Three different Pokemon related prizes came out last Thursday (February 18th).
Let’s start with the most anticipated out of the three: the first installment of the Kororin Friends series. This set includes Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle.
I went to several game centers on Thursday to catch plush and encountered the same general problems everywhere, except for Sega (pictured here). Their unique issue was the non-existent claw strength, making this machine pretty much impossible.
First of all, the plush are medium sized, meaning there needs to be a certain amount of strength in the claw to get anywhere. Second, they are “top” (head) heavy. The tactic I found that seemed to work the best was to first focus on the head. By getting the claw to lift up on the head, you could inch the plush forward, and once it was close enough to the edge, aim for the back and tip it over. If the plush was already close enough to the edge, you could even skip step 1. I was able to win a couple plush this way in 1 or 2 goes.
The two problem Pokemon were Pikachu and Bulbasaur. Pikachu’s ears means he is even more top heavy than the others. If he wasn’t close enough to the edge and you tried to tip him over from his butt, he would simply fall on his face, and the claws were never strong enough to do anything at that point, so you were in trouble. If you aimed for the head and the claw was a little too strong, there was also the chance Pikachu would fall over backwards. Speaking of falling over backwards, Bulbasaur’s bulb meant good luck trying to lift him from the back since the added weight coupled with the weak claw translated to nope. If you lifted from the head, 50% chance Bulbasaur would fall over backwards or to the side.
On top of that, a lot of the set ups had this unfortunate dip right before the chute. Depending on how the plush were positioned, you could potentially use this to your advantage for plush like Charmander or Squirtle, and maybe even Pikachu…if the plush were close enough to the front that lifting them from the back actually did something. Unfortunately, if Bulbasaur was in the dip, you had no chance at winning him because none of the claws were strong enough for that. I watched a lot of people waste money trying to get plush, especially Bulbasaur, up from the dip. It never worked.
One game center had a dip, a border of plush, and then a second border of plush! Generally once you got them to this spot in the machine, you were guaranteed a win within the next 1 or 2 tries at least. Luckiest moments were finding a plush close to the edge and also positioned above plush in a way that they were fairly flat.
All four together!
On a side note, the Kororin Friends series is not Pokemon specific; these Iggy plushies are coming out tomorrow (February 24th) and are part of the same series. Thankfully no bulbs or large ears, so they might be easier to win (in theory!)
These tiny mascot face plushies also came out on Thursday. I feel like most people won’t know of their existence because they’ve been overshadowed by Kororin Friends, plus they aren’t very plush-like. I thought they would be squishy, but their stuffing is very hard, and the designs are fairly generic. The main problem I had with this line of “plush” is their roundness. Most of the places I found had the disadvantage of the dip near the front. This meant even if you did pick up the plush, which was very possible, if there was a prominent dip, there was a strong chance that the plush would fall over backwards.
Your best bet would be to hope for a mountain set-up, like pictured, and aim for a plush about mid range to push it down and use the falling momentum to roll it down into the chute.
Last but not least, these massive Mew head cushions also came out on Thursday as part of the I Love Mew line-up.
My two main complaints with this plush is fabric and stuffing. Usually when Banpresto makes huge plush, they use velboa fabric, which is probably cheaper. But I still don’t like it. Also it’s easier to see in this photo but the stuffing, especially around the snout, is not even, and I’m not a fan of that either. I’ll stick with the smaller (but considerably softer) Mews!
The next batch of Kororin Friends comes out about a week from today (March 3rd). Who is excited for more Eevees?!
[Game] Detective Pikachu
[Banpresto] Pikachu We Meet Again ~ Flat Pikachu Cushion
[Pokemon Center] Little Tales
[Banpresto] I Love Mew – Large Lying Down Plush
[Pokemon Center Campaign] Get 1 of 5 clear posters for every 4,000 yen spent at the Mega Tokyo Pokemon Center
[Mochi-Fuwa Cushion] Ditto, Snorlax
[All-Star Collection] Bulbasaur, Charmander, Mew, Pikachu, Squirtle
[Pokemon Center On-Line] On-Line store opens (10 am)
[Pokemon Center On-Line] On-Line Exclusive: Complete Set of Red/Green Gym Badges
[Pokemon Center On-Line Campaign] Receive 1 of 3 artboards for every 5,000 yen spent in the on-line store
[Banpresto] Pokemon XY&Z – Face Mascot Cushions (Chespin, Dedenne, Eevee, Pancham, Pikachu)
[Banpresto] Pokemon XY&Z – Kororin Plush (Bulbasaur, Charmander, Pikachu, Squirtle)
[Banpresto] I Love Mew – Mew Face Cushion
End of February
[Food Toys] Pokemon Towel Kids (4 types)
[Pokemon Center] Monthly Pikachu
[Pokemon Center] Mini Secret Base Dolls (Clefairy, Cyndaquil, Ditto, Lapras, Mudkip, Pikachu, Swablu, Wailmer)
[Collaboration] Splatoon Crossover T-shirts
[Magazine] Pokemon Fan #46
[Takara Tomy Plush] Cheerful Pikachu Belt Cover, Pikachu Hand Puppet, Washable Pikachu Plush, Pikachu Plush Rattle, Ring-Ring Pikachu Plush Rattle
[Premium Bandai] Pre-orders start for Snorlax cushion (pre-order period ends March 31st)
[Pokemon Center] Red/Green Dot Sprite Promotion
[Pokemon Center] Red/Green Nendoroid pre-orders start
[Pokemon Center] Big Size Plush (Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle)
[Takara Tomy Plush] Shoulder Pikachu Plush – Sleeping Ver.
[Takara Tomy Figure] Palm Pikachu – Mini Ver.
[Pokemon Game] Pokemon Red / Blue / Green / Yellow 2DS Bundle
[Pokemon Game] New 3DS Plate: Generation 1 Sprite Pattern (No.072)
[Merchandise] Pop Rings (Eevee, Pikachu, Wobbuffet)
[Nanoblock] Bulbasaur, Charmander, Pikachu, Squirtle
Today’s announcements brought us a mix of information we already knew and a couple items we did not.
Starting off with semi-old news, the Monthly Pikachu series that started in February of 2015 is drawing to a close, and the final Pikachu plush in the series, coming out February 20th, will be Graduation Chu. If you fell in love with the concept of having a new Pikachu plush every month, however, do not cry just yet, as the website hinted at a new series starting in March. Referred to as “Monthly Pair Pikachu”, it sounds like the new series will feature male and female Pikachu plush together. More information forthcoming!
A new Pokemon Center will be opening in Kyoto on March 16th. The logo for the Center features Pikachu and Ho-Oh, so I think it’s safe to say there will be some Ho-Oh merchandise in our future.
These two very cute Pikachu illustrations also surfaced in connection with the Kyoto Center opening, but how they relate to the grand opening promotion or the Kyoto Center in general is yet to be announced.
Coinciding with the release of the PokeKyun Concept Series, a special Premium PokeKyun Card Box Set will also come out on January 29th. The box contains 4 packs of cards
A Shaymin EX card that you can only get via the set
A sheet of adorable stickers
A deck box and set of 62 card sleeves
As well as a long card box that can hold more than 750 cards.
This special set will retail for 3,000 yen plus tax.
The official Banpresto page also updated today with information on prizes coming out for February. The I Love Mew series continues with a large sleepy Mew plush (Feb. 11th) and large Mew face cushion (Feb. 18th).
The “Pikachu We Meet Again” 20th anniversary series also continues, with this large Pikachu cushion that comes out February 4th.
And from the Pokemon XY&Z line, these mini mascot cushions, as well as the first set in the brand new kororin series, will come out February 18th.
Kyoto Pokemon Center
Premium PokeKyun Set
[Merchandise] Reservations start for Steiff Pikachu plush
[Pokemon Center] Zygarde Core Pokemon Center Exclusive Plush
[Pokemon All-Stars Plush] Altaria, Buneary, Dedenne, Eevee, Espurr, Gengar, Goomy, Gulpin, Jigglypuff, Lucario, Oddish, Poliwag, Psyduck, Skitty, Wailord, Wobbuffet
[Banpresto] Pokemon XY & Z Zygarde Core Plush
[Banpresto] Charizard Night Bath Towels (3 designs)
[TCG Card Sleeves] Mega Gyarados (Pokemon Center Exclusive) Mega Scizor, Slowpoke, Garbodor
[TCG] Mega MewTwo X / Y Jumbo Card Pack
[TCG] Rage of the Broken Sky expansion pack
[Pokemon Center Campaign] Rage of the Broken Sky campaign starts
[Pokemon Center] Monthly Pikachu – January
[Pokemon Center] Large Sleeping Plush (Bulbasaur, Ditto, Mudkip, Pikachu)
[Pokemon Center] Pikachu Mega Campaign
[Pokemon Center] Pikachu #025
[Ichiban Kuji] Pikachu and Friends: Japanese Modern Art
[Merchandise] Sepia Graffiti additions
[Collaboration] Its’Demo x Pokemon Part 3
[Pokemon Center] Block Style Art Promotion
[Pokemon Center] Ash’s Greninja Promotion
[Banpresto] Pokemon XY & Z Air Plush – Pikachu
[Banpresto] Pokemon XY & Z Air Plush – Pokeball
[Banpresto] Rolly-Polly (Korotto Manmaru) Plush: Partners Edition (Ash’s Greninja, Dedenne, Pancham, Pikachu, Zygarde Core)
[Pokemon Center] Steven Stone Promotion
[Pokemon Center Exclusive Plush] Ash’s Greninja, Zygarde 10%
[Pokemon Center] Metal Charms (Ash’s Greninja, Zygarde Core, Zygarde 10%, Zygarde Perfect Forme)
[Merchandise] Talky Pikachu Plush
[TCG Card Sleeves] (Premium + Pokemon Center Exclusive) Hypno
[TCG] Battle Sets: Grass/Fighting, Fire/Electric, Water/Psychic
[MonColle] Ash’s Greninja, Zygarde Special Pack, Zygarde 10% Forme, Pokemon World Map
[Takara Tomy] Zygarde Core Plush
[Pokemon Game] Pre-orders start for Pokemon 2DS Bundle
[Pokemon Merchandise] Fuzzy Dedenne, Fuzzy Eevee (Mascot Size), Fuzzy Pikachu Female (Mascot Size), Fuzzy Pikachu Male (Mascot Size)
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Chiku-Chiku Sewing
[Pokemon Center] New Years 2016 Merchandise
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Petit Figure Straps (Chandelure, Cyndaquil, Gardevoir, Lapras, Pichu, Wailord)
[Ichiban Kuji] Mini Kuji – PokeToru Stamps
[Banpresto] Large Eevee Face Cushion
[Pokemon Center] Monthly Pikachu – December
[Pokemon Game] Pokemon Rumble World (Cartridge Edition)
End of November
[Pokemon Merchandise] PokeMikke Round 3
[Gacha] Putito Pikachu Plus
[Gacha] Sleepy Friends XY & Z (Bulbasaur, Charmander, Pikachu, Squirtle, Zygarde Core)
[TCG] Double Mega Break Set – Mega Aerodactyl EX + Mega Mawile EX + Luxray Break
[Magazine] Pokemon Fan #45
[MonColle] Ho-Oh, Mega Charizard X, Mega Charizard Y
[Banpresto] Lizardon Night | Large Plush (Charmander, Charizard)
[Pokemon Center] Fluffy Bathtime
[Candy] Candy Figures “The Start of a New Adventure”