Pokémon Center Jewel Changi is set to open its doors to the public on the 17th of April 2019. We wrote em all in this tell all article.
Pokémon has always been a beloved game by many. It started off with the Gameboy software Pokémon Red and Green which was released in Japan on 27 February 1996 (later Pokémon Red and Blue was internationally released). Pokémon has sold over 300 million units of software games as of March 2018. The augmented reality game Pokémon Go, has hit more than 1 billion downloads globally. My own personal experience with Pokémon was at the age of 7, when my father bought me my first Gameboy with the Pokémon Crystal.
Pokémon Centers, within the real world, are shops dedicated to selling Pokémon themed merchandise. Pokémon Center Co. Ltd., a subsidiary, manages both the larger Centers and smaller Stores and also act as the parent company’s main hub of information. Their central mission is to provide the latest Pokémon updates and information, as well as passing the wonder of the Pokémon World to all visitors.
When Jewel Changi, Singapore opened the first Asia based store outside of Japan, the crowds were massive. Over 600 different kinds of merchandise could found within the Pokémon Center.
A short interview with the CBO (Chief Business Officer) of the Pokémon Company, Kenjiro Ito, revealed that Singapore was selected after a successful collaboration with Changi in 2016, which resulted in the then Pikachu Parade. Not only that, with the imminent release of Pokémon Sword and Shield, the latest in the series, the Center’s merchandise will change to reflect that. However, the overall interior will largely remain as is.
I came to this Center not knowing what to expect but I was completely blown away by the meticulous detail that went into the event launch. The Center itself was stocked to the brim with a variety of merchandise. I was literally drooling.
No, really. I went into the queue twice.
My prized loot — a Charizard plush.
The staff of the Center were hospitable and friendly. Chatting with them was an experience that opened up new information and I felt welcome by all. The funny thing was that when I went into the queue for the second time, two cashiers at the far end were waving eagerly to me. I decided to go the nearest one instead and they mock deflated and laughed it off. I even commented on how crazy I was to have gone into the queue a second time, drawing some laughter from them.
I also came across a rather interesting detail within this Pokémon Center, which is shared by all Pokémon Centers around the world. All the staff of the store had name tags reflecting their favourite Pokémon. Some picks include the elegant water-type Milotic, the Lake Trio member Azelf and Trubbish. Mr. Ito himself picked out the fire dog Arcanine as his top favourite.
A Pikachu mascot also came out for a brief moment for a media photography session. The mascot’s vibrant movements drew some crowd members to take photographs as well. Each media member was given a goodie bag containing the press kit as well as some Pokémon goodies featuring the mascot Pikachu.
I find that the first Asia based store outside of Japan will provide plenty of opportunity for fans and visitors to the region. Quality is assured and fans will find that the variety here is palpable. That being said, I am pretty certain that this popular attraction will be one of many offers that we can look forward to.
It was that fateful day when my dad bought me Crystal that opened up this wonderful world that has kept me going through good times and bad.
I’ve never looked back since.
Pokémon Center Singapore opens on the 17th of April 2019. Do drop by for a chance to purchase merchandise of your favourite creatures. For more information, visit Jewel Changi’s official website or the Pokémon Center Singapore website. Addendum: Pokémon Go Safari Sentosa will be held from the 18th to the 22nd of April 2019, so fans have even more to anticipate.
Editor’s note: Article has been edited for clarity on 19th April 2019.