There are many many toys I remember owning as a kid and enjoying so damn much. But sometimes I got things for Christmas or birthday that kind of got lost in a landslide of other toys. Not actually lost, but definitely forgotten about and not appreciated as much as if I had received this a different day of the year without all the other toys distracting me.
There were three of these playsets in the original line, but I only own this and one other one now. It is supposed to be Viridian Forest, where Ash catches Caterpie in the animated series, and where you have to fight all of those bug catchers in the game, early on into the adventure. The packaging isn’t the one I remember as a kid, I had the USA/European version on a red card.This one is clearly of eastern origin judging by the Chinese text.
Something interesting I found out about Oddish from the back of the card is that his name in Japanese is Nazonokusa. I find that quite strange, it’s like when you’re at school and you find out the first name of one of your teachers. You have known them for years and now you have this new piece of information. I think I like it though, as saying it fast enough and nodding your head once whilst saying it makes it sound and look like a sneeze.
Opening it up, it is quite a fun little set. But being raised on Mighty Max I think it could get very boring very quickly. In MM, there were dungeons, and traps and monsters to avoid, and in this there is a tree with a hammock or a swing. And a tree stump that rotates. Can you imagine the typical boys toy commercial on TV? It always has a man with a deep voice and an American accent, talking about the features of the toy. Can you imagine him doing that for this? “Rotate Oddish on the tree stump using the secret bush! Pikachu features hammock swinging action! Who can have the nicest day in this scene that’s devoid of any threat or peril? Only you can decide!”
I did have fun with these as a kid though. But just one playset I think would be so boring. Pokémon to me was about the battles and the creatures. Pikachu was so.. I don’t know. Accessible. Everywhere. I would have loved this set more if it was Beedrill and an Ivysaur or something, Pokémon that seemed a little more like a threat so I could make shit really go down.
I really am probably slating this more than it deserves. It’s quite adorable I suppose, but does seem to promote the idea these Pokémon live in some happy Eutopia where I quite liked the idea that Pokémon wasn’t all cutsie and fuzzy, something I think the manga books did quite well from what I read many years ago.
I have already explained the two features in this set, there is a rotating tree stump which is a bit trippy, and a hammock thing. Maybe I was hoping to have thought of something else that is of interest in this set. But that is it. I wish I looked at the other set now. There is also a bridge that attaches to the side of the case, so you can connect it to other Pokémon playsets. I really like that idea.
Oh, and there is a little sign, which on the one I had as a kid said “Viridian Forest” but this one is in Japanese I think. I imagine it to say “Reminder! Residents must ensure they take the pills, and everyone must stay happy in this wonderful location. Failure to do so will result in execution. Have a lovely day.” I just made this set a shit ton more interesting already.
Like a Polly Pocket or Mighty Max it closes like a compact. There isn’t anything too interesting on this one though, it isn’t shaped like anything like MM and PP.
One thing I noticed with this is the paint job is really really rubbish. There is brown paint on Pikachu’s back, as though he has shit himself in the 16 years he has been sealed to the card. Also the case has loads of little marks on it, almost like paint splodges. I thought it might be bootleg but there could just be better quality control on the versions released here. I don’t know. I doubt anyone cares really. I bet no-ones reading this, you’re all outdoors catching Pokémon on Pokémon Go, whilst I sit inside recounting meaningless shit like a senile old man, talking about toys from a long time ago that are very very irrelevant now. Sigh.
Well, as it is unlikely that I will get a life any time soon, I will probably cover the other two sets in the line at some point. I own the Pokémon town one with Charmander and Eevee, but will probably get the Seafoam Island one with Squirtle and Polywhirl.
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