Nintendo has officially labeled 2013 as ‘The Year of Luigi’, but — while the fruits of the marketing campaign thus far have provided gamers with the handheld gem known as Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon — it’s becoming apparent that the Big N could have just as easily shifted gears and informed fans that 2013 is ‘The Year of Pokemon’.

In 2013 alone, The Pokemon Company has made Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity and a Pikachu-themed 3DS XL available at retailers, and later this year Pokemon X and Y will be arriving — ushering in a new generation for the popular franchise. Even with all of this content, however, it’s Pokemon Rumble U that has managed to gain the attention of avid fans/collectors with its NFC compatible action figures.

The first series of Pokemon Rumble U action figures is set to feature six standard toys (with a seventh mystery figure) when the game launches later this month, and the second series will follow suit with that trend. The new Pocket Monsters that’ll be up for grabs will consist of Eevee, Mewtwo, Croagunk, Zoroark, Litwick and Genesect, and they’ll be joined by another mystery Pokemon collectible.

Pokemon Rumble U Action Figures

While these action figures will be one way to unlock new in-game characters, there will be a few other methods gamers can utilize in their quest to catch ’em all. According to CoroCoro magazine, users can obtain new creatures by either entering codes (similar to the shiny Garchomp code given away in the latest issue) or purchasing special IC Cards.

The IC Cards will interact with the Wii U in a similar fashion as the action figures, allowing gamers to summon powerful Pokemon for a limited time during some of the more difficult portions of Rumble U. If spending money isn’t something consumers are interested in, then fans can rest easy knowing that they’ll be able to start off their adventure by choosing either Pikachu, Snivy, Tepig, or Oshawott. Players can also utilize in-game coins to change the names and abilities of the toys in their real-life Pokemon collection.

Pokemon Rumble U will be available in Japan on the Wii U’s eShop beginning on April 24th, and the second series of figures will be available beginning May 25th.

You can follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.

Source: Serebii