I think everyone can agree that 2016 has been a bit of a rubbish year. However for me the best thing to come out of it is the incredible cultural comeback of Pokemon! It seems that Pikachu and friends have taken over the world all over again.
This year Thomas’ stocking will be overflowing with Pokemon related goodies once again as he’s back into it in a big way, and to be honest I couldn’t be happier as I love it too.
Obviously the massively successful Pokemon Go has played its part in Pokemons resurgence, but the hype surrounding Pokemon Sun and Moon was the thing that kept everything ticking over.
Well now the wait is over, and Thomas finally got to play his most anticipated game of the year, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. He has been glued to the 3DS ever since release day.
This is the reason for this review being told through Thomas’ thoughts to me, as he won’t get off it long enough for me to have a go .
Firstly He says that the new Pokemon are the best in years, with the new starters only just behind the beloved originals. He choose Litten the Fire Type, which is the one I would have chosen too. Although I think Popplio comes a close second.
He’s desperate to find his first Shiny Pokemon, as they are awesome. However they are so rare I think it’ll be a miracle if he does.
The game is set in the new Alola region, and its a really nice place to go Pokemon hunting. Sun, sea, beaches, Palm trees. Its like going on a little holiday everytime you play.
Pokemon Sun and Moon is a bit different to other Pokemon titles as you don’t just travel around battling gyms as usual. This time around you travel the islands completing challenges, quizzes, although theres always some battling to be done.
When I asked Thomas about his favourite part of the game he said the Scavenger Hunts were brilliant. He loved travelling around taking photos of all the Pokemon.
Another new thing in Pokemon Sun and Moon are the new Z Moves. These are new extra powerful moves you can teach your Pokemon when you get the Z Ring and correct crystals for the Pokemon type.
Overall Thomas is having an absolute blast playing Pokemon Moon, and it has definitely lived up to his expectations. An unmissable instalment to the series – if your a fan you just have to get it!
Disclosure: We received a code for the game as part of our participation in the Nintendo Family Bloggers Network. All opinions are our own.
If your already looking for something to keep the kids entertained for a while this half term, then I’ve got the perfect solution. Why not get the kids the newest edition of Toxic Magazine.
The latest issue out 13th February is the first ever Interactive edition of the magazine. Featuring augmented reality technology, the magazine is choc full of video clips, and trailers all related to the in magazine content.
All you need to do to view the interactive content is download the free Aurasma app onto your smartphone or tablet, and then hold the screen over the specially indicated pages. Alternatively if you don’t have access to a smartphone or tablet you can view all the videos at www.toxicmag.co.uk.
My boys were lucky enough to be sent a copy to test a few days early, and have been enjoying the magazine immensely. They were both wowed initially by the video clips suddenly appearing on the screen of their iPod, but they quickly got used to it and Thomas asked me why all magazines didn’t have this?
The interactive content includes current Toybuzz favourite ‘Disney’s Wreck It Ralph’ (we’ve already gone to see it twice its that good!) Lego, Monsters Inc, Skylanders Giants, and some pretty scary spiders.
The Interactive aspect of the magazine is very cool, and has kept my boys going back to try it again and again, but they also loved Toxic’s rundown of the top 50 Cartoon Characters and the Angry Birds puzzle Page.
This is the first time they have ever had Toxic Magazine as I think they always thought it was too old for them and overlooked it in the shops. However it’s been a big hit and Thomas especially being that bit older at 7 has read it cover to cover and keeps going back to it. I will definitely be buying it again for him.
The first ever Interactive issue of Toxic Magazine is out tomorrow Feb 13th for £3.99 and also comes with a bumper pack of gifts, including a Bow and Arrow, Squirt Phone, Parp Whistle, Pokemon Magazine and Haribo Sweets.
“Gotta Catch em’ all” just got that little bit harder, with the release of 3 new tins in the Pokemon Trading Card Game.
The Pokemon Legendary EX Tin’s are the latest additions to the worldwide phenomenon which is the Pokemon Trading Card Game, each containing one of the prized Legendary Pokemon EX cards.
The 3 Legendary EX tins available are Mewtwo-EX, Darkrau-EX and Rayquaza-EX.
Each tin comes with your chosen foil Pokemon EX card, your online code to unlock your deck in the online game, and 4 Pokemon Trading Card Game booster packs, with 10 cards in each booster pack.
The booster packs included are:
2 x Pokemon Black and White : Dragons Exalted – A mix of all new Pokemon-EX cards, with a focus on Dragon-Type Pokemon
1 x Pokemon Black and White : Emerging Powers – Thomas favourite of the packs as he managed to find a Legendary Thundurus
1 x Pokemon Black and White – Unova region expansion to add over 70 new Black and White Pokemon
These tins feature some beautiful artwork as always, they are gorgeous. A brilliant place for keeping your Pokemon cards safe, and ready for battle whenever your challenged.
You will already need a Pokemon deck to be able to battle with these cards, as this tin doesn’t contain a playmat or counters. There is however plenty of room inside the tin for storing your whole deck plus everything else you will need for a game.
The different booster packs provided lots of variety in the Pokemon cards we received. We’ve only ever tried out the Theme Decks before, so it was great to see the differences between the different booster packs. We especially loved the Cards we received in the Black and White Emerging Powers booster, so I think we may have to purchase some more of those.
A must for all Pokemon fans. The Pokemon Legendary EX Tins were released September 2012, so are out now, retailing for around £12.99
My boys have been busy this week getting to grips with the Latest expansion to the Pokemon Black and White Trading Card Game – Black and White Dark Explorers
This brand new expansion to the ever popular trading card game is a more menacing set featuring new Darkness Type Pokemon cards Darkrai-EX, Zoroark, Umbreon and Sableye.Darkrai isn’t the only new EX card available either, there are also Tornadus-EX, Kyogre-EX, Raikou-EX and Groudon-EX.
There was definitely a more intimidating feel to the new cards. Darkrai is one of Thomas’ favourites, so he was very happy to receive some of these darker cards in his packs, although unfortunately the rare Darkrai-EX wasn’t one of them.
We did get a Vullaby , Umbreon, Scrafty, Zorua, plus the full 3 stage evolution of Krookodile (sandile, Krokorok, and Krookodile) which was pretty cool.
If you too like my Thomas are a fan of the Dark Side, Darkrai in particular. Plus also a Pokemon Black and white DS player, then this is great news for you. Darkrai is available from now until June 10th to be downloaded in a special Darkrai character distribution event. For more details on how to get Darkrai into your Black and White game then head on over to www.pokemon.co.uk
Another Pokemon treat just brilliant for the half term Jubilee holidays is the amazing and free Rise of Darkrai movie that you can watch online at www.pokemon.co.uk.
Make sure if you have a little Pokemon fan in your household that you don’t miss out on these brilliant Pokemon Darkrai events.
Capping off my first ever possibly annual Pokemon Week is a look at the new range of Pokemon Black and White toys from Bandai.
“Find out about Pokemon” was all that I had from my son before I set off for Toy Fair last month. He wanted full colour photos of all the displays so he could write his shopping lists. However he needn’t have worried as I was just as eager to see the new range as he was.
Some Pokemon figures were probably the first thing my son added to his Pokemon collection a few years ago when he started trying to catch them all.
Thusly the first thing that caught my eye when I stepped into the Bandai stand were the new figure sets.
There are 4 sets of 6 figure packs to collect, and 2 packs of 4 figures with 3 normal sized pokemon inside and 1 large either Reshiram or Zekrom depending on which set you pick up.
We have the Zekrom 4 figure set which comes with Zekrom obviously plus Minccino, Sewaddle and Zorua. Unlike the smaller figures, Zekrom has articulated arms which you can move up and down, plus twististable wrists which for some reason Thomas is always twisting around (I think he does karate chops or something). The torso is also twistable, so he can turn from side to side.
***The sets of 4 are actually on offer at the moment at The Entertainer high street stores and also their website.
They are selling for £8 BOGOF in the High street stores and £4 each at www.toyshop.co.uk ***
Using the Battle stage in conjunction with the Twister figures, you can have your very own Poke battle right in your front room.
By pulling the string your chosen Pokeball bursts open to reveal your spinning Pokemon which you’ve unleashed into battle.
The base of the Twister Figures light up when used with the Battle Stage which makes for some spectacular looking spinning action.
The Battle Arena comes with 2 Twister Figures included, but there are lots more available separately that you can collect to add to your battling fun.
As far as I know you can get Twister Figures of Axew, Tepig, Oshawott, Zorua, and Snivy. I’m not sure what Pokemon come with the Arena, so it’s best to get that first I suppose, before you start adding to your collection.
The Twister Figures are £10 each, but I have seen double packs on sale for £19.99. Not much of a saving, but maybe the Pokemon figures available in the dual packs are different to the singles.
Pokemon Black And White Bandai Battle Stage And Pokeball Twister Figure Set By Pokemon Black & White (Amazon)
Another region, another Pokedex. This time it’s needed for Ash to identify the new Black and White series Pokemon while he travels through the Unova region.
As well as identifying all 45 new Pokemon from the Black and White series, you also get the familiar sound effects just like the cartoon.
It also slides open revealing the hidden inside screen just like Ash’s.
Using your Pokedex you can search by type, size, number and name.
As well as the main Pokedex function of identifying Pokemon, there are 4 mini games you can play with it, which are ‘Name that Pokemon’, ‘Who has the battle advantage?’, ‘Which one doesn’t belong?’ and the ‘Pokemon Trainer Quiz’
Pokemon Pop ‘n’ Battle Launcher
This one looks really interesting as it enables you to do what every good trainer wants to, Catch ’em all.
To play the game, you start by placing your Pokemon in its Pokeball launcher.
Then you need to set the trap, which is a cube that folds down flat on the ground.
Last step is to take aim for the middle of your target and then fire. Your Pokemon will fly into the air, and if your lucky will land in the trap and watch it snap up around him.
The game is not just getting the Pokemon in the trap however, there is a bit of strategy involved. Whichever side of the cube lands face up corresponds to how strong your Pokemon attacked. It’s possible to inflict damage from 1 to 4, miss completely, or even block your opponents attack.
There are 3 different versions of Attack Figure to choose from depending whether your after Water (Oshawott), Fire (Tepig) or Electric type attacks (Pikachu)
We were sent Oshawott the Water type Pokemon to have a play with, and boy did we have 2 happy boys when he appeared!
With each attack figure you get 4 plastic discs with a symbol representing their attack type on top. You also get 2 cardboard cutout Pokemon with stands, which you take aim at and try to knock over by firing your discs.
The figures themselves are quite big and bulky, but look wonderfully vibrant and exactly like a real version of the Oshawott from the cartoon. The base where you stand your Pokemon is also wonderfully decorated to represent each Pokemon’s different type.
One word of advice, The discs fly out at a tremendous speed. They can also travel up around 6 feet. Be sure to keep out of the way and store all valuables far away before you let these babies go.
Thomas and Jacob had a blast firing these discs around the room, as you can see from the video below. My sons only complaint being that they are not to scale, as Oshawott is supposed to be a lot smaller than Pikachu.
Well you just can’t please some people can you!
Thanks to Bandai for the Oshawott Attack Figure for review, all the product information, and for supporting Toybuzz Pokemon week.
Day 4 of Pokemon Week and today we talk Pokemon on the big screen.
Pokemon movies are regularly enjoyed in our house. There must be a rule that at least one Pokemon movie must be watched every week with our fail, as it always seems that if he hasn’t already Thomas will pick one to watch one Sunday night.
With all of my Sunday night Pokemon movie knowledge , I feel that I’ve earned the right to compile the definitive top 5 best Pokemon movies.
I’ve watched them all so you don’t have to!
The great thing about the Pokemon movies is that as a lot of them are quite old now, you can pick them up really cheaply on Amazon or Ebay. Plus they are nearly always some shown on CITV in the school holidays and half term, the newest movies actually premiered at Christmas time months before the DVD is due to be released.
Unlike most of the top 10 posts I do, this one is actually in order of preference. So I’ll start at 5 and work down.
As the name suggests this one was the fourth movie in the franchise.
We all know Ash is trying hard to become a great Pokemon Master, but some people just don’t want to put the hours in, and these are the Pokemon Hunters.
The plot of Pokemon 4 Ever is Celebi and his trainer Sammy are being chased by hunters and then mysteriously vanish. Jump to the present day when Ash and his friends turn up, and are told the tale of their disappearance 40 years ago.
Even more mysteriously Sammy and Celebi suddenly turn up again in the forest, and unfortunately for them it seems that once more they are being hunted. Only this time thankfully they have Ash and his friends to help them out.
This is one of the latest movies that we luckily noticed was being shown on CITV over the Christmas period. Unfortunately I didn’t know there were 2 different movies initially, and so only taped the one.
Pokemon White is currently Thomas’ hot pick as it includes all the new Pokemon from the Black and White series and game.
The two movies are due to be released as a double pack DVD on April 9th.
Giratina & the Sky Warrior is the 11th Pokemon movie to come along, and strangely was only released on DVD in the UK November last year.
This one is a bit of a mind bender, as it’s all to do with the Dialga and Palkia getting dragged into the reverse world for upsetting Giratina by disrupting space and time.
It sounds complicated and I suppose it would be if you took it all seriously, but honestly this is Pokemon were talking about, and all it amounts to is one heck of a battle.Which is obviously the main reason my sons loves to watch these films.
Pokemon: The First Movie
Honestly this one is not one of my favorites but Thomas made me put it on here as Mewtwo is the greatest (apparently)
Usually when he chooses this one he watches it himself, or we’ll just watch the small Pikachu cartoon at the beginning together, before I wander off and do some washing up or something.
It’s a fairly interesting story revolving around the über powerful clone of Mew, Mewtwo. Who after escaping from the evil Giovanni Head of Team Rocket, devises a plan to trick all the best Pokemon trainers to meet it for a battle.
Pokemon 3: The Movie
Another one here that has a bit of a strange storyline, but has a special feeling about it that I just couldn’t work out until now maybe.
I’ve read on a few places now that Hayao Miyazaki (probably my favourite ever film maker) had something to do with the story and theming. I’m not sure how true it is but to me it totally makes sense, as I get the same heartwarming feeling I get from Totoro or The Cat Returns every time I watch Pokemon 3.
Pokemon 3 is the story of a lonely little girl called Molly Hale, who having lost her mother (we don’t know how) dotes on her father like any little girl would.
Her father is a Pokemon archeologist and during a dig discovers some long-lost Unknown Pokemon. unfortunately for him and Molly the newly found Unknown make her dad suddenly vanish.
Molly is obviously devastated when she finds out about her dads disappearance, but then something magical happens as the unknown Pokemon find their way to Molly and start to grant all of her wishes.
Things start to go badly however when Molly asks for her mother, and the Pokemon try to find her one. Unfortunately for Ash they kidnap his!
So that’s my top 5 Pokemon movies. Who’s getting the popcorn?!
Were onto day 3 of Pokemon week already? Sure are! Today it’s all about the latest Pokemon game – Super Pokemon Rumble on the 3DS. Plus a look forward to some new Pokemon games on the horizon too.
Christmas this year for both my boys was all about the new Nintendo 3DS. They both wanted one, and seen as they had both managed to use their old DS’s to near death they had one. So the main Christmas present wasn’t a problem this year, I knew exactly what to get them both. The only conundrum was what games to get?
Me and Hubby decided to get them 2 games each, and then they could share when they finished them. Jacob is the Mario geek of the house so his choices were pretty simple – Super Mario land 3D and Mario Kart 7.
Thomas’ choices were a bit more tricky, that was until we heard about Super Pokemon Rumble 3DS of course. As soon as we found out about this game I just knew Father Christmas had to put it under the Christmas Tree for him.
He has played and replayed Pokemon Rumble on the Wii too many times to remember, In fact I think it was the first game ever he finished completely. So we knew he would go mad when he saw it, and we were not wrong! It’s February now and it still gets played with just as much as it did on Christmas day. Even though he’s completed it, he needs to capture every single Pokemon in his Pokedex.
Super Pokemon Rumble or Super Pokemon Rumble Blast if your from the USA is essentially the same game as Pokemon Rumble on the Wii, but updated to include all of the new Black and White series Pokemon. The music is the same, the fighting is the same, it’s very nearly the same game. Which for most kids is not going to be a problem, as it means if you love Pokemon Rumble your going to love this just that little bit more (just because now you get new Pokemon).
It’s a fairly simple game not perhaps one for older games unless they simply must have all Pokemon titles. For kids however I think this is a great way to get into Pokemon games.
Thomas would love to play Pokemon Black or White, but at the moment the amount of text involved would just prove to hard for him. With Super Pokemon Rumble there is only a limited amount of text, and most of what’s being said he can guess as he does know what most of the Pokemon names look like. The in-game Pokedex helpfully shows a picture of the Pokemon as well as the name, so you don’t even have to read out which Pokemon you’re looking for like you did in Rumble on the Wii.
The gameplay looks to me while watching him play to be a bit repetitive. Most of the time your either moving from place to place or fighting another Pokemon by pressing the A button a lot. For him however the game is perfect, no complex rules, no long combos, he knows what to do and just has to keep doing it.
It does involve a bit of strategy though, knowing which type of Pokemon is best to play at the time. Also you have to drop your weaker Pokemon along the way as you collect more and more, so choosing which ones to leave behind is enhancing his maths skills quite a bit. He is always coming to me with beaming with “I just got a 1200 Pokemon, so that’s 130 more than my last best one” or something similar.
Super Pokemon Rumble is not going to blow you away with amazing graphics or amazing gameplay (I’m not actually sure how good the 3D aspect is because he always plays with it off) but for kids who love the cartoon series and are looking for a gateway into the world of Pokemon Video games, Super Pokemon Rumble is just the thing they need.
PokePark 2 is a Wii game and another spinoff from the main franchise that younger gamers will enjoy before working their way up to the proper Pokemon games like Black and White on the DS. It’s a sequel to 2010’s First Pokepark game.
We didn’t get around to owning the original Pokepark as at that time Thomas was already well into his downloaded Pokemon Rumble and thought the game looked a bit babyish. After seeing the trailer for Pokepark 2 though, I think he’s changed his mind and decided he’s rather looking forward to it after all.
Due to be released on the 23rd March 2012, Pokepark 2: Wonders Beyond sees you playing as one of 4 Pokemon, either Pikachu, Oshawott, Snivy or Tepig. Your mission is to travel through Pokepark befriending Pokemon and trying to save the missing Pokemon as you go. You befriend Pokemon by playing mini games with them like Chase, Hide and Seek or even mini battles.
Nintendo Wii Pokepark 2 The Dimension Der Wünsche (Amazon)
If your following the continuing adventures of my sons current Pokemon obsession, he is currently trying to wrestle a set of rare original Pokemon cards which his Uncle collected in his youth, and dying with anticipation for the new Pokemon game HeartGold / SoulSilver to come out.
Although not a totally new game, HeartGold / SoulSilver are new improved versions of the original Pokemon Gold and Silver which came out on the GBA, made for the Nintendo DS generation of gamers.
I’m not going to go into intricate detail about all the differences between the new games and Gold and Silver, you have GameRadar and IGN to do that for you, I’m just a mum with a Pokemon loving son who’s trying to keep up. I do however know that one new component of the game is certainly going to appeal to Thomas, the Pokewalker.
The Pokewalker is a small pedometer type thing, that looks like a tiny Pokeball.
You transfer a Pokemon to your Pokewalker via infrared, and you then can carry your Pokemon around with you in your pocket.
As you walk the Pokemon will gain experience points to go up a level. The more steps you take, the more watts you earn, which you can use to find special items and buy Pokemon.
You can also play small games like looking for Pokemon with the Pokeradar, and then battle them in an attempt to capture them.
If you have friends with the game you can transfer Pokemon between your Pokewalkers, and also collect a special gift everyday when you connect them up.
The games and Pokeradar kind of look like the games on the Pokemon Cyberball electronic game. Simple but would keep my son amused for an hour on the go. He also loves carrying his Cyberball game everywhere with him in his pocket as it looks like a Pokeball, so the Pokewalker is right up his street.