 5th and is part of Japan’s Golden Week. Children’s Day Pikachu comes out in Pokemon Centers across Japan on April 11th.

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We also received images and information on the items coming out for the Pikachu & Pokeball Dot Sprite promotion, also starting sale from April 11th.

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There are no new releases tomorrow, but Gallade card sleeves will go on sale April 1st, which is a Wednesday. Odd, but okay!

Unexpected Adventures On A Weekday

My original plan for Wednesday was to head in to the city to win some Card Captor Sakura towels and play some arcade Tsum Tsum, and I did end up winning some towels, but not from the Game Center I was planning to go to.

A friend of mine has recently gotten into Babymetal and Sakura Gakuin (さくら学院) as well, since the girls were originally from the group. I sometimes help him get items that are only available in Japan, and in this case, the Sakura Gakuin group came out with a new CD recently. There is a normal version of the CD and three special editions. If you buy the CDs from a Tower Records store, you get a special limited poster for the normal version, and a different special limited poster for any one of the special editions. On top of that, the Tower Records cafe (one location in Shibuya) is hosting a very limited collaboration “menu” consisting of one item. If you buy this meal (a dessert plate and a drink), you get a photo as a bonus. Along with the dessert plate, the cafe is also selling a cute lunch box and a mug.

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Today’s first stop was to the cafe since Shibuya is the furthest away from me. I was expecting it to be as crowded as the limited Pokemon Cafe was, but thankfully, I only had to wait five minutes before sitting.

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The first item from the set meal that came out was the drink. It’s a yogurt drink with slight carbonation, but it was my favorite from the entire set.

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Next up, the actual food! Looking at it all together, it seems like something a kid might choose for dinner. The cake with sakura frosting on top was delicious, as was the cookie, and the ice cream. I’m not a fan of red bean paste, so the daifuku was meh. Also the fruit was disappointing because it was all frozen.

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Here is a shot of the photo that came with the meal!

After finishing up, I swung by the nearby Adores Game Center for Card Captor Sakura towels, and was not disappointed.

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The setting level for the machine was fairly easy, but I still needed the staff to move one of the towels to the side (which they did!) I was able to get all three of the designs, plus an extra one.

Following this, I went to a different game center in a different part of Tokyo (close by to the Shinjuku Tower Records location where the special posters were) and won two more towels plus a large size Monster Hunter Airou plush…which is an adventure all on it’s own! Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the machine but I am still impressed I won it at all.

Off days are annoying, but it’s nice to have a good day of winning, even if it involves a little bit of work.

Pikachus and Fire Foxes

Today was a day for packages!

I was interested in getting one of the smaller mascot plush versions of the Okinawa Pokemon Center Pikachus, but lacking friends currently living in Okinawa, I bought one through a second hand seller via Yahoo!Japan auction. The seller shipped out my plush a few days ago and he arrived today.

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His nose is a little shoved to the side, but otherwise, he is the perfect size for displaying and very soft and cute!

Usually I would follow this up with, “I wish Tokyo had a special little Pikachu plush” but we had one and it sold out quickly. At least our special cute Pikachu will go back in stock soonish (and then probably sell out quickly again).

Another package showed up unexpectedly in the afternoon. I participated in a gift swap on the Livejournal Pokemon community and this package was from my surprise gift partner.

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The best part of the gift was this amazing Fennekin mug from the American Pokemon Center on-line store.

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The Chillarmy plush included in the package is a perfect size for the cup, which also shows how big it is! I expected it to be a decent coffee size, as this mug and the series it’s a part of are all unique to the American store, but it is a very sturdy mug as well.

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My gift partner included a bunch of sour gummy candies (which I love), a small Fennekin McDonalds toy, some Pokemon cards featuring my favorites, and socks from the same Fall Fennekin line as the mug. Everything is adorable (and delicious!) The hardest part is not eating all the candy at once.

I needed a little pick-me-up and this amazing package definitely helped.

Here is to hoping the rest of the week will be great.

Pokemon Center Report – March 21

Today (or rather yesterday) marked the official start of the Monthly Pikachu series. Every month, a new Pikachu plush will go on sale. The Pikachu will resemble some aspect of the month it’s representing.

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For the first month, April, we have the fresh out of university Pikachu! In Japan, most kids graduate from school and start their first jobs, which is why this Pikachu makes sense.
The plush turned out pretty cute, as expected, although the positioning of the glasses can make or break it. A lot of the Pikachus look drunk because their glasses are half on and half off their faces! If I were to get two plush, I would be tempted to remove the glasses on one and just have a suave suit wearing Pika.

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As a completely unannounced surprise, the mascot plush from special mini Pokemon stores suddenly appeared. These plush are usually only available at their respective mini stores (Tokyo station, various airports around Japan), but having them, even for a limited time, all together in one location, is nice. It would have been even nicer if the larger size plush were included as well, but I guess I should be grateful even for this. A friend of mine picked up the larger size plush from the Kansai International Airport, so I had to get the tiny one to match.

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New mega-evolution plush also went on sale! My favorite of the bunch was Mega Mawile. Her venus fly trap hair is amazing (although makes the plush a little bulky) but I think her final design is great!

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Mega Gallade, looking suave as ever.

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Mega Gardevoir is my second favorite from the batch. I love her voluminous skirt, and she even has little legs under the skirt.

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New cookies went on sale as well. This cookie tin features a super cute Pikachu design and contains two flavors of cookies: green tea and vanilla. Both are yummy, but the green tea is very strong, so if you don’t like green tea, you might not like them.

PikaFiles

Finally, a bunch of new Pikachu themed clearfiles also appeared, alongside the Monthly Pikachu promotion. Most are pretty standard or defaulty, but the two pictured are my favorite.

The Pokemon Center was fairly crowded for a not so exciting release day, mainly because of a tretta tournament, which meant there were more kids than usual. Based on today’s turn out, I don’t expect these plush to sell out quickly.

Friday’s Pokemon Announcements – Raichu, Pikachus, and Mega Lati

Today’s official Pokemon update contained some interesting tidbits!

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Raichu, Mega Latios, and Mega Latias plush will go on sale in Japanese Pokemon Centers April 11th.

Dot sprite merchandise will also go on sale on the same day, although so far it looks to be mainly pokeballs and Pikachu.

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Speaking of Pikachu, a Pikachu focused promotion will also be coming out in April. This promotion will focus on three different design styles: 1 simple, 1 cartoony, and 1 northern European (according to the Pokemon site).

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So far, this is the only image we have of merch related to the Pikachu focus promo, and it features some kitchen items that have been previously released.

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Finally, a mini Pokemon store is opening in Narita airport at the end of April, coinciding with everyone in Japan traveling for Golden Week.
The store will feature two exclusive Pikachu plush (pilot Pikachu and cabin attendant Pikachu), as well as smaller plush mascot versions of the two, and the usual cookies, acrylic charms, and clearfiles.

If you are going through Narita airport after the store opens, be sure to stop by!

Until next Friday~

Pokemon Center Report – March 14

This past Saturday saw the release of the latest Pokemon card game expansion pack, “Emerald Break”, as well as several limited card sleeves only available for sale at the Pokemon Center and the Pokemon Center Amazon store.

The last time Pokemon Center limited card sleeves were released was back near the end of January. Partly because of the inclusion of a Pikazard design in honor of the opening of the Mega-Tokyo Center, people went a little nuts. I refer to that day as “Card Sleeve-mageddon: The Apocalypse”. Because of the amount of scalpers (and their goons), the Pikazard design disappeared almost like magic within a minute after opening, and the rest of the sleeves quickly followed. People were pushing and shoving, grabbing as many sleeve packs as possible, and I would say within 5 minutes, everything was gone.

Because of how horrible it was at Tokyo, the Pokemon Center decided to impose a restriction on the number of card sleeve packs one person could buy at a time for the March 14th release. This restriction was apparently only enforced in Tokyo, however, as I heard rumors that scalpers were not having any issues buying as many as they wanted in other locations. Even in Tokyo, it only helped a little; although you could only buy up to 10 packs of each design at a time, it wasn’t that difficult for people to buy as many as they could and then simply go back into the Center and buy more.

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I decided it would be safer if I arrived at the Center as early as possible, so me and Adam caught the first express train of the day, bright and early at 5:30 am.

We were not the first in line, but we were close enough that we were able to easily get everything we needed.

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The kind of silly buying restriction didn’t stop scalpers from dominating the sleeve buying market, but it helped to keep the sleeves from selling out as quickly as last time. Even with that said, by the time we got in line to pay, two out of four of the Pokemon Center exclusive designs were completely wiped out, never to be restocked. Moral of the story: when it comes to card sleeves, do not wait and if possible, bring goons with you.

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As part of the “Emerald Break” release promotion, these Rayquaza Mega Battle shopping bags are currently being handed out. They were still in stock when I went back to the Center on Monday, so there is a good chance they will stick around for another week or two, at the very least. I have a small collection of limited shoppers, and I always enjoy adding to it, even if it’s a Pokemon that’s not necessarily my favorite.

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Here are the four Pokemon Center exclusive sleeve designs. Of the four, I thought Pikachu would sell out first, but the Center must have been prepared for this because it seemed like that was the only sleeve they had enough extras of to keep restocking. I had a feeling Dragonite would be popular and it, along with Goomy, were the first two to sell out.

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Rayquaza was available on-line, but the design is still neat.

On a closing note, it’s officially Wednesday, which means only a few days until Saturday, and you know what that means…

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The first installment of the newly reinstated Monthly Pikachu! I affectionately refer to him as “Tanaka-Pika” because he looks like a Tanaka to me. It’s the glasses.

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If you visit the Pokemon Center and buy something, not only will you get the Rayquaza shopper, but also one of three Tanaka-Pikachu business cards (while supplies last). Between going to the Pokemon Center on Saturday and Monday with Adam, I was able to get all three designs! I am super excited to have my very own Tanaka-Pika.