Pokemon Center Report – April 11

The first weekend of April Merch Madness at the Pokemon Center has come and gone.

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Two out of four of the main releases for today were unannounced on the official Japanese Pokemon website, which usually never happens. Raichu, Mega Latias, and Mega Latios were mentioned in an email given to Pokemon Daisuki members, and we only found out about the petit plush through their listing on the official Pokemon Amazon store.

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One of the main releases was the latest Monthly Pikachu. He is a perfect Pikachu size, although be careful with the kabuto horns on his hat, as it is persnickity and easily bent, much like the glasses from the original April Monthy Pikachu.

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Raichu plush came out perfectly. Sometimes the photo preview looks better than the item when you see it in real life, but not in this case. This plush is a must buy for Raichu fans.

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Mega Latios and Mega Latias look almost identical, so I was glad the Pokemon Center decided to put the two plush in completely different sections to make it easier to tell them apart.

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I wish they had chosen different colors, besides eye color, but I do like purple, so I can’t complain too much.

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Surprise petit plush! I would have preferred surprise pokedolls, but beggars can’t be choosers. Although I don’t collect any of these Pokemon, they are all very adorable. My favorite is Milotic, who looks really grumpy head on.

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So grump, so adorb.

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The Dot Sprite Pikachu and Pokeball promo was kind of boring design wise, but it features some neat stuff. I’m sure if you are a Pikachu fan or collector, this series would still be exciting to you.

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The most exciting part of my trip was playing the Pokemon Shuffle raffle and winning not one, but two of the Prize B cups! They only had one design left of the original two, but I’m just happy to win at all. I was kind of hoping to be able to own at least one of the cups, and now with two, I might keep both and use one for drinking coffee. (I am undecided!)

Friday’s Pokemon Announcements – Pikazard Restock

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After teasing us for months with promises of a “Mid to Late April” release, the Pokemon Center finally announced Pikazard plush will go back in stock April 25th.

Along with the normal and growling Pikazard plush and the mascot plush, a brand new 55 cm “Mega Size” Pikazard will also go on sale.

As with the original release, the growling Pikazards will only be available at the Mega-Tokyo Center.

To quote a man who saw things and never lived to tell the tale: “Hold on to your butts.”

I Love Eevee – Spring and Summer Merch Overview

After a prolonged period of silence, new merchandise is finally getting released through the Banpresto Prize “I Love Eevee” series.

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Although the main focus in most of these prizes is Eevee, there will be several sets of mascot plush coming out, from April to June, featuring all of the Eeveelutions, and includes the very first Sylveon plush in the I Love Eevee line-up.

April 23rd

I Love Eevee – Mascot Plush (Batch 1)
Height: 10 cm / 4 in (not including the strap)

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I Love Eevee – Bath Towels
Size: 120 cm x 60 cm / 4 ft x 2 ft

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May 8th

I Love Eevee – Mascot Plush (Batch 2)
Height: 10 cm / 4 in (not including the strap)

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May 12th

I Love Eevee – Mugs (2 versions)
Height: 9 cm / 3.5 in

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May 19th

Large Size Eevee Plush
Height: 25 cm / 10 in

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June 4th

I Love Eevee – Mascot Plush (Batch 3)
Height: 10 cm / 4 in (not including the strap)

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June 18th

I Love Eevee – Plush Eevee Pass Case (2 versions)
Height: 11 cm / 4 in

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All of these items are crane game prizes and can’t be bought first hand from stores. However, as Eevee and the Eeveelutions are very popular, I’m sure everything listed will be easy to find second hand once they are released.

[Japanese] I Love Eevee prize overview
Banpresto Official Site

Gloomy Bears on a Gloomy Sunday

Today was a rainy and cloudy day in Tokyo.

So perfect for playing some games at the game centers!

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I love Gloomy Bear. I don’t have a lot of the plushies because I don’t have enough room, but when I saw this plush, I knew I had to have it.

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Round 1, unlike Adores, Sega, and Taito, usually set up larger plush in machines that require you to use one of the claws to push down on the plush until it falls. Depending on the strength of the claw and the popularity of the item, this can sometimes be difficult to impossible, or time consuming. Luckily for us, we were able to get this guy in under 1500 yen and only needed to ask for help from the staff one time.

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Merchandise Overview – April

This post will be updated as information is released.

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[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

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[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.