First off, a big apology to everyone for sitting on these photos for so long. So much stuff was released my last weekend in Japan and I took so many photos that every time I looked at them all in my little computer folder, I felt overwhelmed. No excuse, though!
I decided to divide the May 20th releases up into three parts: part one (this post) will cover all the plush releases, including the two All-Star plush that came out that day plus the mascot plush.
The 5th edition of the very popular All-Star Pokemon plush series, produced by San-ei toy company, was set to release close to the end of May. For reasons I don’t understand, only two of the main plush came out on the 20th, along with most (but not all) of the mascot plush, with the rest of the plush coming out a few days later, unfortunately after I had already left Japan.
The plush not pictured but included in this set are Rowlet, Popplio, Litten, Bewear, Togedemaru, and Alola Vulpix.
The two plush that were released May 20th were Alola Raichu and Mimikyu.
For curious parties, here is a shot of the All-Star Mimikyu plush (left) next to the Pokemon Center original plush (right). I’m incredibly picky about my Mimikyu plush, and most are a little too thin for my tastes, but the All-Star plush is also very flat. I guess if you like that or not, it’s a matter of taste, but I wish they made more rounder Mimikyu!
Along with the plush, we also got a first: All-Star mascot plush! The full line-up included Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander, Jigglypuff, Meowth, Psyduck, Snorlax, Mew, Mimikyu, and (not pictured) Togedemaru, Rowlet, Litten, and Popplio.
Next up: Pokemon Center exclusive plush! May 20th gave us Bounsweet, Cosmog
And Pyukumuku! (He has a cute little fluffy tail/entrails sticking out the back).
I was pretty pleased with all the plush. Cosmog has the cutest face, and Pyukumuku is the cuddliest. While checking out, I mentioned to the staff that I was buying little Pyukumuku for my sister’s boyfriend and they thought it was the most amusing thing ever.
We also got the first of the Pokemon Center mascot plush, which is a fairly new addition to the usual Pokemon Center plush line-up.
These plush are based off of pre-existing more normal sized Pokemon Center plush. The first set of these mascot plush included Cosmog (to match the bigger plush!), Alola Vulpix, Rockruff, and Togedemaru.
As an aside, I was around for the original Alola Vulpix (Snowpix) plush release back when Sun & Moon was released near the end of 2016, along with the Hokkaido promotion the following month, and I’ve always encountered issues with the snouts. The problem continued into these plush, as seen in the photo here. There are some some more perfect plush but there are also a ton of crooked noses, but I also noticed a lot of the time quality (cuteness?) of plush tend to go down the smaller they are.
At any rate, just some nitpickiness from your resident plush collector.
That wraps up the plush releases for May 20th! Stay tuned for more…
This week’s announcements were a little lackluster, and to add insult to injury, the Okinawa Store Renewal and Reopening promotion is really cute! … and only available in Okinawa!?
To celebrate the reopening of the Ryubo Store on June 17th and the grand opening of the Pokemon Store location in Aeon Mall Okinawa Rycom, a small selection of Okinawa exclusive Pokemon merchandise will go on sale from July 15th (Saturday). The merch line-up features Pikachus dressed in traditional Okinawan dance clothing and Eevees dressed as Shisa (symbolized by Arcanine), a famous dog/dragon hybrid from Okinawa mythology.
This is the first time we’ve had an entire small promotion be exclusive to that Pokemon Center, instead of just one or two items, which is kind of a shame. They want people to visit the Okinawa locations, but not everyone can just up and go on vacation. With that said, if you live in Okinawa and plan on going to one of the Pokemon Store locations, please get in touch with me! I need to get my hands on one (or both) of those Eevee plush ❤
Okinawa Promotion Line-Up
Pikachu Plush – 2,376 yen
Pikachu Mascot Plush – 1,296 yen
Eevee Plush (Normal / Smile) – 2,160 yen each
A4 Clearfile Set – 432 yen
Hand Towel – 540 yen
Chinsuko Cookies (similar to shortbread) – 842 yen
Next up, a new type of merchandise: mini Pokemon plush in Pokeballs! This is a little similar to a previously released line of merch that had mini Pokemon in eggs, but of course different as these are Pokeballs and not eggs. These new plush will also go on sale at Pokemon Stores and Centers in Japan starting July 15th (Saturday), with each pokeball & plush set costing 864 yen.
The line-up will include Pikachu, Charmander, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Vulpix
Mew, Snorlax, Gengar, and Eevee.
Three plush similar to the plush featured in the recently released Pokemon Collection Kuji 2017 will be available for pre-order exclusively through the Japan 7-11 on-line store.
Male Pikachu and Eevee will be available in limited numbers and can be pre-ordered between July 5th (Wednesday) at 10 am and July 17th (Monday) at 11:59 pm.
Female Pikachu will only be available for pre-order on July 11th (Tuesday) from 10 am until 11:59 pm.
These plush are big, and the price reflects it. All three plush cost 12,000 yen each, including tax.
Last but not least! These cute magnets will go on sale in Japan (not exclusive to Pokemon Centers) sometime in the beginning of July. Each magnet costs 1,080 yen after tax. The magnet line-up includes Pikachu, Meowth, Slowpoke, Mew, Eevee, Vaporeon, Jolteon, and Flareon.
The little tails can be kept as is or bent upwards so you can use these magnet Pokemon as hooks to hold things, like keys, scissors or other household/kitchen items. Cute and useful!
We’re back with another catch-up release report post – this time with the early summer Pokemon Love Its’Demo release for 2017!
Before we delve into the Pokemon…
What is Its’Demo?
Its’Demo is a chain of small stores, typically in or close by to train stations, that caters specifically toward working women. The brand, which bills itself as a fashion store, sells clothes as well as cosmetics, snacks (chocolate, candy, health snacks, etc), jewelry and accessories, and other miscellaneous items like stationary, bags, and umbrellas that can be used in day-to-day life. Their prime location usually inside train stations is strategic to make it more convenient for women to visit before or after work, and as I learned during this release, Its’Demo stores tend to stay open late (the one near my apartment is open until 10 pm – in comparison the majority of stores in Tokyo, for example, close at around 8 pm.)
Are Its’Demo items available at Pokemon centers, too?
Since I get this question fairly often, I want to point out that Its’Demo collaboration items are only sold in Its’Demo stores. Pokemon Centers do not carry any items from the Its’Demo line. This can make it sometimes difficult as there is only 58 stores throughout Japan. If you live or stay in the Tokyo area, or in a big city, then it’s generally not a problem, but the further out in the country you are, the harder it is to find a store location.
There is an on-line store, but sell less than a quarter of the available items from any given Pokemon promotion so have fun with that. Recently, a lot of the Its’Demo items have become available for purchase on the Japanese Pokemon Center On-Line store as well.
But wait, there’s more!
Its’Demo releases are always fraught with confusion and trepidation from me because for reasons I don’t understand, Its’Demo doesn’t like to disclose all the items they’re selling from the Pokemon promotion. Ever. When this latest release was announced, first we got a teaser poster in some Its’Demo stores, but not all. Then the Official Pokemon Center site updated with a small list of items. The Daisuki club updated next with another list of items. There was also a foldable pamphlet given out in stores that had other items not listed on either site. Then on release day (May 16th, Tuesday) we got surprise mascot plush, acrylic charms, slippers, tupperware, and a bunch of other items that weren’t listed anywhere and would have been nice to know about. More plush, also not announced, along with some necklaces and a couple other items were released two weeks later.
To make things even worse, it’s a complete shot in the dark if Its’Demo will stock things well or not. As noted from the January 2016 Valentine’s Promotion, the Pikachu plush were adorable and incredibly limited, to the point where every store had either 1-2 sets of the very large plush, and basically sold out everywhere within a day, and we’re not even talking about the necklaces that sold out in mere minutes because there was like one of each design per store. And not all stores carry all the items from the line-up!
Then, moving on to the actual Its’Demo stores themselves, since they’re located in train stations, they’re generally small; some smaller than others. The smaller the store, the less stuff they can fit. Also, depending on the store, sometimes the staff get really angry about you taking photos of merch, to the point where I’ve had some stores put signs up basically because of me that say “don’t take photos”. Thankfully, I didn’t have any problems this time.
Stop blah-blah-blahing and get to the photos!
The first thing I noticed when I arrived at Its’Demo Tuesday morning were the mascot plush! There were three sets of plush, with two plush per set: Bulbasaur & Chikorita, Pikachu & Shaymin, and Pikachu & Oddish. Like previously released mascot plush, they’re soft but pretty flat, and kind of pricey for their size.
Next up, more surprises: acrylic charms! Similar to the mini slide mirrors but charms, there were five different charms: Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, and a group charm with Oddish, Shaymin, and Whimsicott.
This release had a lot of items, including a bunch of different size bags and pouches.
There was canvas tote bags, foldable eco bags, towel pouches, normal pouches, and vinyl pouch sets (we heard you like pouches so we took a pouch and put a smaller pouch inside).
There was also a variety of towels in different sizes, from smaller hand towels to large beach towels that are designed for you to wear (where else) at the beach!
There was a bunch of miscellaneous and stationary type items as well.
Along with the staple memo pads, there were also mini bottles with paper clips shaped like Pikachu, two sets of wooden clips featuring different Pokemon per set, a variety of decoration (washi) tape, pens, clearfiles, and stamps.
One item of note: a mini blackboard that you can leave cute messages on to yourself (or someone else if you don’t live alone).
Also of note: umbrellas (rainy season is just around the corner)
More notes: slippers! There were two types of slippers and both were adorable.
Final note: tupperware! There were two sizes of tupperware sets, and aside from them being a little small, they were adorable and perfect for keeping your food fresh while also keeping it looking cute.
It’s not an Its’Demo release without a large selection of candy and sweets, and this release was no exception.
Along with the usual jars of mini jelly sandwich cookies, marshmallows, and print cookies, there were also jelly lollipops, small tins of candy, pouches and mini tote bags with marshmallows.
I love the little jars, plus you can use them to store things once the cookies are gone, but I couldn’t justify getting one this time as I don’t collect grass type Pokemon. I did get one of the print cookies, though!
Last and certainly not least, there was plenty of make-up. As someone who doesn’t use make-up, I’m not exactly sure what the difference is between all of these (sorry!) but one is a circular foundation (?) compact, the square items contain different palettes of color (?), and the last item I actually know what it is: eye liner in three different colors!
There was also some other items mixed in with the previous photos, such as nail polish in different shades and sparkles, lip related make-up, and several different skin lotions in some weird scents.
On that note, let me rant briefly about these weird scents. Obviously they were going for a grass theme here, and the scents they picked for the hand creams and other items reflected this, but as someone who is pretty sensitive to smells, the ones they picked were just flat out weird and not good smelly. Maybe it doesn’t help that I don’t like citrusy or grapefruity smells? I’m not sure, all I know is I didn’t like any of it.
To make matters worse, Its’Demo had a special campaign where customers would get a free little body spray for every purchase over 3,000 yen. Between my purchases and helping out with Japan Stuffs, I ended up with a bunch of these little sprays. The bottle itself was cute as it was decorated with Pokemon but wow, the smell was just wow. At first I was like, what… is it???? It smelled like body odor but not the good kind. I kept spraying it so I could try and figure it out and it was just awful. I ended up asking one of the staff and they said it was supposed to be flowers, but I guess the flowers had died and they used that as a scent?? I smell this smell in my nightmares.
And that concludes our Its’Demo adventure! I hope you had fun.