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!
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!)
Next up – Pokemon Easter 2016! There are Easter inspired spring promotions seemingly every year, but for some reason, this year there seems to be a stronger emphasis across multiple Japanese brands on the actual Easter holiday, complete with simple explanations (in Japanese) on what exactly Easter celebrates. Pokemon grabbed onto the egg theme and ran with it, as pretty much all the items from this promotion are egg shaped or involve egg shaped Pokemon.
There were huge egg shaped Pikachu and Eevee cushions
Smaller egg shaped mascot plush in the forms of Chikorita, Eevee, Pikachu, Charmander, and Piplup
Metal charm sets, train pass cases
Dice bags, cups and plates (and cute matching utensils)
Small pouches and blind packaged candy tins, which were suitably egg shaped!
The very first pair of Pikachus from the brand new Monthly Pair Pikachu series (a sequel to the very popular Monthly Pikachu series that ran for a year starting about a year ago) also came out on Saturday.
As with the Monthly Pikachu series, each month will feature a special Pikachu for the following month; so in this case, the Pikachu released on Saturday is the April Pikachu, not March, even though it was released in March.
In Japan, the new school year starts in April, and these two Pikachus are appropriately dressed for their first day of school.
When I first saw the new Monthly Pikachu plush, I was surprised a little by their size. I expected them to be similar to or on par with the pair Pikachu plush that were released around New Years, but they seem to be about half that size. It’s hard to tell just by a photo of the plush, so I took a photo of the two girl Pikachus next to each other for a size comparison.
Not that it makes them any less cute, of course, but as a heads up, the Pair Pikachus will most likely remain this size from here on out.
A sort of real-life Pokemon Gym exhibit, called the Pokemon Expo Gym, opened in Osaka last November. Along with fun games and activities, they also have food, drinks, and a small store with exclusive goods. For some reason, these exclusive goods suddenly migrated out of the Expo Gym to other Pokemon Centers around Japan.
The available merchandise includes both the normal sized Expo Pikachu plush
Smaller mascot plush
Pikachu hat, t-shirt, and a bunch of other miscellaneous goods, including towels and the ever popular clearfile.
Next update should hopefully be all about the past two Kororin Friends releases (which I should have already posted about but better late than never). Stay tuned for Eevees and more Eevees!