I don’t know how to emphasize this point well enough but… Pokémon Air is a truly bizarre piece of Pokémon merchandise. In almost every sense it’s a truly unusual piece of Pokémon merchandising (at least things like Pikachu gummy candy are tasty and make sense!), certainly not helped by certain quirks in the item that make it a neat yet also somehow unsettling product.
Available through JAM in Japan starting from 11 am on October 1st, Pokémon Air is a giant inflatable Pikachu advertised as a play and home furnishing companion for kids and families. You can play with it, ride on it, use it as a rest to lean on, or just have it lying around to look at while working or to fit neatly into your home decor.
And yet there’s something… peculiar about it. Ignoring the way that each picture gives the inflatable Pikachu a haunting presence, with an unchanging smiling face regardless of the circumstance that make it look like it will attach you in its sleep with one photo in particular of the toy climbing the stairs a daunting proposition in darker lighting, an inflatable toy needs somewhere to blow it up. And for this Pikachu, to inflate it, you need to stick a needle in their butt.
Helpfully showcased via detailed diagrams on the item’s website, the hole that you need to insert the included air pump is found on the Pikachu’s butt. Inflation requires you to stick the included needle into the Pikachu’s butt and hand pump it up to capacity before sealing it up. While the hole is at least subtly when not in use thanks to this, it does make the actual process a little, well, awkward, to say the least. I think I’d prefer a more solid Pikachu that didn’t require such maintenance.
Pokémon Air will be available through JAM STORE from 11 am Japan time on October 1st for a price of 7500yen, and you can find out more over on the official website.