It might be closing in on the end of summer and beginning of fall but the releases from Banpresto are not slowing down for the month of August.
The surprise non-plush releases for August are smaller plastic figures. Otherwise, everything else is pretty standard for Banpresto and Pokemon with new stuff coming from Pokemon Tsuretette, Korotto Manmaru, Pikachu & Mimikyu Mania, the general Pokemon Sun & Moon series, and more from I Love Gengar (or as they write it in Japanese, I Love Gangar)
What is Banpresto?
Banpresto is a company that manufactures plush, figures, towels, glasses, and other items to be used as prizes for claw machines in game centers as well as kuji prizes. None of these items are designed to be sold directly through stores and cannot be found in Pokemon Centers. Note that the exception to this are Pokemon kujis, however even in this case, you have to win the prizes; you can’t buy the prize you want directly. Typically, you can find these prize items in game centers or sold second hand through auction sites, amazon, or other similar stores.
Most Pokemon releases from Banpresto drop on Tuesday or Thursday, with occasional releases on Friday. Ichiban Kuji generally goes on sale on Saturdays.
Some of the bigger name game centers in Japan include: Adores, Sega, Round 1, Namco, and Taito Station. Keep in mind, not all game center locations stock all prizes.
Pikachu and Mimikyu Mania prizes continue into August. Both releases come out August 9th (Friday), which is about halfway through the Pikachu Outbreak event held annually in Yokohama. Win a cute plush and bring it with you to watch the Pikachu parades!
The two face cushions (Pikachu and Mimikyu) measure about 33 cm across.
The four smaller Pikachu plush measure about 12 cm high.
The Pokemon Tsuretette (Pokemon Pal) series continues into August with two releases.
Larger sized plush of Squirtle and Snorlax (each measuring about 26 cm) will start appearing in game centers around Japan from August 22nd (Thursday).
Smaller sized plush of Jigglypuff, Psyduck, Growlithe, and Togepi (each measuring about 14 cm) will also start appearing in game centers around Japan from August 22nd (Thursday).
From the I Love Gengar (Gangar) series comes two larger sized Gengar plush (each measuring about 20 cm – he is a chunky boi) which will start appearing in game centers around Japan from August 22nd (Thursday).
Continuing the Colorful mini series from Korotto Manmaru, black themed larger plush (Umbreon, Starly, and Banette – each measuring about 23 cm) will start appearing in game centers around Japan from August 22nd (Thursday).
The two XL size plush coming out for August are Witch Hat Pikachu (getting ready for Halloween early) and Pichu from the Mogu-Mogu Time (Snack Time) series.
Pichu (measuring about 30 cm) will start appearing in game centers around Japan from August 8th (Thursday).
Pikachu (measuring about 31 cm) will start appearing in game centers around Japan from August 20th (Tuesday).
Last but not least – from the general Pokemon Sun & Moon Banpresto series:
A collection of smaller sized plastic figures of Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Pikachu, and Eevee (each measuring about 4 cm), will start appearing in game centers around Japan from August 8th (Thursday).
Squishy Pokeballs, each measuring about 9 cm, will also start appearing in game centers around Japan from August 8th (Thursday).
That wraps up all the Banpresto releases for the month of August.
We should start seeing more Halloween themed stuff in September, so get hyped (if you’re into Halloween!)
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[TCG] “Dream League” Booster Pack
[TCG] Card Sleeves – Lillie Flute, N
[TCG] Collection File – Old Book Design
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Trainers
[Pokemon Center On-Line] 1:1 Mareep Plush pre-orders start
[Takara Tomy] Nee, Uchi Pika (Talky Pikachu Figure)
[Event] Pikachu Outbreak event starts in Yokohama
[Event] Pop-up Cafe & Drink Stand starts in Yokohama
[Banpresto] Pokemon Sun & Moon – Soft Figures (Bulbasaur, Squirtle, Charmander, Pikachu, Eevee)
[Banpresto] Mogu-Mogu Time – Extra Large Plush (Pichu)
[Banpresto] Pokemon Sun & Moon – Squeezy Pokeballs (Pokeball, Great Ball, Ultra Ball, Masterball)
[Banpresto] Pikachu Mania – Plush (Pikachu x 4 designs)
[Banpresto] Pikachu & Mimikyu Mania – Face Cushions (Pikachu, Mimikyu)
[Pokemon Center] Spooky Gengar
[Pokemon Center Cafe] New menu items: Snorlax Naptime Lunch Plate / Pokeball Dessert Bowl
[Pokemon Center] Anna Sui Collaboration
[Banpresto] Pokemon Sun & Moon – Extra Large Plush (Witch Hat Pikachu)
[Banpresto] I Love Gengar – Large Plush (Happy, Sleeping)
[Banpresto] Korotto Manmaru Colorful Series – Black – Large Plush (Umbreon, Starly, Banette)
[Banpresto] Tsuretette – Large Plush (Squirtle, Snorlax)
[Banpresto] Tsuretette – Plush (Jigglypuff, Psyduck, Growlithe, Togepi)
[Pokemon BigMore] Lapras Plush
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Researcher
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Trainers (iPhone Cases + Plush)
[Pokemon Center On-Line] Kotobukiya Elesa figure pre-order starts
[Eskei] Pokemon Shiny Jewel Rubber Mascot (Pikachu, Eevee, Piplup, Flaaffy, Plusle & Minun, Espurr, Whimsicott)
[Eskei] Pikachu & Sweets Charm Collection (Ice Cream, Donuts, Chocolate, Macarons, Pudding, Lollipop, Cupcake)
Technically our Friday Pokemon announcements came out on Thursday but let’s not worry about small details; on to the merchandise!
First up – Rowlet’s Garden! Posters for this promotion were already up at Pokemon Centers on Thursday morning when the Hokkaido promotion started, creating a nice little teaser until we got more information from the official website announcement.
Rowlet’s Garden features a variety of items that can be used inside and outside of the house (along with a couple wearable items as well) with a very cute and flowery bird pattern, so if you love birds and Pokemon (and bird Pokemon) this promotion was basically made for you! The release date is December 17th at all Pokemon Centers and Stores in Japan.
Next up: Pokemon Villains Part 2! The first part gave us Pikachu dressed as the boss from every Pokemon evil organization, and now with Sun and Moon released, here we have the missing boss: Team Skull Pikachu! Along with both a regular sized and mascot size plush, there will be some new items featuring all of the villainous Chus in their cosplaying glory, including clearfiles, notebooks, and a special card box set.
The release date for this promotion is also December 17th and will be available at all Pokemon Centers and Stores in Japan.
If you were sad about the lack of new t-shirts and pins with a more Alola feel to them, then I have good news and bad news. The good news is: tada! The bad news is: they’re blind packaged so good luck getting the design you want (Surfing Pikachu amirite).
There will be 2 different sets of blind packaged t-shirt designs, with each t-shirt costing 1,944 yen after tax. Pikachu and Luvdisc are part of set A, Marowak and Exeggutor are part of set B. There will be other designs as well not yet revealed.
If t-shirts aren’t so much your style, there will be pins as part of the mini promotion as well. Along with the designs pictured here, there will also be pins made of the “gym leader” badges from Sun and Moon, with each pin costing 432 yen each.
The web page ends the merchandise list with “etc” meaning more to come, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.
Finally, we have: card sleeves! These four designs will go on sale December 9th at all Pokemon Centers and Stores in Japan. These designs will be available as half-decks only, with each pack costing 778 yen after tax.
(Read more for full item lists and prices)
Pokemon Time was the big release this past Saturday, followed by the second to last Monthly Pikachu plush and the Pokemon Sketch mini promotion.
First up, the star of the hour, Pokemon Time! This is the 9th iteration of the very popular series. Like all the most recent Pokemon Times, this round gave us figure straps of the featured Pokemon, along with towels of the main Pokemon (Pikachu, Piplup, and Lucario) as well as the usual blind packaged candy tins and rubber straps.
The inclusion of socks is a first for the Pokemon Time series (and quite possibly a first for Pokemon Center promotions in general). “But Miki,” I hear people saying, “there have been socks offered in the past.” True, but not exactly in the same way as in this promotion. For some reason in Japan, a lot of sock stores offer a deal that allows the buyer to select any 3 of a prespecified type of sock for $10. Why 3 and why $10 and where did this originate from, I’m not sure, but you’re saving money and you get 3 pairs of cute socks!
Unsurprisingly, the socks were the most popular item from the promotion. How do I know? Pokemon Time came out on Saturday and by Monday, when this picture was taken, 3 of the designs were already sold out (Lucario, Pikachu, and Shinx).
Perhaps the most surprising items from the 9th wave were these giant sized plush cushions. All three types of plush are incredibly soft and very huggable and also large. Very, very large.
Aside from the figure straps, always my favorite type of merch from Pokemon Time, these stickers deserve a shout out due to sheer adorableness.
The February Monthly Pikachu plush also came out on Saturday. The weather in Tokyo is finally getting cold enough to require extra blankets, and for those with limited heating options, one of the best ways to stay warm in Winter in Japan is with a kotatsu, which is what Pikachu is doing!
The pattern on the blanket includes Torchic, Substitute Plush, and Dedenne, among others.
The Pokemon Sketch promotion, although maybe not as exciting as Pokemon Time, still offered some cute usable items, such as sketchbooks, dice bags, handkerchiefs, and small storage boxes. All items were available with Pikachu
There was also two miscellaneous releases. First up, this clearfile featuring artwork from this year’s Game Freak New Year’s card.
Pokemon is also jumping on the Valentine’s Day band wagon with this heart shaped chocolate bar and mini individually wrapped chocolates. Buy them for someone you love, like yourself!
On a parting note, two new posters went up in the Pokemon Center on Saturday. First up, the last Monthly Pikachu of this current series, Graduation Chu, is set to be released February 20th.
We also got this new poster for the Little Tales promotion, coming out February 6th. Hopefully we’ll get more information on the actual line-up on Friday.
January Release – Date Unspecified
[Gacha] Can Badge Collection XY&Z (Ash’s Greninja, Braixen, Chespin, Dedenne, Eevee, Mega Charizard X, Pikachu, Sylveon, Zygarde Core, Zygarde Perfect Form)
[Pokemon Center] New Years Monthly Pikachu Set (2 plush = 2,500 yen)
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Market
[Pokemon Center Mega Tokyo] New Years Lucky Bags (5,000 yen)
[TCG] Pokemon XY Break Special Card Box (Pikazard X | Pikazard Y) (1 box = 2,500 yen)
[TCG] Card sleeves (Mega Lucario Chu | Mega Slowbro Chu | Mega Sableye Chu | Mega Audino, Mega Altaria, Mega Diancie) (1 pack of 32 sleeves = 362 yen)
[Kuji] Pokemon Card Game Kuji
[Campaign] Distribution start for the second set of Pikachu Mega Campaign illustration cards
[Banpresto] I Love Mew – Large Mew Plush
[Pokemon Center] February Monthly Pikachu
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Time Part 9
[Pokemon Center] Pokemon Sketch
[Pokemon Center] 20th Anniversary Clearfile
[Collaboration] Its’Demo Valentine’s
[Gacha] Mega Pikachu Gacha Figures (Mega Altaria, Mega Audino, Mega Lucario, Mega Sableye, Mega Slowbro, Pikazard X, Pikazard Y) (1 try = 300 yen)
[Merchandise] Ash Plush
[Banpresto] I Love Mew – 4 Mew Plush
[Collaboration] Its’Demo Valentine’s (Pikachu Plush, Slippers, and Pair Mascot)
[Banpresto] Charizard Sleeping Bag Pikachu Plush
[MonColle] Reshiram (Overdrive), Zekrom (Overdrive)
[Collaboration] Its’Demo Necklace Restock
[Banpresto] We Meet Again Pikachu Plush
[TCG] Poke-Kyun Collection
[TCG] Premium PokeKyun Box Set
[TCG] PokeKyun Mini Binder Set (Pokemon Center | 7-11 Exclusive)
[Ichiban Kuji] Pikachu Sleeping Bag Collection – Nuku Nuku Style –
[Collaboration] Pre-sale of All-Stars Second Wave plush at Kiddyland starts