The Pokémon Company announces that they’ve struck a deal with Build-A-Bear Workshop that will give fans the opportunity to build their own Pikachu plush in 2016.
The Pokémon franchise just won’t quit. Far from satisfied with its dominance of the handheld video game market, the adorable Japanese critters have begun to invade even the most sacred American locations, and now The Pokémon Company has set its sights on the lucrative build-your-own plush toy market as well. Starting in 2016, fans of the Pokémon series will be able to construct their very own Pikachu at any Build-A-Bear location.
Each stuffed Pikachu will also come with a limited-edition Pokémon trading card, just in case the millions of children who love the iconic Pokémon mascot need more enticement to go out and build his squishy real-word counterpart. Build-A-Bear will also offer a Poké Ball hoodie accessory made to fit each Pikachu comfortably. The announcement from The Pokémon Company comes after an inexplicably successful decision to sell Pokémon butts to Japanese fans under a month ago.
The Pokémon Company and Build-A-Bear even have fans who aren’t near a retail location covered, as Build-A-Bear Workshop is offering customers the option to buy their Pikachu pre-stuffed online. People who choose this option will get the aforementioned Poké Ball hoodie, a second Charizard costume, and a sound clip included inside the plush itself.
Pokémon has always been a video game industry staple worldwide, but fan fervor for the series has ramped up significantly since the announcement of Pokémon Go, which is, conveniently, also scheduled for a 2016 release date. Although the Build-A-Bear partnership isn’t necessarily as exciting as the idea of having to locate and catch Pokémon while on the walk to work each day, it’s yet another example of just how successful Nintendo and The Pokémon Company have been at bringing their virtual juggernaut into the every day lives of its fans.
It’s that kind of philosophy that has allowed The Pokémon Company and Nintendo to contribute a significant portion of the $30 million that went into developing Pokémon Go. The Build-A-Bear partnership might not represent the kind of profit something like Pokémon Go does, but Pokémon products very rarely fail to generate revenue, and if fans of the series are happy with another take on a stuffed Pikachu, that’s already a win for everyone involved.
Do you buy video game tie-in products? What kind of merchandise would you like to see Pokémon offer that hasn’t been already? Let us know in the comments.