I was hoping for a Pokemon Center promotion sometime in October and the Center came through for me with this surprise Mario collaboration line-up of merchandise.
Most of the items were available everywhere in Japan, but there were a couple things, like the mascot size versions of the plush and a special set of clearfiles that were exclusive to the Kyoto Pokemon Center and the on-line store. (The Nintendo headquarters are situated in Kyoto, so it makes sense exclusive merch would be located at that Pokemon Center). I saw photos my friends in the Kyoto area took of the set-up down there and they had a lot of stuff. Meanwhile in Tokyo…the staff decided to put the Mario Pikachu promotion in one part of the store only, but in an awkward not quite in the front and not quite in the back location, so we were all in the way of everyone else shopping.
I showed up with my friend at around 8 am and there was no one in line. By the time the Center opened at 10 am, there was a small line, but it wasn’t amazing. I expected a lot of people to go for the TCG boxes, but it seemed like the plush were being scooped into baskets faster than the card sets.
For good reason! The plush turned out pretty adorable.
The Pikachus actually have little smiles sewn on under the mustaches, which I thought was a nice touch. Also if you’ll notice the mustaches are different between Luigi and Mario Pikachu, just like the “real” Luigi and Mario.
My TCG box photo isn’t the best, but this shot gives you an idea at least of the two boxes. The Mario box set is red and the Luigi one is green, unsurprisingly. As with all of these premium box sets, the boxes come with special cards that you can only get with the box, along with a deck box and card sleeves.
Karuta is a type of Japanese card game, with the word “karuta” originating from the Portuguese word “carta”. Pokemon sometimes makes these card sets for promotions, and they’re always expensive for reasons I sort of don’t understand – no exception here.
As befitting a Nintendo based promotion, there were two console related items: a case for holding DS game cartridges
And a New Nintendo 3DS LL case featuring the promotional artwork.
What is a Pokemon Center promotion without cookies? The tins also feature the promotional art, and the cookies are rolled wafer cookies with cream in the middle (one of my favorites).
The Plush came with these cute tush tags that feature Mario Pikachu
And like most Pokemon Center plush, the hang tags are die-cut and feature either Mario Pikachu for the Mario plush
Or Luigi for the Luigi Pikachu plush.
Side note: I’m not sure how it was for the other Pokemon Centers but at Mega Tokyo, something must have happened to the stock in transit because a good percentage of the tags for the plush were warped and bent. I would say maybe 90% but I think it was actually way more then that. The original batch of plush that were on display when we first entered the store got shoveled into baskets pretty quickly and the staff were busy restocking, and as I watched, every single plush this lady took out of the plastic bags and put on the shelves had bent and or warped tags. It was upsetting because as a collector, the hang tags are important. On one hand, even if it’s a little warped, you can usually get it to straighten out by placing books on it and waiting but usually the tags are not in such a bad state.
I placed an order with the on-line store (which already shipped!) and will have both of the mascot plush and the clearfiles soon, so I will try to get in an update with photos of those items when I can!
Tomorrow (October 30th) is my birthday 🙂 Happy birthday to me!