In which some long-awaited friends finally show up, and after all I’m just glad I managed to catch them, er, every one.
I had a surprise in the mail today, in the form of a big bag and bigger box from Toreba, so I thought I’d celebrate with a last-minute blog entry. ☆♪
I had just finished one win (in fact, I’m pretty sure it was the Messon/Sobble we’ll be getting to shortly) when I ran across this Kodakku (Psyduck) when I had about ten dollars worth of credits left. I tried for them a couple of times, without a whole lot of hope, and this last time I thought I’d just thrown the money away. But then this happened:
Kodakku is nice and big. He’s 13.5 inches high, which may not sound all that large, but he’s so round and fat he seems bigger somehow. And he’s got this nubbly fuzzy texture that would be perfect if it were just a little softer. But he’s still pretty great as he is.
Poketto Monsutaa Kutsurogi Taimu Mecha Deka Nuigurumi ~Kodakku~
Pokemon Relaxing Super Huge Plushie ~Psyduck~
Unfortunately, all three plush to some degree have the same quality lapses I tend to find not in all crane game plush but specifically those made for licensed characters like Pokemon and PreCure. (For what we’ll arbitrarily call “cute characters” like those made by Sanrio and San-x the quality varies, but averages on the nice side.)
They’re not deal breakers for any of the plush I’ll discuss, but I thought this info might be nice if you were comparing these with store plush. And for the record, with Kodakku it’s just a slightly scratchy feel and a seam up front that feels just a little looser than I’d like.
Next is something that was a grail for me for a while — Denryuu/Ampharos! I actually know little about this Pokemon, but the design is just so cute. I love that slender neck and that cute little smile.
I actually spent more than I care to calculate or admit on this plush, over time, always in setups like that below. But then one day I won them in just a couple of turns, pulling left and right alternately each time, until:
Like I alluded to before, the quality here could be slightly improved (really just in terms of feel, just a little less soft than ideal) but the look is just so friggity fragging cute my concern is limited. I mean, they are just so photogenic it’s ridiculous. It makes for a great selfie with –well, any other plush. Even this totally-a-lizard-what-did-you-think-he-was-some-sort-of-zoocryptid-or-something-geez Tokage here, for example:
I have been impressed for many years at what a good job the American translators have done at coming up with names that capture the weird punniness of many of the Japanese names. In fact, I might say that the American name here might be even cooler to me than the Japanese choice.
In Japanese, their name (written in katakana, so we can only read sound, no meaning) is デンリュウ Denryuu. The Den part is most likely for 電, which is used in compounds to mean electricity; they’re an electric-type Pokemon. Denryuu written with different kanji means electric current. But here the ryuu, I’m guessing, means dragon (竜)。
Ampharos, on the other hand, combines amp and the Greek word for lighthouse pharos. This name actually incorporates a nice bit of trivia about the character — they use the bright tip of their tail to illuminate lighthouses.
Poketto Monsutaa Shippo Mite Mite! Mecha Deka Nuigurumi ~Denryuu~
Pokemon Look at my Tail! Super Huge Plush ~Denryuu~
Sadly, quality issues come up more with our last Pokemon, Messon, though I was pretty proud of this win. I had just watched someone on Reddit clear a machine of these same plush, and I thought I would try their technique. I flubbed the first try, but on the second Messon flipped right over!
Messon is called Sobble in English. It’s a pretty good translation, because mesomeso is generally used as a sound effect for crying. And one of Messon’s major defenses is its tears, which cause others to cry.
I’m pretty fond of them in terms of look, though they’re a bit difficult to display because the tail, instead of helping with balance, instead projects them weirdly forward unless I manage to find that one unique position where it, er, doesn’t. You might notice I had to lay them on their side at times to take pictures.
Poketto Monsutaa Dekkai Korotto Manmaru Nuigurumi ~Messon~
Pokemon Huge Rolling Round Plushy ~Messon~
Still, it’s not a plush that feels particularly soft. It’s hard to explain. It has something to do with texture and stuffing and stitching. The easiest thing to see is that the fin on their head, which is supposed to stand upright, is just a thin, limp piece of felt. Beyond that there’s not any major particular issue I can point to, but I thought I’d bring this up nonetheless.
Whereas they’re not at the quality level of some of my favorite crane game plush, I’m still fond of my little Pokemon stable here, and it’s helpful to know things about relative quality of different brands and types of plushies. And these aren’t the only goodies that came from Toreba in this haul, so I can guarantee you’ll be seeing them soon!