Introduction of new Products :
The My Friend Pikachu feature plush won't stand alone in the series much longer, because this year will see the release of My Friend Eevee feature plush too. These huggable plush make for a good difference compared with the standard plush, as Pikachu’s cheeks light up and ears move on press. Also, the latest main game series of Pokémon Sun & Moon introduced on the Nintendo 3DS Family Systems, gave the opportunity for a new interactive product "The Z-Ring & Z-Crystals" to be released. The mechanics are simply to light up and vibrate, as the in game trainer can activate a Z-Move to be unleashed on the opposing Pokémon. However, as simple as this may be, it is the first time in history that an external TOMY product could connect to a Nintendo console.
There has been an increase in production for a lot of lines including the fan favourite feature plush, which was just made up of the My Friend Pikachu feature plush, but TOMY are excited to be able to introduce My Friend Eevee (Which ears move and activates sounds from a hug) to this line in 2017.
TOMY for the first time ever were able to create more interactive products such as the Z-Ring with Z-Crystals, which allows players to connect with the Nintendo games (Sun & Moon) in a completely unique way. Figurines of starter evolutions (Generations 1-3) will be introduced as super size multi-packs, as well as a brand new 12 piece box set. They understand fans enjoy buying pieces individually, but multi-packs give fans the opportunity to collect more of their favourite Pokémon.
Note : (The Z-Ring Set comes with three Z-Crystals and a 2” Pikachu figure. Suitable for ages 4+. The 12 piece multi-pack set includes new arrivals such as Litten, Rowlet, Grubbin, but also a retro balance of Abra, Pichu and Cubone - a clever marketing strategy to create a wider appeal.)
The new Clip n' Carry Pokéball belts and Throw and Pop Pokéballs are also a more interactive series. TOMY wants everyone to have a more interactive experience and to get children to feel more involved in the products, as well as collectors of the series..
The Wide Variety :
As we were lucky to have an exclusive look at the 2017 products and merchandise lines scheduled across the year, the one particular thing that stood out to me was the amount of variety TOMY had showcased. With the new introduction of the likes of Mimikyu, Togedemaru, Alolan Vulpix, Alolan Raichu, and Rotom Pokédex, as well as older Pokémon that rarely get merchandise such as Abra, Tyranitar, Dratini - it gave the new lines a fresh new look. As a website, we get enquiries daily into the existence of certain Pokémon characters and any production plans made for those characters. This is the reason I wanted this subject covered.
With so many new characters introduced (with the release and success of Pokémon GO and Pokémon Sun & Moon), TOMY have made a push to reintroduce older Pokémon as part of the 8 inch plush line, as well as the new Alolan Forms , along with the release of an upcoming series known as the "Legacy" TOMY range which included figures and plush. With over 800 Pokémon in total (Not including Mega Evolutions or Alolan Forms) TOMY feel they have enough variety over the year to offer all fans.
This will certainly be pleasing to fans old and new of the soon to be 21 year old franchise!
The Influence of Pokémon :
One of the recurring topics in conversation was the unprecedented success of Pokémon 20 over 2016. The monthly mythical distributions of plush, figurines, TCG boxes and game events made global news last year, and following up to so many great products seemed like a huge challenge. But as mentioned previously, new game releases and the introduction of a new Anime series, this allowed TOMY to create more expansive lines.
The audience has been so much so, that TOMY are now able to focus on a variety of products, not just the standard mascots. What TOMY want is for fans to collect a whole range of merchandise, not just the regular mass produced products. Exclusive independent retailer merchandise and limited edition products will be released throughout the year.
However, that is top secret at the moment, but you'll know more over the coming months.
Stay tuned for this news!
Following the massive success of last year, it is really important to note that TOMY understand that a larger audience now exists for Pokémon that probably didn't two years ago. The huge expansion means that TOMY really mean business this year, and the introduction of brand new clip on keychain plush mascots, new Pokémon Legendary Action Figures of Solgaleo and Lunala, as well as the Z-Ring only gives the company a better range for people of all ages.
The Pokémon Company has been producing merchandise lines at will lately, and that doesn't look to stop anytime soon. TOMY have even made plans to grow the plush line and increase the depth of characters by releasing Halloween and Christmas-esque characters in basic plush forms for the festive seasons.
As a huge Pokémon fan since 1998, I can honestly say I was blown away by everything I saw, which was much more than we photographed. But hopefully, the small gallery below will give you a taste of what is to come. One thing I have always maintained, is the more Pokémon merchandise sells, the more that will be produced over time, and the merchandise coming in 2017 could honestly even top the phenomenon of the 2016 range!
Exclusive High Quality Gallery :
Here is the main list of releases expected and month of release :
MAY-SEPTEMBER 2017 :
Clip n' Carry Pokémon Figurine Assortment - Pikachu, Alolan Vulpix, Alolan Sandshrew, Alolan Meowth, Growlithe, Machop.
JUNE-SEPTEMBER 2017 :
Battle Action Pokémon Figurine Assortment - Zygarde 10%, Mega Sableye, Pikachu, Rowlet, Litten, Popplio, 'Midday and Midnight' Lycanroc, Salandit, Pikipek, Komala.
JULY 2017 :
Zipper Pokéball Plush - Pikachu, Alolan Vulpix, Alolan Sandshrew, Cutiefly.
Pokémon XL Multi-Pack (12 PACK) Figurines - Rowlet, Litten, Popplio, Rotom Pokédex, Grubbin, Togedemaru, Cubone, Munchlax, Pikachu, Pichu, Eevee, Abra.
JULY-SEPTEMBER 2017 :
Large 10" Pokémon Plush - Alolan Raichu, Rotom Pokédex, Dratini.
8" Pokémon Sun & Moon Plush - Mimikyu, Rockruff, Togedemaru.
AUGUST 2017 :
Action Pokémon Figurine Assortment - Large Tapu Koko, Snorlax.
Action Pose Pokémon Figurine Assortment - Espeon, Umbreon, Sylveon.
Pokémon Legendary Figurine Pack - Solgaleo, Lunala.
OCTOBER 2017 :
Interactive Pokémon Plush - My Friend Eevee.
8" Pokémon Sun & Moon Plush - Different pose Rowlet, Litten, Popplio, Pikipek.
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