Usually Pokemon Center plush are associated with the small chibi-fied Pokedolls. Regular plush were introduced bit by bit, but never in a high quantity. Not until the release of Black and White. Along with the classic Pokedoll plush, the Pokemon Center also started to release new plush toys that look more true-to-life, and they have been a huge hit ever since.
The first set of the new plush was on the day Pokemon Black and White were released, and featured two types of plush. There were two large plush of Reshiram and Zekrom, both of which are roughly twelve inches tall. Smaller plush were also released and featured the starters along with some of the heavily-advertised Pokemon like Minccino and Axew. In total one dozen new plush were available, with the large plush costing 3300 yen and the small plush being 1200 yen, more than the price of a regular Pokedoll. Three large, life-size plush were also released of the three starters. The life-size plush were nearly two feet tall, with Pokabu being about that long length-wise, and have been the most expensive plush to be sold in the stores. The large plush were extremely popular and other Pokemon have been made into this style of plush in recent times thanks to the original success of these three.
The next wave of plush featured more of the small plush, along with the starters’ first evolutions. The small plush retained the 1200 yen price and featured the elemental monkeys along with Lillipup, Patrat, and Petilil. The starter evolutions were the third size variety and had a price midway between the small and large plush. The set was first available mid-October.
The end of October and beginning of November saw a huge number of these Pokemon Center plush, including the special holiday edition plush. Snivy, Oshawott, Tepig, and Pikachu, dressed in cute holiday clothing with either a Pokeball wand or candle, were made available at the Pokemon Centers in Japan. They were priced a little higher than the small Pokemon Center plush at 1480 yen. With the reopening of the Pokemon Center Osaka in its new location, Pikachu, Tepig, and Meowth received their own plush, wearing festive bowties in commemoration of the reopening. Pokemon Centers also started carrying a medium-sized Tabunne plush in early November, with a price tag of 1500 yen.
New plush continued throughout November, with yet more plush being released late in the month. A third set of plush consisting of six small and three large plush were released late in the month. Finishing off the starter evolution lines, all three of the big plush were the final evolutionary forms of the starters. They were the second wave of large plush and were priced the same as Reshiram and Zekrom. The six small plush consisted of all four variations of Deerling, as well as Purrloin and Darumaka. Their price was the same as the other small plush from previous sets.
The Pokemon Dream campaign released more new plush featuring the three starters asleep in small beds. They were first available around the Christmas holiday and cost just a smidgen more than the small Pokemon Center plush. Afterwards in early January, two Scraggy plush were announced for the newest Pokemon Center campaign. One was the small version plush, the other was the extremely large life-size plush. Scraggy was the fourth character to get such a large plush, but it was soon followed by two more life-size plush in the very same month – Minccino and Emolga.
The reopening of the Fukuoka Pokemon Center included plush of Oshawott, Pansage, and Pikachu, featuring traditional accessories from the Yamakasa festivals that were originally held in Fukuoka.
Originally slated for a mid-March release, the Victini campaign featured a small plush of the Victory Pokemon. However, the large earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan forced the Kantou region Pokemon Centers to close for a couple of weeks, which belated the release of the plush in that region.
The two most recent Pokemon Center plush are the large versions of Pansage and Victini. Both were released mid-April and look almost exactly like their small plush equivalents, except these are much bigger. More plush featuring Pokemon from the two newest movies will likely be available soon, as the screen date of the movies is nearing quickly.
Recently, the Pokemon Center kiosks in America as well as the Nintendo World Store have been selling the new Pokemon center plush. All of the plush are from Japan’s first set, including the large Reshiram and Zekrom. They were released on March 6 for the Black and White games. Since the plush are very popular, more characters from other sets are likely to have an American release eventually.
A bold new approach to Pokemon Center-exclusive merchandise, the plush have become almost as popular, if not more, than the original Pokedolls. Small, medium, large, and life-size; there’s enough Pokemon Center plush to make any collector content, if just until the newest set is announced.
Tags: Generation V, Lillipup, Oshawott, Patrat, Petilil, Pikachu, Plush toys, Reshiram, Snivy, Tepig, Zekrom