It’s still a few months ’til release, but my most recent visit to the Pokémon Center would make you think that the next movie for the franchise had just released. Pokémon the Movie 20: I Choose You! is going to be revisiting Ash and Pikachu’s first meeting and the growth in their relationship from that period of time. Expect plenty of angry Spearow, a competent Team Rocket, and a fly by appearance from Ho-oh — among other classic scenes. But that can all wait ’til the movie’s premiere in July. For now, we’ve got some new, themed merchandise to look over!

This seems to be the start of a series of goods tied to the Ash Hat Pikachu that will (hopefully) be available via Mystery Gift in America sometime in the near future, as well as a general look back at the anime series’ history. In Japan though, anyone who pre-purchased a ticket for the upcoming movie receives a serial code for the version sporting Ash’s original hat which, as can be seen, was the running theme in the store.

The marquee item was the large Pikachu plush (about $54 USD) with the noted hat attached, and let me say this: it was easy on both the eyes and arms. While not to scale — standing about two feet tall — this is the kind of product I’d have loved to have owned as a kid and am sorely tempted to pick up for my personal collection now. The hat wasn’t a part of the plush, but instead served as an actual hat in terms of material — though I couldn’t remove it when I tried.

It also came in a smaller, chain-tethered variety meant to be clipped to a bag that was equally as cute at a much more reasonable price (about $13 USD) and size. Add in the usual suspects of small, drawstring style bags and train pass holders, as well as some more stylized visuals on notebooks, towels and more; and you’ve got plenty of Pikachu to go around!

While the electric mouse was the star, the movie’s key visual got plenty of representative goods as well. Merchandise such as mugs, posters, clear file folders and more sported the scene of Ash and Pikachu on Misty’s totally not stolen bike looking on as Ho-oh soars across the sun-soaked sky. Seeing the moment that fueled so much speculation and discussion back when I was younger — when Ho-oh wasn’t even a known Pokémon yet — captured through new merchandise in an official Pokémon Center was a surreal experience. I’m definitely more interested in this upcoming movie over any of the other Pokémon offerings in recent memory, and this host of goods themed to it is fueling that, exactly as Nintendo planned, I’m sure.

 

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Written by Ricky Berg

When he isn’t writing for Nintendo Wire, Ricky’s anticipating the next Kirby, Fire Emblem, or if the stars ever align, Mother 3 to be released. Till then he’ll have the warm comfort of Super Smash Bros. to keep him going.

Ricky Berg