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 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.
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!
I am back two nights in a row, slowly getting caught up with my Pokemon Center Reports!
The latest release from San-ei’s All-Star series was originally scheduled for the 12th (same day as December’s Monthly Pair Pikachu and New Years 2017) but because San-ei doesn’t really like to follow release rules, they came out a week early. Why not?
The release consisted mostly of a bunch of regular sized plush, a couple medium and large sized plush (some bigger versions of previously released Pokemon) and three cushions from the fluffy and soft (mochifuwa) cushion collection.
So what all was included? Let’s take a look!
[Pokemon Center] Christmas 2016
[Pokemon Center] Snowseason
[Ichiban-Kuji] Pikachu Nebukuro Collection
[Banpresto] I Love Mew Big Plush
[Pokemon Center] Monthly Pair Pikachu December
[Pokemon Center] New Years 2017
[San-ei] All Star Collection (Audino, Axew, Croagunk, Chikorita, Cubone, Cyndaquil, Darumaka, Diglett, Dragonite, Eevee, Emonga, Greninja, Lucario, Meowth, Misdreavus, Pikachu, Togepi, Totodile)
[San-ei] Mochi-Fuwa Cushions (Chansey, Spheal, Slowpoke)
[Banpresto] Kutsurogi Time – Pichu, Pikachu, Raichu
[Banpresto] Kororin Friends – Big Cyndaquil Plush
[Pokemon Game] Sun / Moon Release
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Time Vol. 10
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Center Exclusive Plush
[Pokemon Center] Welcome to Alola! merchandise + Rotom Dex merchandise
[Takara Tomy Plush] Eevee, Litten, Rowlet, Pikachu, Popplio, Rockruff
[MonColle] Litten, Lunala, Popplio, Rockruff, Rowlet, Solgaleo, Togedemaru, Turtonator
[MonColle Set] Journey’s Start Set (Litten, Popplio, Rowlet, Rotom, Tapu Koko)
[Banpresto] Kutsurogi Time – Big Pichu Plush
[Banpresto] Pokemon Sun & Moon Big Plush (Litten, Popplio, Rowlet)
[Banpresto] Big Snorlax Plush
[Banpresto] I Love Mew Mascot Plush
[Banpresto] I Love Gengar Big Plush
[Candy Toys] Pokemon Sun & Moon Mascot Charms
Tonight’s announcements were mainly re-caps of previous announcements, but none the less still exciting.
First up, Pokemon Evil Organizations finally got their announcement on the official Pokemon website. Although the information is still basically as the same as when I originally reported on this promotion a few weeks ago, we do have more pictures of merchandise included in the promotion, so that’s exciting! Along with the promotion, which will start October 8th, there will also be a bunch of Team Rocket themed campaigns all throughout October and into November (see my previous post for more information).
Villain Pikachu Plush – 2,160 yen
Villain Pikachu Mascot Plush – 1,296 yen
Pins Collection (blind packaged) – 410 yen
T-Shirt Collection (blind packaged) – 1,620 yen
Team Rocket Hoodie (S/M/L) – 6,048 yen
Team Rocket Tie Pin – 2,106 yen
Team Rocket Necktie – 4,104 yen
Team Rocket Card Case – 8,640 yen
Team Rocket Wallet – 16,200 yen
Team Rocket Wristwatch – 5,400 yen
Team Rocket Fountain Pen – 4,320 yen
Hand Towel (Team Rocket) – 540 yen
Hand Towel (All Team Design) – 540 yen
Team Rocket Phone Case (iPhone 6 / 6s) – 3,240 yen
Team Rocket Cap – 3,240 yen
Team Rocket Knapsack – 9,180 yen
Magic Ink Set (All Teams) – 2,160 yen
Team Rocket Handkerchief – 1,080 yen
Team Rocket Mug – 1,080 yen
Team Rocket 4 Color Ink Pen – 1,620 yen
There were a couple big releases on Saturday. I ended up arriving to the Pokemon Center fairly early and was the first person in line (for once!) Even with the three releases, the crowds were not that bad and were maybe on par with the number of people who turned up on Friday for card sleeves.
Let’s start off with the latest batch of kuttari plush! This is the fourth wave from the kuttari series, which seems to be influenced at least in some part by the popularity of the Disney tsum tsum line. The third wave of kuttari came out at the very end of October (see my blog post covering the release here) and so this sudden release after 4 months was a little surprising but in a good way.
The star of the release was definitely Pichu, whose existence was up to debate and plagued with conspiracy theories until now. For those who are unfamiliar with the Pichu Legand, Pichu was originally announced as part of the wave 1 line-up, which was released July 18th 2015, coinciding with the Pokemon summer movie. For reasons we will never know, Pichu’s release was delayed. Staff told customers at the time that Pichu would be released at a later date, but at what date and how much later, there were no answers. Wave 2 and 3 came and went with no mention of Pichu. I remember asking the staff at one point in November, jokingly, about when Pichu would be coming out and he had no idea what I was even talking about. Had Pichu’s construction been so horrifying, an Eldritch Abomination if you will, that all prototypes were buried, never to be seen again?
None of our questions were answered as to why it took 8 months for Pichu’s awake and sleeping forms to see the light of day and the inside of a Pokemon Center, but at the end of the day I guess it doesn’t matter. The Pichu exists!
My personal favorite out of this wave was Ampharos. I love his perfect snout
And his sleepy, smug face is just too precious.
Speaking as a Victini fan and collector, I loved how the faces turned out with his plush
And his little butt wings are beyond adorable, but I ended up not buying one for myself because I felt his actual body shape looked a little weird when flattened out into a lying down pose.
The other plush from the fourth wave include Croagunk
Who looks less asleep and more straight up smug in his sleepy pose
Piplup who looks appropriately cute both awake
and not forgetting little Chespin!
A part of me hopes there will be a fifth wave with Fennekin because I think he would translate well into the kuttari form (and also I love Fennekin!)