The last day of June and the first day of July both had Pokemon Center releases!
I’ve been looking forward to the Tohoku Center re-opening promotion since the teaser posters started going up back in April. The Tohoku Center holds a special place in my heart and will always be my favorite Center location. Why? One big reason is Victini is one of the Center’s logo Pokemon and I love Victini. One of my favorite Victini plush is a special 1:1 plush that was sold exclusively through the Tohoku Center. I was really hoping this release would have some cute Victini plush, and I wasn’t disappointed!
All of the Pokemon Centers got new poncho Pikachu plush, featuring Rowlet and Victini ponchos in normal and mascot plush sizes.
The Tohoku Center also sold Jirachi poncho plush, but as those were exclusive to Tohoku, I unfortunately don’t have photos to share of them (so you’ll have to imagine).
Along with the usual merch (metal charms and pins), we also got these adorable kokeshi style plush for Pikachu, Jirachi, and Victini.
Along with the cute Tohoku promotional items, we also got a renewal to the Pokemon with You line of merch with the return of can badges! I’m so in love with the new illustrations, not only because they’re no longer stock images but also because the new art is just too cute for words. Jen from Japan Stuffs helped me get some and I will definitely share pictures as soon as I have them in hand!
I really hope they continue the new can badges in the near future because I want more Pokemon drawn in this style.
Two new Pokemon Center plush were released on the 30th of June: Marshadow and Jirachi.
Last but not least, a cute Pikachu themed promotion, called “Pikachu in the Forest” was released across Japan July 1st. The merch line-up included some of the usual suspects, such as different sizes of pouch, but also a bunch of kitchen and home goods, like aprons, cooking utensils, a teapot, and a variety of bowls and plates among other items.
That wraps up this week’s Pokemon Center releases!
I had a feeling we might get more plush news tonight, and that otherwise things would be fairly quiet. Well, I was right with plush, and it was fairly quiet, but we did get two surprise announcements, one of which I’m really excited about.
First up, the next batch of brand hew Pokemon Center exclusive plush were announced!
The Pokemon in this newest group include Mareanie, Charjabug, Corsola, and Meowth, and will go on sale at all Pokemon Centers and Stores in Japan starting June 24th (Saturday).
A Marshadow plush will also go on sale starting July 1st (Saturday).
Plush will cost 1,620 yen each after tax, except for Mareanie which will cost 2,160 yen after tax.
Next up (and what I’m especially excited for): the Pokemon With You charity line returns in can badge form and with a face lift! Instead of the usual stock art, Pokemon With You is now using brand new original artwork, and it’s too adorable for words.
The line-up for this (hopefully first) batch includes: Pair Pikachu, Litten, Rowlet, Popplio, Victini, Jirachi, Alola Vulpix, Rockruff, Pyukumuku, Tapu Koko, Cosmog, and Charizard.
Each badge costs 270 yen after tax and as with all Pokemon with You merchandise, all proceeds go toward helping children affected by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake.
In TCG and movie news, a special Ho-oh GX Jumbo Card Set will go on sale at movie theaters, 7-11, several department stores, and Pokemon Centers and Stores starting July 1st (Saturday). The set includes a jumbo sized Ho-oh GX card, a promo Ash’s Pikachu card, and three packs each of “Fighting Rainbow” and “Light-Consuming Darkness” booster packs.
Each set will cost 1,188 yen after tax.
Last and certainly not least, a new promotion called Pikachu in the Forest, featuring a variety of home and kitchen goods, will go on sale at all Pokemon Centers and Stores in Japan starting July 1st (Saturday)!
Full Merchandise Line-Up
Chocolate Pie Cookies – 972 yen
Mochi-Mochi Donut Shaped Cushion – 3,240 yen
Oven Mitt – 1,620 yen
Apron – 2,700 yen
Cups – 1,512 yen
Tea Pot – 2,592 yen
Plates (Yellow / Red) – 1,512 yen each
Ladle – 1,080 yen
Spatula – 1,080 yen
Bowls (Yellow / Red) – 1,512 yen
Fork & Spoon Set – 1,296 yen
Lunch Box – 1,836 yen
Chopstick Set w/ Case – 1,080 yen
T-Shirt (Small / Medium / Large) – 3,240 yen
Stole – 3,240 yen
Round Towels (Yellow / Blue) – 5,400 yen each
Pouch – 1,620 yen
Cardigan (Medium / Large) – 6,048 yen
Hand Towels (Yellow / Red) – 648 yen each
Rootote Tall 2way Bag – 5,184 yen
Rootote Tiny Roo Phone Bag – 3,024 yen
Mini Tote – 4,536 yen
Pass Case – 1,620 yen
A4 Clearfile Set – 432 yen
That concludes today’s merchandise announcement round-up!
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.