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?!