A real-life version of Pokemon would be terrible. If you stepped outside for a moment to grab some coffee, you might have to fight off a big pigeon since you wandered into some unmowed grass. It’s all fun and games until you enthusiastically throw a Pokeball and out pop a malnourished Squirtle you haven’t fed in two weeks, so it’s understandable that no one wants actual Pokemon even if they believe they do.
In spite of this, the Pokemon Company is selling thousands of life-size plush Pokemon (creatively named “Poke Plush”) for more than $400. A 4-foot-tall Lucario lurks nearby, ready to pounce. Someone has spotted a Slowpoke that is just 5 feet in height. And now there is a full-size Spheal, advertised with pictures of it taking up most of a person’s bedroom.
Who wants this? Who wants a Lucario the size of a human toddler who seems like he’s ready to ask you if you have any games on your phone? For hundreds of dollars, you have invested in a plush Spheal so large that it prevents you from storing other, more useful pieces of furniture.
Just picture this: it’s Christmas Eve, and you’ve invited Grandma and the rest of the family around for dinner, but you can’t fit her in a chair because your living room is completely filled up by a seal that doesn’t exist.
With fifteen giant Poke Plush now for sale, there is obviously a big demand. Nevertheless, who exactly makes up that market? Nobody I know wants to drop more than $400 on a huge plush Pokemon.
The most likely suspects are Twitch streamers who, like the rest of us, must combat the effects of time as they age while their average audience age remains static. The gigantic Pikachu seems like it was made for the background of a stream, where it may fool young people into thinking that a 30-year-old man is just like them, except that he has enough money to overturn the government of a small nation.
But those that broadcast their gameplay on Twitch don’t make up a sizable fraction of the general public. People exist who utilize these monstrous Pokemon the same way the rest of us use fine houseplants or lamps: as décor. The sort of people who would buy a $499.99 45-inch Mareep because they thought, “This will look fantastic in my lounge.”
But maybe I’m missing out on something because my most formative years were spent in the late ’90s playing Pokemon cards with my pals.
If I can’t figure it out, perhaps I should just buy a life-size Lucario and put it in the corner of my room so it can stare at me with unblinking eyes all night long.
Perhaps I will feel the same joy as I had when I was eight years old and unwrapped a shiny Blastoise from its foil package and the whole world seemed to open up to me.