By Brian Grabow
The Pokemon Center in Fukuoka, Japan has just moved to a new location. The Grand Re-Opening is on March 3rd, but I managed to get a pre-opening invitation, so I was able to get the new Pokemon items a day early. This promotion was very similar to the Osaka one last year. There was plushies, a pin badge, keychain, clear folder a pillow and some large size stickers. I was kind of disappointed that there was no charms, but the plushies are very cool, so it made up for it.
The three plush toys that were released are Pansage, Oshawott and Pikachu. All three of these plushies are dressed in traditional Hakata festival outfits. The new Pokemon Center is located inside the brand new Hakata Station in Fukuoka, Japan.
Hakata is the ancient name for Fukuoka and is very deep in tradition. The most popular traditional festival is called Hakata “Yamakasa” festival. Men and boys dress up in traditional festival attire which includes a headband like the Pokemon plushies are wearing.
They divide into teams from different sections of the city. Each team carries a very heavy float made of wood, plastic and other items. The floats are extremely beautiful with painstaking designs. Each team can consist of many members (sometimes over 100).
Some members run along side the floats and some carry the heavy floats with people sitting on them. It is a race between the different teams to see who can reach the finish line in the shortest time.
To honor the Hakata tradition, the Fukuoka Pokemon Center made three Pokemon plushies.
Pansage or Yanappu as he it called in Japanese is very cute. It has the traditional Japanese headband which is made of cloth. The headband is gray and has yellow Pokeballs on it. The stitching is very nice, especially on his face. The eyes and mouth are embroidered.
It is made out of a soft velvety material, similar to the Pansage that was made earlier in the year except this one is in a sitting position. On the back of its head it has a Pikachu mask. The mask is attached and cannot be removed. Also, the mask cannot be moved to the front of Pansage’s head. It is meant to be kept on the back of its head.
It also has a nice tail that is flexible and can be moved around. Pansage measures approximately 8.5″ or 22cm tall from the tip of its head to its feet. Its about 5.75″ or 14cm from the front of its body to the tip of its tail and approximately 7.75″ or 19.5cm wide from the tip of one hand to the other. This plushie cannot stand up or sit on its own. It falls over. But it is still very adorable. It comes with the Fukuoka Pokemon Center exclusive tag.
Oshawott, or Mijumaru as it is referred to in Japan is also adorable. It As you will see, Pikachu, Pansage and Oshawott are also dressed up in the same cute outfit.
It comes with a gray traditional headband that is also made of cloth. The headband has red Pokeballs on it. Oshawott is also made of a nice soft material.
The stitching is very nice, especially its eyes which are nicely embroidered. Oshawott is smiling and holding a shell in its right hand. The shell is made of stuffed material and is attached to its face and hand, so it cannot be removed.
There is also a bag draped around its shoulder. The bag is a glittery, very soft material. It is attached by an elastic string. The bag cannot be removed, as it is sewn into the plushie. Oshawott also has a nice soft blue tail that is made of material and can be moved around.
Oshawott is a little smaller than Pansage and measures approximately 6.5″ or 17cm tall from the top of its head to its feet. Its about 5″ or 12cm from the front of its body to the tip of its tail and approximately 5″ or 12cm wide.
This plushie also cannot stand up or sit on its own. Very adorable. It too comes with the Fukuoka Pokemon Center exclusive tag.
And finally Pikachu. Pikachu like Pansage and Oshawott too is wearing a headband that is made of material. The headband is gray with a blue Pokeball pattern on it.
The Pikachu plushie is also made of a nice soft velvety material. The stitching is very nice, especially its eyes and cheeks. The eyes are very nicely embroidered with black and white and the cheeks have bright red embroidered stitching.
Pikachu has a nice cute smile. One of its ears is straight and the other is pointing diagonal.
It is holding a traditional Japanese lantern. The lanterns are used in Japanese festivals. In addition, the lantern is shaped like a Pokeball! The lantern is made of shiny material and is stuffed like a plush. It is attached with a string and cannot be removed.
Pikachu also has a nice big tail that is made of material and its attached to the back of its head, so it cannot move around alot.
It measures approximately8.5″ or 22cm from its feet to tip of its ears and 6.25″ or 16cm from its feet to the top of its head. It measures approximately 3.75″ or 9cm from the front to the back and has a width of about 7.25″ or 18cm at its widest point (ear to ear). Like the other two plushies, this plush too cannot stand up on its own, but is extremely cute. It too comes with the Fukuoka Pokemon Center exclusive tag.