In which bigger is better.
It’s honestly a relief to approach Pokemon from a point of view that isn’t game-centric. I can appreciate the aesthetics of the weakest Pokemon and base my opinions on the anime in almost everything, and when new abilities or plot elements come along I don’t have to worry about how they come through in a game.
The whole Gigantamax controversy within Sword and Shield just barely affects me, since I only recently got a Switch in the first place, and even once I get further into things the fact that I didn’t play Gen Six means I don’t have a strong opinion about Mega Evolution. I get to be one of the lucky ones who can judge things just by how they look — and that’s what we’re going to do here, with these Gigantamax Pokemon Kids figures tucked inside their deceptively plain-looking brown box:
Once you open it up, it’s very colorful and inviting:
Inside are twelve hollow, soft vinyl figures with some variation in sizes as we’ll talk about below (after opening so many blind boxes, it’s a downright treat to have different packaging for each here).
Our first figure is Pikachu, whose Gigantamax form reminds me a lot of his original kind of squat design. Standing about 2.75 inches high and nearly that wide (he is a chonk if ever I’ve seen one), Pikachu looks just like you’d expect.
The little cloud around his tail looks a lot less intimidating in figure form than it does in the game or anime, though. I can’t shake the feeling that it looks like a scrunchie, but that probably just dates me to having grown up in the 1980s.
Next, we’ve got everyone’s old favorite Charizard (Lizardon in Japanese). I don’t have a single insightful thing to say about the name in either language. I can only assume the English one combines char with lizard — and lizard‘s also in the Japanese name, though I’m not sure exactly where the don comes from.
Lizardon looks exceptionally good from various angles, so I tried to capture that below. He’s about the same size as Pikachu.
The third figure is Kabigon/Snorlax with like an actual island on his belly in his Gigantamax form. This design is cooler in theory than it is in reality, where it’s pretty solidly gross (since it’s supposed to be the crud on his belly that forms the land mass, which is kind of, uh, not so appealing a thought). But then again, neither is Wooper’s toxic slime or Yabukuron (Trubbish)’s evil, poisonous burps or possibly whatever’s going on with Sounansu’s tail or lots of other things related to my favorite Pokemon, so obviously I’m good at compartmentalizing.
Kabigon’s figure is a little shorter but wider than the others in this collection, and it’s also just generally amazing. This has got to be one of my favorite Gigantamax forms; I wish I had a lot of tiny Pokemon figures to set up a whole island of them on his belly.
I’ve always kind of preferred their English name, mostly because I honestly have no idea where the Japanese name Kabigon comes from (if you have any clue, please let me know — even Bulbapedia didn’t have anything to say on the issue!). But the English is pretty straightforwardly a combination of snore and relax, and I love him from his sleepy head down to his weird toes.
I’m not exactly sure why the Gigantamax version of Gengar doesn’t really do it for me. Gengar is amazing, and so are all of his previous forms, and I’m pretty sure I even read somewhere that Gengar is the favorite of Ken Sugimori (the main Pokemon designer), so it’s just a fact that he’s amazing. And the description of Gengar’s Gigantamax form in the games is the coolest thing ever, because his mouth is a literal hellmouth.
But there’s just something about the way the form looks that’s a little blah to me — not unappealing, just not really all that different from Gengar’s normal design. And despite everything I just said, I kind of want to use this figure as a ride in some sort of cute miniature Sumikko Gurashi haunted carnival scene (I’ll omit the hellmouth…) Also, I’m kind of left wondering where exactly his tail attaches at the bottom.
Anyway, our fifth Pokemon is called Armorga in Japanese and Corviknight in English. The Japanese name, I imagine, combines the English word armor with the カーカー ka-ka used to imitate a crow’s cry. (The k sound in Japanese can change to g in certain circumstances.) I had more trouble with the English name and had to look it up; the knight part’s straightforward, but even if I knew at some point that corvid is the technical name for the crow family, 2020 has seared that and most other information off my brain long ago.
This is another one of those Pokemon I don’t know much about, but Armorga has pretty striking coloration. I feel like this would be one of the more popular choices from this series among kids.
Our last extra tall Pokemon is one I only learned about because of her Gigantamax form: Mawhip/Alcremie. Maybe it’s the bad memories of the nightmare that was Whipple talking, but Mawhip’s regular form is just easy for me to overlook (although look at all the different “flavors” you have her be omg) in most circumstances. My fancy-cake-loving self, though, is powerless to resist her as a big beautiful tall cake, and all these things combined make this my favorite figure of the whole set, I think!
I also have to say I like her English name better than her Japanese name (seems to be a trend with this set). The whip just refers to whipped cream, of course, and I’m guessing the ma is related to 魔 ma, magic. But I’m really fond of the way the English name combines alchemy with cream/creamy — it’s just very clever.
If I’d paid the $27 price for this set and just gotten six figures, I’d probably have said it wasn’t all that worth it — but remember, I got three of Pikachu and Lizardon and two of Armorga and Kabigon (so sad to only get one Gengar and Mawhip, but I guess you can’t have it all). These extras are going to help me out with Christmas presents for various nieces and nephews, so that sweetens the deal extra much. If you’re a fan too, they’re still available – check them out on amiami!