24 October 2011

Adorable Halloween Pokémon Plushies!

Hello PokéFans! Long time no see! I've been busy and, to be honest, I haven't really been thinking about Pokémon that much lately. Shocking, I know, but I'll try to get back into the PokéSpirit soon! For now, I wanted to share something that I only recently realized existed—something that combines three of my deepest passions (Halloween, Pokémon, and plushies): Halloween Pokémon plushies!

It seems that at least a couple sets of these have been released by The Pokémon Center since as early as 2008. The fact that I was previously unaware of their existence leads me to believe that someone was purposely keeping me in the dark as part of some vast conspiracy to prevent me from being happy. The good news is, many of the plushies are still available on Amazon and other online retailers! They aren't cheap, but judging by the quality of the plushies from The Pokémon Center that I own, they should be well worth the price.

2008's set is painfully cute. That Piplup! I'm going to be having dreams about that Piplup until I get my hands on one. Chimchar is just as sweet with his stash of lollipops. Croagunk is the only one from this set I could find on Amazon, and he's pretty great, although Glameow probably wins for being the most adorable/seasonally appropriate...and then there's Halloween Golbat, which is just a regular Golbat with a tiny orange hat. Golbat, you even suck at Halloween.

The entire 2008 Halloween set is available at ToyWiz for extremely reasonable prices! Come to me, Piplup.

The 2010 set consisted of Pikachu wearing a purple witch hat and holding a pumpkin, Umbreon carrying a lantern for some mysterious reason, Espeon with a candy sack, Gengar with a pointy witch hat and pumpkin, and Sableye as a not-entirely-convincing witch. I want Gengar the most out of this set, but Espeon is a close second. I normally like Sableye quite a bit, but I'm just not feeling her as a witch.

Next up is 2011's set, featuring the best (?) Pokémon from Black and White! First up is Minccino as a prince...fairy thing, and Purrloin is pretty cute with her candy pumpkin and mask. Lampent is the clear winner of the bunch. He doesn't even need a costume, since he's already terrifying. He just gently caresses a Pikachu-shaped pumpkin while staring deeply into your soul. I don't know how I feel about Axew. Is that supposed to be a witch costume? Is he wearing a cape or some kind of bowtie? Finally we have this year's Pikachu, wearing a Halloween scarf and a tiny top hat. 2011 kinda phoned it in.

I couldn't find confirmation as to whether there was a similar 2009 set or not. Searching just seems to turn up this "Cut" Rotom, and I'm not even sure how that's supposed to be a Halloween edition. Because he's orange? They could have at least wedged a lollipop into his wheels. Whatever, I still want him.

25 April 2011

Hilariously Terrible Bootleg Pokémon Stickers

Gotta catch 'em...wait, what?
About a year ago, I bought a giant box of random "vintage" (i.e. mostly stuff from Generation 1) Pokémon stuff on eBay. For around $25 I got a giant Meowth plushie, some books and manga, a talking Lucario figure (MIB) and some miscellaneous loose figures and cards. Obviously I was mainly in it to score the Meowth, and pretty much disregarded the rest of the stuff after a brief glance.

The other day I was organizing my bookshelf and I started leafing through one of the random Pokémon books (a "book" of cut-out papercrafts) and noticed some sheets sticking out of it. Unbeknownst to me (and possibly even to the seller), this lot contained an amazing gem: two bootleg sticker sheets from Taiwan, showcasing the absolute worst Generation 1 Pokémon clip art ever created.

The funny thing is, I actually remember buying these exact same stickers from the local comic/anime shop when Pokémon first came out. I'm pretty sure I knew they were bootleg at the time, and the images made no sense, but despite this I was still willing to shell out $5 (each) of my hard-earned money, simply because it was POKéMON, and god I really had to have any Pokéthing I could get my hands on. (Note: this sounds ridiculous now that Pokémon merchandise is so ungodly plentiful, but at the time, the only mass-produced American Pokémon goods were those crappy KFC Zubat plushies.)

I don't really want to open them because the paper is such shite quality I'm pretty sure they will disintegrate immediately upon exposure to oxygen, so I've scanned and archived the sheets, highlighting my favorite ones.

03 April 2011

Snorlax Eats Stuff!

I had this idea and started taking photos for it awhile ago, but now I've finally got the actual blog up and running! Presenting Snorlax Eats Stuff, a Tumblr photo blog!

I also made a Squidoo lens featuring some of the top Snorlax Eats Stuff photos. I may be trying to keep up with a lot of Pokémon mini-projects, but don't worry, I'll still update here as often as possible. ^^

30 March 2011

Dark Type Pokémon, or The Fall of the God of Psychic

Stop laughing. All my Pokémon are dead.

Oh, Sabrina. You remember Sabrina, leader of Saffron City's gym: the unassuming little girl who uses Psychic-type Pokémon. At this point in the game, you haven't fought very many of those, but if you were smart, you picked up an Abra early on. By now, you should have a faithful Kadabra (or Alakazam, if your parents loved you enough to buy you a Game Boy cable. Mine didn't.) by your side, kicking the ass of Machokes left and right. Knowing this, you can probably guess that Sabrina will be tough to beat.

Pokémon is like an ultra-complex game of rock-paper-scissors. Everything is strong against something, and weak to something else. So what is Psychic weak to? Bug and Ghost. Great! I picked up this Gastly in Lavender Town. And hey, in the anime, Ash beat Sabrina with nothing but a Haunter, so all I have to do is get this thing up to level 25 and I'm set!

My ticket to victory.

Aaaand then you get to the gym and realize that something the anime neglected to mention about Haunter is that it is a dual-type Pokémon: Ghost AND Poison, which makes it horribly weak to Psychic attacks. Oh, and it only has two Ghost moves: Lick (crap) and Nightshade (double crap.) One blast from Psybeam and Haunter is KO'd before he even gets a chance to whip out his tongue. Your ass: instantly kicked.

Your many painful defeats at the Saffron City gym left you with a bitter taste in your mouth and an important lesson: the Pokémon world is set up with a system of checks and balances, but Psychic-type rules all. Better start leveling up that Blastoise.

Obviously this all changed with the "discovery" of Dark-type Pokémon in Gold and Silver. Now there are good, powerful moves that are super effective against Psychic-types, AND Dark-type Pokémon are completely immune to all Psychic attacks.


Gold and Silver also tempered out Psychic a bit with the addition of the Steel-type, which is resistant (but not immune) to Psychic-moves, as well as the addition of pure Ghost-types and more powerful Bug moves. From Generation 2 onward, Psychic-types were demoted from terrifying demigods to impotent, sorry bastards who can be obliterated by a fucking firefly.

My problem is that I still have PSYCHIC=KILL EVERYTHING deeply ingrained into my head. I still think "Bite" is a Normal move. Then I encounter a level 16 Poochyena, and half my team is writhing on the floor in agony. I realise that the game needed to be more balanced, and that the advent of Dark and Steel also meant that Fighting-types stopped being so utterly useless, but I still remember the good old days when all I had to do was feed Rare Candy and PP Ups to my Kadabra and the Pokémon League Championship was mine for the taking.

Side note: There's a lot of talk in the Pokémon fan community about the possibility of a Light-type to counter the Dark-type. I thought it was fairly obvious that Dark-type is the counter to Psychic-type, but this would imply* that Psychic-type were somehow "good", which contradicts my assumption that Psychic-type Pokémon like Alakazam and especially Mr. Mime are inherently evil.

*Not necessarily, I suppose. It may be a case of evil versus more evil.

The Top 5 Dark Type Pokémon
Pokemon Season 1 Box Set - Indigo League
Pokemon HeartGold
Pokemon SoulSilver

27 March 2011

Pokémon Airlines

26 March 2011

my Woobat is in like the top percentage of Woobats

Gonna try to do more Pokémon art these days, so look for it here or at my deviantART page. :)

22 March 2011

TM Trouble

Oh, like I'd waste a TM on a Meowth.

A lot of buzz has been going around about new features in Black and White, namely that TMs can be reused. This makes sense; when I buy software or a DVD, it doesn't explode after one use. So now we don't have to stress out about which move to teach to what Pokémon. They can all learn Thief if we want them to! This is a special breakthrough for me because maybe, for the first time ever, I'll actually use a TM.

In the previous 4 generations of Pokémon games, I never used my TMs. Like, ever. Any of them. Not because I couldn't find them, or didn't care for the moves they held, or because I had some stupid notion about keeping my Pokémon "organic". I didn't use them because I was saving them. For what? Naturally, the ultimate Pokémon team that I never actually bothered to put together. You know, the perfectly balanced, fully EV trained, level 100 power team, each with a move set carefully planned to be unbeatable. I was saving my TMs for SuperAerodactyl and GigaHitmonchan.

So any time I'd think, "Hey, maybe this Pokémon would benefit from a new move," and start to boot up a TM, I would reconsider. Once I used it, it would be gone. Gone gone. It wasn't like Rare Candy, where I at least had a chance of picking another one up. With a few exceptions (like ones sold in shops or Game Corner prizes), there was only 1 of each TM in the entire game.

I think my hesitation may be trauma from wasting a TM doing something really stupid in Blue, like teaching Dig to a Diglett, but most likely the problem is rooted far deeper. I do the exact same thing with real life objects: I save them up thinking that they'll be more useful in some future event which, of course, never comes. I was so desperate to be the well-prepared ant (as opposed to the foolish grasshopper), with my giant stash of TMs just waiting to be used in the right moment. Instead I was just a dumbass lugging a giant sack of laser discs around Kanto.

Sidenote: I didn't just do this in the early games. My TM sack in SoulSilver is just as heavy.

02 March 2011

Countdown to Black & White!

Just 4 more days! Don't forget to stop by a GameStop store for their Celebi giveaway. You don't have to buy anything, just go lurk in a dark corner, switching game cartridges so you can download 4 of them on all your different games. >_> After you get Celebi, take him to Ilex Forest in HGSS to unlock a cool time travel Easter Egg! Be prepared to battle!

If you haven't preordered already, I highly recommend going through amazon.com. Both Pokémon Black and Pokémon White offer $10 rebates (good for purchases on amazon.com) if you preorder! So you can buy the game now, then buy some accessories (or this adorable Zorua plush) later!

For the record, I ordered White. I will eventually get Black so my boyfriend can play with me, but I wanted White first. My decision was mostly spurred by the fact that the exclusive area (White Forest) looked really cool. >_>

17 February 2011

The Weedle Controversy

I was recently ranting about how "back in my day" we didn't have online game FAQs and walk-throughs. We just had to figure out games by ourselves, or shell out cash for a game guide. The first game guide I had was an unofficial guide for Pokémon Red & Blue. It actually belonged to my brother, and we read the shit out of that thing. Last I saw of it, it was literally hanging together by a thread, every page frayed and worn.

While I'm sure I could have gotten through the game by myself, it WAS a handy guide (particularly the maps of Silph Co.), and, for being unofficial, it was mostly accurate. Mostly.

I've already mentioned in my first post on this blog that I was never able to trade in the early games, due to lack of a link cable. Since I would never be able to have a complete PokéDex, I placated my sorrow by—with the help of the game guide—making sure to capture every creature possible inside of Blue. Or so I thought.

Like most guides, this book had a list of the "version exclusives", that is—as I am sure you are all aware—Pokemon from the same generation that only exist in one version of the game. On the list of "Red only" Pokémon was the stupid, stupid, ugly piece of crap worm-mon Weedle. It was no stretch to make the assumption that—since they were found in the same areas—Weedle was Red's token bug Pokémon, and Caterpie was Blue's.

Except that it wasn't. Weedles were NOT exclusive to Red; they were found in Blue in the bug-and-occasional-Pikachu-filled Viridian Forest just as they were in Red, only at a very low rate. A rate so low that neither I nor the jerkhat who wrote the game guide that was my only access to Pokémon information for several years ever encountered one.

To add insult to injury, I only found this out a couple months ago. I have long-since erased my original Blue game (sorry Charizard), so I can't even go back and troll Viridian Forest hoping for the 1-in-25 chance encounter with a Weedle.

Meh. I'm mad, but not so mad that I'm going to track down the author of the game guide and shove a rabid weasel through his mail slot. Anyway, it wouldn't have really made much of a difference if I had had a Weedle; I would have evolved it into a Beedrill and then buried it in my PC, never to look at or touch it again. In a way, I suppose it's better that all the Weedles in my Blue game got to enjoy the freedom that Zubat and Geodude never did.

04 February 2011

Facebook page, ahoy!

Now you can "like" the Lavender Town PokéCenter on the Facebook. I hear it's what all the cool kids are doing.

28 January 2011

Top 5 of Gen 5!

I am aware that it is not Tuesday, yet I am still doing a top 5 feature. Days of the week don't control me.

Gen5 has been criticized from the very first silhouette leaks of the new starters for having horribly stupid-looking Pokémon. All I really have to say to that is HAVE YOU LOOKED AT GEODUDES? THEY ARE ROCKS WITH FISTS. Also, stop taking a video game targeted towards people 1/3 your age so seriously (like I'm one to talk.) Anyway, these are my five favorite Pokémon from yet-to-be-released-in-America Black & White!*

#5. Desukan / Cofagrigus

Kudos to Nintendo America's translation team for creating a nearly-impossible-to-pronounce American name for this guy. Co-fa-gri-gus? It doesn't exactly roll off the tongue. I've always loved Egyptian-style stuff, and this has the added bonus of letting me imagine that Lucy from Elfen Lied is trapped inside a sarcophagus.

#4. Shinbora

Bulbapedia suggests that the inspiration for this Pokémon comes from Nazca lines and Kachina dolls. I choose to believe that Shinbora is the product of a drunken night between a Xatu and like, 3 or 4 Unowns.

The Iron Giant or Alphonse Elric, you pick.
#3. Goruugu

This Pokémon is like one of the kind-hearted robots in the Robot Circus that helps Astro Boy come to terms with the fact that he's a hated piece of garbage that was disowned by his creator. I'm not sure if that actually happened in Tezuka's manga, but it should have.

Blitzle is like what you would name a stoned turtle.
#2. Shimama / Blitzle

It's an electric zebra with a mohawk. Electric zebra. Mohawk. Also it kind of looks like David Bowie, if he was a zebra.

#1. Dasutodasu

Oh god. God, yes. Nintendo obviously listens to my prayers, because they actually designed a Pokémon that is a big bag of garbage. LOOK AT THIS THING. I mean, look at it. It is obviously the product of hours of brainstorming as to what a bag of vomit and entrails might look like if it gained sentience. AND IT IS GLORIOUS.

*I thought really hard about purchasing Japanese copies of Black and/or White so I wouldn't have to wait until March. Then I realized that Japanese DS games cost twice as much as American ones. I also realized that I would have finished it and likely gotten sick of it by the time all my friends were playing it, and I would end up being ostracized as a Pokémon hipster when I inevitably told them, "I already finished that game months ago because I can read Japanese." Then they'd all go off to play and trade together and I'd be left alone. :,(

15 January 2011

*sad face*

You may have noticed that all the images on this blog are broken. In the same moment I lost my hosting (I was planning on switching anyway, but I missed the cut-off date), I lost my computer hard drive. -_- And while I had backed up most of my important stuff like my artwork, I didn't back up the images used for this blog.

In other words, I suck, so please bear with me while I get this blog back up and running. Pokemon Black and White is coming out in the US soon! So many new things to critique and make fun of!
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