This past week has been a roller coaster of releases and information!
I’m currently back in the States so things will be getting back to normal (for now) and I’ll have time to get caught up on a backlog of Pokemon Center Reports. We actually didn’t get any big news announcements this past Friday, but card information came out on Tuesday if I remember correctly, so let’s go with that!
The next set of booster packs will be released June 16th (Friday). The two sets are named “Did You See The Fighting Rainbow?” (SM3H) featuring a Ho-oh GX card, and “Light-Consuming Darkness” (SM3N) featuring a Necrozma GX card.
Each pack will cost 162 yen after tax and contains 5 random cards.
Of note, these new booster packs will contain the first official card of Marshadow, who features prominently in the up-coming summer Pokemon movie.
Along with booster packs, a couple other card related goodies will also be released June 16th (Friday), including a new special promo card set. Similar to previously released sets, it includes a promo Charmander card that can only be obtained via this set, as well as 1 pack each of Fighting Rainbow and Light-Consuming Darkness. Each card set will cost 378 yen after tax.
Card sleeves return on the 16th with five new designs, some of which we’ve seen before (Alola Friends, Lots of Mimikyu, Sleepy Snorlax), and two brand new designs (Lana and Marshadow)!
All designs will be offered in full set sizes (64 sleeves) and will cost 777 yen after tax.
A new deck case, featuring Marshadow and Ho-oh, and a card folder featuring Necrozma, will also go on sale Friday, June 16th.
The deck case will cost 390 yen after tax and the folder will cost 1566 yen after tax.
Moving on to the card campaigns!
As always, card players will be rewarded for buying a lot of cards. Starting June 16th and while supplies last, customers will get 1 holo promo card for every box of cards bought (30 packs) at a certified Pokemon Gym, which includes Pokemon Centers and Stores. Buy 1 box (or 30 packs) of “Fighting Rainbow” to get Lucario, or 1 box (or 30 packs) of “Light-Consuming Darkness” to get Porygon Z.
Along with this campaign, customers who buy a legit first edition box of cards will be guaranteed 1 SR, HR, or UR card.
You’ll know if the box is first edition because it will have this mark on the front of the box.
Last and certainly not least, the convenience store chain Lawson will have a Pokemon card campaign starting June 16th while supplies last. For every 5 booster packs bought, customers will get a random blind-packaged card of three possible designs (Alola Sandshrew, Mareanie, or energy). In case you were curious, the theme for these three cards is “blue” as that is the Lawson brand color. This card campaign should be available at all Lawsons across Japan, but excluding Natural Lawsons and 100 Yen Store Lawsons.
And that wraps up the news report for the past week!
I will do my best to start getting Pokemon Center reports up starting tomorrow or the day after.
Until next time!
Pokemon TCG News
No Pokemon Center updates for today (maybe tomorrow?) so have a Pokemon Center Report instead!
This post will cover the releases that came out December 23rd. Christmas weekend was especially hectic for Pokemon Centers in Japan as the 23rd was a public holiday, meaning most people took advantage of the three day weekend and were on vacation. When this happens, the Pokemon Center likes to stack a bunch of popular releases all on the same day, because they love chaos and disorder I guess, since the Centers are usually unprepared and have a bad habit of not having enough stock or putting all the popular stock in one corner, making it difficult to get to and easy for a couple people to swoop in and take everything.
Of the new plush that were released, Mimikyu ended up being the most popular by far, maybe even more so than the Center was anticipating in my opinion. The limits of 10 per plush per person were back, but it hardly slowed down the rabid purchases of this not-Pikachu plush, with Mimikyu selling out on Amazon within 15 minutes, selling out on the Pokemon Center on-line site within 4 minutes, and selling out at most “brick and mortar” Pokemon Centers within an hour.
Which leads me to an important word of advice from your friendly neighborhood Miki for the up-coming year. We’re coming out of a lull where things were not selling out instantly and I think everyone has grown a little complacent, but times are a changing. If you want a plush or a figure or an anything of a Pokemon that you know is very popular (Mimikyu and Alola Vulpix are prime examples) do not wait until the last minute to order. By pre-ordering, you guarantee that you will get the thing that you want. If you wait for popular items, there is a good chance they will sell out within the first day and there is no guarantee that shops that offer pick-up services will have extras. Again, if you really want a thing, there is no point in waiting. If it’s very popular, you will be able to sell it afterward if you end up changing your mind, but if you wait, you risk losing out or having to pay scalper prices (sometimes triple or more shelf price), and no one wants that.
If you order directly from Amazon or the JP Pokemon Center On-line website, make sure you’re on the site at midnight (for Amazon) or 10 am JP time (for the Center store). If you order through a pick-up shop (like Japanstuffs) make sure you pre-order, and again, if it’s something you really want, make sure you place the order well before the release date. I’m sure things will calm down again over time but I have a feeling with how popular Pokemon has suddenly become again, things might get a little hairy in the up-coming year, so again, if you really really want the thing, don’t wait!
Moving on to the actual Center Report 😉 There were two sets of new Pokemon Center exclusive plush that came out December 23rd. The first batch included a couple new Sun and Moon related Pokemon.
Mimikyu was, as previously mentioned, the most popular plush from the day by far. For a Pokemon who just wants to be loved, he sure is.
It’s a little bit of a surprise to me how popular Bewear is (especially over Stufful) but no one can deny his popularity! And he makes for a cute plush, too.
Alola Raichu was another popular plush, although still not as popular as Mimikyu (nothing is!)
Alola Meowth, looking super sassy
And not forgetting Alola Marowak!
More merchandise announcements for the 23rd of December, which is quickly turning into Nightmare Before Christmas: Pokemon Edition.
The Alola Friends promotion quietly slipped under the radar by getting announced via the Pokemon Daisuki Club. The line-up features a variety of items for home use with a very cute and simple Pikachu centric illustration.
As mentioned, the promotion will go on sale along with everything else December 23rd at all Pokemon Centers and Stores around Japan.
Free Box (Surfboard, Hula Dance) – 1,080 yen each
Free Tray – 1,458 yen
Cork Board – 1,296 yen
Cork Coaster (Set of 2) – 486 yen
Soup Mug – 1,404 yen
Set of 2 Glasses – 1,296 yen
Oval Bowl – 1,728 yen
Mini Bowl – 864 yen
Tissue Cover – 1,620 yen
Storage Basket – 2,700 yen
Towel Mat – 1,944 yen
Face Towel – 983 yen
Bath Towel – 3,240 yen
Wallstory (Pikachu, Pikachu + Exeggutor, Pikachu + Raichu, Pikachu + Oriocorio) – 756 yen each
This week has been non-stop for me since the Pokemon Sun & Moon release on Friday, and here it’s almost a week later. But better late than never, so here is last week’s Friday Pokemon Announcements!
Starting with the most important…
We finally have photos of merchandise from the up-coming Hokkaido Pokemon Center Grand Re-opening promotion! And it’s basically as marvelous as you could hope for. The stars of the show are definitely the three main plush, which are NOT EXCLUSIVE to the Sapporo Center. They will be available everywhere in Japan! Unsurprisingly, there is a strong “Sapporo” theme to the line-up. Aside from the items that feature the main winter time artwork, there are a couple unique things such as the wood carved statues (wood carved bear statues, sometimes with salmon, are especially common as souvenirs in Sapporo) and the noodle bowl set (with miso flavored instant ramen as miso ramen is famous in Sapporo). As an additional side note, not only is miso ramen my favorite ramen, but I love it with extra butter added, which is another Sapporo tradition.
If we’re discussing items unique to Sapporo, we can’t ignore the Sapporo exclusive plush, featuring William S Clark (in Pikachu form). Notorious for his famous saying, “Boys, be ambitious!” William Clark managed to leave quite a lasting legacy considering he was only in Japan for eight months.
The Sapporo Center will re-open December 1st, which not quite incidentally is also the date of the Hokkaido promotion.
Full Merchandise Line-Up
Plush: Pikachu, Alola Vulpix, Popplio
2,376 yen each
Mascot Plush: Pikachu, Alola Vulpix, Popplio
1,296 yen each
Squeezey Pikachu Mascot
Snowball Plush: Pikachu, Leafeon, Glaceon
648 yen each