Sunday, January 29, 2023

The best and worst Pokémon collectibles money can buy

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Adorable Pikachu products are everywhere. Most collectible makers want a piece of this electric rodent and have plastered its yellow skin and rosy cheeks on stuffed animals, statues, figurines, and just about anything you can put on a shelf. Some manufacturers have gotten creative with Pikachu and his ever-expanding herd of Pokémon friends to create collectibles that will have you gasping, both in joy and horror.

While shopping for Pokemon gifts for my daughter and friends, I came across a number of items that got me doing a double take – but not necessarily because I thought they were cool. As you read on, you will see what I considered the BETTER and WORST Pokémon products you can throw your money at.

BETTER
Combat figures

Wicked Cool Toys’ long line of Pokémon battle figures showcases the most popular characters from each region with awesome carvings for each. The numbers are usually to scale, meaning Pikachu is only two inches tall while Gyarados is twelve inches long. The figures are rather inexpensive and often grouped together, which means you can build a collection pretty quickly.

WORST
Bodybuilding statues

A certain number of “WORST“Entries in this list can also be considered as”BETTER“given how weird and hilarious they are. These bodybuilding figures from Kalamada fit this bill perfectly. I’m mesmerized.

BETTER
Pikachu Anime Action Figures and Dioramas

Naruto and anime themed items are not my cup of tea, but it’s hard to deny the artistry that went into each of these Pikachu figures and dioramas. Particularly impressive is Gene Studios ‘work on the statues’ dioramas, mixing a heavily styled Pikachu with other Pokémon to create a wild action scene. Doman’s smaller action figures are just as colorful and no detail is spared to make Pikachu adopt the characteristics of other characters.

WORST
Xenochu

I can’t stop staring at these monstrosities that show us what could happen if the Alien and Pokémon universes collide. In Alien 3, we saw a xenomorph take on more dog qualities from the host it infected, and I guess the same would happen to any Pokemon. Now, I doubt the offspring would retain most of the Pokemon’s form, but it’s a funny thought. These horrible beasts can be seen forever on any of your shelves thanks to Kelake, an animation studio that released a line of statues made up of alienated versions of Pikachu and Bulbasaur.

BETTER
Snorlax pouf

It is the perfect fusion of the brand and the product. Designed by ThinkGeek, this beanbag looks exactly like Snorlax in the game, and it welcomes you with open arms and a smile. Forget about the fact that you are crushing his organs while you relax on him, and just enjoy this useful collector’s item.

BETTER
Pikachu wearing Eevee skin

Sure, Pokémon are cute and are probably the trainers’ best friends they run with, but they’re fierce warriors too. Probably even killers. This plush Pikachu from maker Zenny shows just how much of a beast Pikachu is. After killing an Eevee, Pikachu wears the skin of the fallen like a trophy. This is possibly the best product on this list.

WORST
Mr. Mime Pop

The stylized look of Funko Pops works for many brands and characters, but on rare occasions it can lead to the creation of monsters. Mr. Mime’s Funko Pop is a plastic horror show ready to be touched by dark magic so you can kill you while you sleep.

BETTER
Figurines from the Pokémon Center gallery

This long series of standard and DX-sized dioramas captures the excitement of dozens of Pokémon. They are also relatively inexpensive considering their high quality.

THE WORST OF THE WORST!
Pokémon Soul-M

Pure nightmare fuel. I don’t even think these toothy critters would be accepted in a dental office. Why they exist is beyond me. Throw them to hell.

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