Banpresto May Prize Announcements + Current Prize Overview

Hello everyone~

Today’s blog post is all about claw machine prizes, so if you love Banpresto and plush, you’re in luck!

A couple new Pokemon Sun & Moon series plush are coming out in May.

Alola Marowak, Alola Sandshrew, and Alola Ninetails plush will be released May 25th (Thursday). Each of these plush measures in at about 14 cm (5.5 in).
Ash’s Pikachu is the hot item this summer because of the summer Pokemon movie, and so consider this plush the first of many. Ash’s Pikachu, measuring in at about 25 cm (10 in) will be released May 11th (Thursday).
Finally, a large Snorlax plush (measuring in at about 35 cm or roughly 13 in) will be released in game centers May 23rd (Tuesday).

More Kororin Plush will be coming out in May.

A large Pikachu Kororin plush, measuring in at about 26 cm or 10 in will start appearing in game centers May 18th (Thursday).
A smaller set of Pikachu evolution line plush (Pichu, Pikachu, and Raichu with each measuring roughly 12 cm or 5 in) will start appearing in game centers from May 16th (Tuesday).

The most recent I Love Eevee release will conclude with Leafeon and Glaceon (releasing May 11th – Thursday) and Umbreon and Espeon (releasing May 25th – Thursday). All the Eeveelution plush are soft and minky and measure in at about 25 cm or 10 in.

Moving on~

Since I’ve arrived in Japan, I’ve already visited a bunch of game centers (because what else do I do with my time?) and here are some photos of the Pokemon Banpresto prizes that are currently out!

Mew and Mewtwo Kororin Friends plush were released April 13th (Thursday) and are still very much in stock all over. They’re adorable legendary beans that need snuggling!

Komala (from the general Pokemon Sun & Moon series) and Sylveon and Jolteon (the first from the most recent I Love Eevee series) all came out April 6th (Thursday). Sylveon stock depends on the location of the game center and how difficult their machines are. The machines I visited today in Tokyo only had a few Jolteons left, but obviously this game center in Chiba still had a bunch.

Today brought us the next set of I Love Eevee plush – Vaporeon and Flareon! They’re both super soft, and Flareon is especially adorable with his huge poofy tail and his cute little fire face.

We’ll have a short break from Banpresto prize releases until the 25th (Tuesday) when Vulpix and Alola Vulpix plush come out, and before that, we have Friday Pokemon News to look forward to. So stay tuned!

Until tomorrow~

Friday Pokemon Announcements – Pokemon The Movie Promo + Pokemon Center Online Campaign

Friday Pokemon Announcements – Pokemon The Movie Promo + Pokemon Center Online Campaign

Hello everyone!

It’s that time of year where we’re getting closer to summer and the annual Pokemon summer movie. This year’s movie, called Pokemon The Movie: I Choose You, is the first in the Sun & Moon line of Pokemon movies and like everything in the world lately is a remake of an earlier film.

There will definitely be more stuff with a little more variety when the movie is released, with some movie theater exclusive stuff, but for now, here is a taste and a little bit of nostalgia if you’re into that. There are three parts to this promo: Pikachu plush and related items, Pikachu Z-Move items, and the legendary Ho-Oh scene illustrated items. Aside from a clearfile that will be available with the Pikachu Z-Move illustration and the Ho-Oh illustration, the two parts have different items. For example, there is a cup with the Ho-Oh art, but no cup for Pikachu. There is an eraser for Pikachu but not for Ho-Oh. Small stuff.

Of note is the Pikachu main plush, which is going to be bigger than the usual Pokemon Center plush based on the price.

The Movie promotion goods will go on sale at all Pokemon Centers and Stores in Japan on April 15th (Saturday).

(If you don’t live in Japan and would like some items from this promotion, check out Japan Stuffs!)

The Pokemon Center On-line Store is adding a new shopping campaign to their 1st Year Anniversary Extravaganza.

Starting April 8th and until supplies run out, the Pokemon Center will be giving away 1 canvas tote bag for every 10,000 yen spent at the on-line store. There are 3 designs in total (the same used for the promotional posters given out previously) and the canvas tote bag you get will be random. Based on previous campaigns, if you spend 30,000 (roughly $300 USD) you should be able to get 1 of each design.

And that concludes the announcements for Friday. Saturday brings us the Beach Party Time ichiban-kuji, new Pokedolls (Rockruff, Alola Vulpix, and Alola Raichu) and the Johto can badges, so stay tuned for photos when I get them!

Pokemon The Movie Promo Merchandise List

Pikachu Plush – 5,400 yen
Pikachu Mascot Plush – 1,296 yen
Pikachu Plush Pass Case – 1,296 yen
Pikachu Plush Dice Bag – 864 yen

Not Pictured

Pikachu Metal Charm – 540 yen

Pikachu Z-Power A4 Clearfile – 260 yen
Pikachu Z-Power Pencil Board – 270 yen

Pikachu Z-Power Eraser – 162 yen
Sticker Sheet – 432 yen

Not Pictured

Baked Chocolate Cookies – 1,296 yen
Notebook – 184 yen
Mini Notebook – 140 yen
B/2B 12 Pencil Set – 745 yen each
Foldable Ruler – 270 yen
T-Shirt (Child Size) – 2,700 yen
Dice Bag – 648 yen
Handkerchief – 367 yen
Mini Towel – 410 yen

Ho-Oh A4 Clearfile – 260 yen
Postcard – 162 yen
Microfiber Towel – 540 yen

Pokemon TCG Deck Case & Card Sleeve Set – 1,080 yen
Mug – 1,080 yen
Hard iPhone 7 Case – 2,030 yen

Not Pictured

A5 Ringed Notebook – 702 yen
Jigsaw Puzzle – 1,728 yen

———
Pokemon The Movie Promotion
Pokemon Center Online 1st Year Anniversary Campaign

Pokemon Center Report – Ditto Transform! Part 4

Pokemon Center Report – Ditto Transform! Part 4

This past weekend saw the release of the fourth installment of the Ditto Transform! series. Amazingly enough, the release date was almost exactly a year from the release of the very first Ditto Transform set of plush (March 26th, 2016). Funny how time flies!

Unlike the first, second, and third releases, this time we got more than just plush and mascot plush, which was exciting. But we can’t forget the plush so let’s start off with them!

The Pokemon featured in this set of plush were Koffing, Jigglypuff, Magnemite, Gloom, and Snorlax. I forget how cute the Ditto plush are every time until a new batch is released and then it’s a struggle not to buy them even though I don’t even collect these Pokemon. But look at them!

The mascot plush are somehow even cuter just because of the size. They’re so tiny and their little faces! Looook at theeem! I want to say “this Pokemon is especially cute” but honestly they’re all adorable in their own weird way.

Something I wasn’t prepared for: how cute the tissue box cover is?! Look at it! It looks so soft, and that little Ditto and that little Pikachu, they’re just so cute! There is no way to be miserable, even while blowing your nose once every five seconds, when your tissues are covered in this soft cuteness.

There was a bunch of reversible items, playing off the Ditto transformation theme, and one item that surprised me was the reversible drawstring pouches. I assumed they’d be the same size as the usual bags (what I usually refer to as dice bags) but these are huge?! Pikachu can be turned inside out to reveal Ditto and Espeon turns inside out to reveal Umbreon.

Another cute reversible item: this Snorlax cushion can be turned inside out to reveal Ditto (although this Snorlax is precious so you might need two so you can just have Snorlax and Ditto on display at the same time).

More reversible items! Each pouch can be turned inside out to reveal a different design on each side. The Bulbasaur pouch hides Squirtle and Charmander while the Pikachu pouch hides Raichu and Pichu. All the pouches are super soft as well for an added bonus.

The tea cup and bowl set proves that you can eat your soup and drink your tea, too. Or if you want to spice things up, tea soup!

For a while, having earrings in a Pokemon promotion was a rare treat, but it seems like this might become a staple promo item soon if not already (great news for people with pierced ears who like Pokemon!) For this promo, there was also a non-pierce version for people who like earrings but not holes in their ears.

Pokemon Center socks are my favorite socks in the entire world. As with every single sock sale in all of Japan since forever, the Pokemon Center was only selling these in sets of 3 for 1,080 yen (after tax). Get three different socks or get three of the same one so you can have two to use and one to save forever in mint condition.

A couple miscellaneous but equally cute items. Aside from the clearfile set, the small hand towel and phone case were two other items you could buy that featured the main Ditto Transform artwork (which ps is adorable). And speaking of phone cases, it seems like the flip phone case, designed to hold any medium sized phone, is replacing the very specific iPhone cases the Pokemon Center has been selling for years – I guess because they realize people use more than just iPhones? Potentially good news for some people, although in my case, I don’t like flip phone cases.

Also of note, the pens are erasable.

And that brings us to the conclusion of this week’s Pokemon Center Report!

If you’re interested in buying any of the items mentioned in this post, or pre-ordering items coming out at the Pokemon Center, check out Japan Stuffs for all your Pokemon Center needs!

Until next time~

Banpresto – Upcoming April Releases

The official Banpresto site updated with a list of prizes and dates for April! This post will cover everything coming out, along with the prizes for the Ichiban-Kuji [Pikachu & Friends Happy Beach Time] going on sale April 1st.

There will be three large size plush coming out in April from the general Pokemon Sun & Moon line-up.
These plush will be roughly 24 cm each, or a little over 9 inches.

Komala will be released in Game Centers starting from April 6th (Thursday).
Both Vulpix and Alola Vulpix will be released in Game Centers starting from April 25th (Tuesday).

The I Love Eevee series makes a come-back in April, with a new line-up of large size plush and 1 extra large size Eevee.
Eevee measures in at about 30 cm or roughly a foot, while the other Eeveelutions will be about 25 cm each, or close to 10 inches.

Sylveon and Vaporeon will start appearing in Game Centers from April 6th (Thursday).
Vaporeon and Flareon will start appearing in Game Centers from April 20th (Thursday).
Extra Large Eevee will start appearing in Game Centers from April 25th (Tuesday).

The rest of the Eeveelutions should be available in Game Centers in May, but for now, information coming soon.

The Kutsurogi Time (Relax Time) series also makes a comeback in April with some cute sleepy time plush versions of everyone’s favorite Gen 1 starters (and Pikachu).
The normal size plush will all be roughly 13 cm or 5 inches, while the big sized Pikachu will be 26 cm or 10 inches.

All the Kutsurogi Time plush will start appearing in Game Centers from April 25th (Tuesday).

April will feature one release from the Kororin Friends series.
Both Mew and Mewtwo are part of the Larger Size line-up of Kororin Friends, with each measuring about 26 cm or 10 inches.
These plush are usually super cute because of the roundness and a nice size to hug!

They will start appearing in Game Centers from April 13th (Thursday).

These cute mascot plush sized pokeballs will be available in Namco Game Centers only starting April 25th (Tuesday)!

That wraps up the Banpresto prize releases for April.

Moving on…there will be a new Pokemon Ichiban-Kuji coming out April 1st (no joke!) The entire kuji has a beach theme to it, and the prizes reflect this.
This is the first big kuji to have new generation 7 Pokemon, including Alola Vulpix and Mimikyu.

Each kuji pull will cost the usual 620 yen, and it will be available at game centers, hobby shops, Animate, Tsutaya, book stores, and the Pokemon Center (among some other places). I have a feeling this kuji will be popular, so if you’re planning to play yourself in person, get there early!

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Pokemon Center Report – Pokedex Metal Charms + Pokemon With You + Lillie Card Sleeves

This past Saturday was Metal Charm Lollapalooza at the Pokemon Center.

But before we dive into metal charms…

The very popular Lillie and Nebby card sleeves were re-released with a higher quality matte finish the first weekend of March. Unlike the original release, these sleeves did not sell out in milliseconds. The artwork is still adorable.

Metal charms!

The Pokedex metal charm release covered all Gen 7 Pokemon + mythical beasts and all Alolan Forms.

Pokemon were grouped together based on evolutions or formes, so depending on the Pokemon and the evolution chain, some were sold in singles, or doubles, or triples (or more!)

Here are three examples of a three part evolution set.

The Rockruff set included both Midday and Midnight forms.

Mimikyu was all by himself (but I promise he was surrounded by his friends!)

The Alolan Forms were not sold as a single (or double) set. All Alolan Form Pokemon were included in a set with their original forms. In this case, you can see both types of Vulpix and Ninetails here. For Pokemon who have three evolutions plus three Alolan evolutions, all of those Pokemon were included in one set for a total of six. Which is kind of annoying if you already had the previously released charms and only wanted the new ones, but such is life.

One thing of note: maybe it’s just my imagination but I feel like quality has gone down for the metal charms. Agree or disagree?

Moving on!

One of my favorite series, Pokemon With You, had a new release of merchandise on Saturday the 11th as well. Incidentally, the anniversary of the Tohoku Earthquake back in 2011. (For more information on the history of Pokemon With You, check out this past blog entry.)

The theme for this year’s Pokemon With You line-up was a flowering garden, with one of the items on sale being a seed set so you can grow your own flowers, and the main Pikachu being a topiary hedge…which is cute in real life but maybe didn’t translate so well into merchandise. Hashtag they tried.

Some of the items from the release included (the aforementioned) topiary Pikachu mascot plush

Cute stickers and postcards (note: I always recommend the stickers from the Pokemon With You series because they almost always if not always use non stock-art poses)

A handkerchief

And a memopad, including four different paper designs.

We also got some new Pokemon With You metal charms! The three Johto starters (Cyndaquil, Totodile, and Chikorita)

Alola Vulpix, Alola Raichu, Bewear

Snorlax, Lapras, and Dragonite!

And that concludes today’s Pokemon Center Adventures.
A special shout out to Jen from Japan Stuffs for being a hand model in the majority of these photos. So professional, she makes it look easy.

Until next time!