I went in to the Pokemon Center thinking this Saturday would be fairly low key, completely forgetting that Masuda was visiting the store for a signing event. From what I heard, around 1,000 people showed up to try and win one of the 100 available spots. (I ended up waiting for a chance to win as well, but did not.) Everyone waiting for Masuda, however, meant that all those 1,000 people didn’t descend on the Center until after noon.
First up, a little bit of history. Pokemon With You was originally created in response to the 2011 Tohoku earthquake, with the concept behind the series being encouragement and hope: no matter what happens or where you are, Pokemon will always be by your side. The very first Pokemon With You can badges, including Audino, Pikachu, and Victini (the face of the charity line) went on sale at the beginning of June, 2011, with all proceeds going toward helping children in the Tohoku region affected by the earthquake. Along with the charity line of goods, the Tohoku Pokemon Center, located in Sendai, opened December 4th, 2011, with Victini as one of the non-changing mascot Pokemon.
Every year since 2011, a new addition to the Pokemon With You series is released. Along with the original can badges, the line-up typically includes a variety of items (handkerchiefs, dice bags, postcards, etc.) featuring the main artwork for that year.
Like last year, there was 1 Pikachu mascot plush included as part of this year’s set of goods.
The item I was most surprised with, in a good way, was the sticker sheet.
Along with having one big sticker of the main artwork, it also includes individual stickers for each of the Pokemon, which is especially nice as these are fairly non-defaulty poses (Lucario taking a nap is my favorite)
The biggest change this time around was the creation of a brand new line of goods: metal charms!
These brand new die-cut charms feature the same designs used on the traditional With You can badges.
Although the Pokemon With You series might not be to everyone’s liking, or maybe even that exciting, it and Victini hold a special place in my heart. I love the message that the charity line is based on, and it’s heart warming to know there is always someone with you (even simply metaphorically) when life gets rocky.