In which structural problems definitely hinder the experience, but the overall result is pretty awesome.
In a similar spirit to the Pokemon Rainy City Stairs figure I recently talked about here, I’m back today with another Pokemon offering from Re-ment: Pokemon Forest 5!
While all Pokemon are amazing and cute in their own way, Eevee has been one that I’ve been able to resist for the most part. That’s a good thing, because between all the merchandise for Eevee itself and that for all its evolutions, I appreciate the lack of damage to my wallet. (Incidentally, I did not know until I just looked it up on Bulbapedia that Eevee’s name comes from the first two letters of evolution. That seems…so obvious now. Huh.) Anyway, each figure in the set comes with a tree base so that it can be displayed by itself, and I’ll start by showing them that way. Here in the first set, we see Eevee happily frolicking on some mushrooms….
….but I ran into the first of a couple of serious structural problems as soon as I tried to put the next piece on top of this part–it simply isn’t cut correctly. The tab that goes into the Eevee piece is cut too big to fit, and I mean it doesn’t fit at all, so much so that I had to have the hubs file it down for me. It’s worth noting that if you moved the parts, swapping them up or down, things would fit together much better, but it’s also worth noting that the tree is clearly designed to be set up a certain way. What would help the most would be to move the Eevee part upward, but because it would look weird for mushrooms to grow up higher on the tree than leaves, you’re stuck with a less stable figure.
Structural unpleasantness aside for now, this set feels extra deluxe, with two significant and very cute Pokemon. On the left is Pachirisu, whose English name is apparently the same. パチパチ pachi-pachi can be used as onomatopoeia for clapping, but here it’s a crackle, like from electricity; リス risu just means squirrel. And on the right is a sweet little Gonbe/Munchlax. I’m not exactly sure why Gonbe is the Japanese name, though I feel like it has something to do with Kabigon, the Japanese name for Snorlax.
As we move on to the next set, we unfortunately run into structural problems again, this time with our friend Rokon/Vulpix below. First, the interior part of the trunk is clearly made to be positioned one specific way–though that way leaves Rokon sort of squished over to the side, as you see below.
Second, the tree trunk piece is simply flimsy here. This is a problem because it’s kind of smack dab in the center of the overall tree. Between photographing and then setting up the figure in my living room for display, I had to walk across the house with the parts assembled twice….and it was the most stressful thing I’ve done in a while, even by 2020 standards. (As for the name Rokon, I imagine it’s partially from 六 roku (six, the number of tails Rokon has), and perhaps from コンコンkon-kon (the sound a fox makes), and, er, maybe something else?).
Luckily, for the rest of the sets everything seems to fit together as intended and we can just enjoy the remaining Pokemon. The next features Hinoarashi (Cyndaquil in English). Its name sounds like 火の嵐 hi no arashi, firestorm, which seems pretty appropriate; also, due to Hinoarashi’s defensive curling and quills, it might also refer to yamaarashi. That means porcupine — though I usually see this written in kana, in kanji it’s 山荒. 山 yama means mountain, and 荒 arashi is written with a kanji that can mean “laid waste” or “wild.”
If I were going to be really picky, I woukd point out that this one feels a little skimpy as a single blind box. The other ones with more elaborate parts or two Pokemon figures make this seem a little bit like a disappointment. Still, I’m happy enough — let’s move on!
The next set definitely feels like more for your money. It features Pikachu, of course, and Emonga (Emolga in English). I am neither sure why they changed Emonga’s name slightly in English nor where either name comes from, though I imagine the Japanese has something to do with モモンガ momonga, a type of flying squirrel (and a One Piece character, but I digress).
Topping the whole thing off is Gekkouga/Greninja! The Japanese name comes, I’d imagine, from a combination of ゲコ geko, one of the ways to write a frog’s croak, and the Kouga ninja school, maybe with 月光 gekkou (moonlight) somewhere in there too, since Gekkouga is a Dark type Pokemon. The English name comes in part from the word ninja, of course, but I think the gren at the beginning might be from the French grenouille (frog).
Put the whole thing together and you’ve got a majestic just-slightly-wobbly Pokemon tree spectacle on your hands — poor Suiren (Lana) below doesn’t know where to start!
As I think I’ve mentioned before, I do really appreciate these collections that are designed to display up rather than out — this one measures over a foot when it’s all put together, yet its minimal width makes it easy to find space for. You can still get it at amiami, though with the structural issues above the full price (around $36) may give you some pause. I myself definitely end up on the happy side; this is now adorning our mantel, and it seems extra appropriate as the leaves outside remind me it’s not just autumn in the Pokemon Forest, but here, too!