Whenever someone mentions Pokémon, the first thing that pops up in my head is Pikachu. And then there’s Charmander and Squirtle and Bulbasaur…and Jigglypuff and Snorlax… and that’s about all the Pokémon I can name among the 700 over monsters in the multimedia series.

With more than 700 characters, one would think that fans would be spoilt for choice shopping for character goods at the Pokémon Center, but as it turns out, the Pokémon Centers in Japan have been taken over by the Whimsicott Substitute Plush Toy (Elfuun no Migawari Nuigurumi) and fans are rushing in to grab them by the basket!

As you could have probably guessed, I’m not much of a Pokémon fan. I’ve never been to a Pokémon Center, but with such an extensive set of characters, I imagined it would be like searching for a needle in a haystack if you’re looking for goods of one of the less popular characters in there.

However, it seems like my imagination is off track because apparently this is what the Pokémon Centers in Japan look like now:

▼ Invasion of the Whimsicott Substitute Plush Toys!

If you’re as clueless about the world of Pokémon as I am, the Whimsicott Substitute Plush Toy (known as Elfuun no Migawari Nuigurumi in Japanese) is technically not a character, but the result of the “Substitute” skill that the character Whimsicott uses in the game.

▼ Some of the monsters are capable of summoning a substitute to take damage in their place.

The plush toy was first launched at Pokémon Centers in 2013, and has been tremendously popular since its first appearance. As it is not a regular merchandise item, it stirs up quite a frenzy among fans whenever it makes a reappearance. To the joy of many fans, it recently made a comeback in two sizes – a 13-cm (5-in) plushie and a 10-cm (4-in) mini plushie with a ball chain attached.

▼ These fans are taking the “gotta catch ’em all” business way too seriously…

On top of the two regular sized soft toys, a mega sized 60-cm (2-foot) version of the plushie will be released for the first time on 21 February (only available at Pokémon Centers)! Also, from 23 February, the 30-cm (1-foot) version of the plush toy will be available for purchase exclusively at the Pokémon Store on Amazon Japan (each customer is limited to five pieces).

▼ Free delivery is available with purchase of the 60-cm plush toy.

If you’re in Japan now or visiting soon, you might want to drop by one of the eight Pokémon Centers located nationwide to catch one of these Whimsicott Substitutes before they sell out again!

Source: Pokémon via Zhaizhai News
Images: Twitter (@ohtakana), Pokémon, wiki.52poke.com