If you’ve been following OTAQUEST for a while then it should come as no surprise to hear that I am a massive fan of the Fragment x Pokémon THUNDERBOLT PROJECT collaboration. I’ve personally been lucky enough to catch several of the drops around the world since the project started, and own several pieces that are still in my regular wardrobe. The last time we heard any updates about the collab was almost a year ago when the last Moncler x THUNDERBOLT PROJECT collection dropped, so imagine my surprise when the tb_project Instagram account sprung to life recently with news of 3 new pop-ups across Asia this month.
This new collection in the THUNDERBOLT PROJECT collaboration includes new pieces featuring popular mainstay Pokémon Meowth, Psyduck, and Jigglypuff alongside some new pieces with Pikachu front & center. What’s noteworthy about this is that Meowth & Psyduck are newcomers to the collab as a whole, which still has only utilized a small selection of the original 151 Pocket Monsters. The only caveat is that each of the new Pokémon was made for a different location, meaning that travel or a proxy is necessary if you truly want to catch ’em all. Each of the new Pokémon in the collection comes printed on a variety of different tops, a retaW brand air freshener, and a highly-coveted solid black plush mascot.
First up, appearing in Beijing on 12 December 2020 at SKP-S was a collection of items featuring the duck Pokémon, Psyduck.
Next up in Shanghai at TBP SHANGHAI (available by WeChat only) was the balloon Pokémon, Jigglypuff.
Rounding out the new additions is the scratch cat Pokémon, Meowth at INVINCIBLE in Taipei on 18 December 2020.
Of course, Pikachu and a selection of logo items will be available at all of the pop-up locations.
The Beijing & Shanghai pop-ups happened over this past weekend, but the final pop-up in Taipei is scheduled to run on 18 December 2020.
While I’m beyond happy to see THUNDERBOLT PROJECT active again, especially since Hiroshi Fujiwara stated in our exclusive interview that it was running for 2 years, I’m not going to lie and pretend I’m not a little bummed out that it’s taking place so far away. I’ve been able to collect all of the other plush mascots released thus far, so my collection is going to feel awfully incomplete now that there are several that are going to be tough to get my hands on. First world problems I know, I’ll just have to keep an eye on auction sites. Either way, I hope that all things considered with COVID and the upcoming 25th anniversary for the franchise that we get a bit of an extension for the collaboration, it would be great to see even more Pokémon join the lineup.