You know that when a franchise's main tagline is "Gotta catch em all!" you, as a parent or perhaps a fun-loving adult, are going to be footing the bill for an exhaustive list of games, toys, and general merchandise relative to this franchise. Pokémon is of course the franchise here, and it's got some serious products: games, movies, comics, stickers, toys, and many more. This article focuses on highlighting some of the best Pokémon toys available today, from basic action figures and plush figures to full-on Pokédex kits and Pokéballs that emulate those you find in the actual games.
The Ash Ketchum Hat
Ok, so this isn't a toy per se, but any true Pokemon fan would be doing themselves somewhat of a disservice if they didn't at least consider owning the very hat that Ash Ketchum wears. No moving parts of course, and no real appeal for those looking for Pokemon toys that can be played with by younger children, but seriously - it's Ash Ketchum's hat.
Though there are many Ash Ketchum hats out there, this one in particular is very cheap, it's one size fits all, and it's made of 100% cotton. Check out Ash Ketchum's Hat on Amazon where it can be found for as little as £2.01. It's had decent reviews, but most importantly it's a piece of arguably the most famous character in the Pokémon franchise.
There's pretty much no way to think about Pokémon without conjuring up an image of the iconic Pokéball, the tool used by Pokémon trainers to acquire Pokémon as well as being the vessel in which they reside for a majority of the time. Because this is such an iconic and recognisable tool from the Pokémon world, there are many different examples of Pokéball toys out there that can be purchased.
One of the more desirable of the Pokéball toys is this Pokéball Playset. Avid fans of Pokémon will recognise that this set contains more than just a single Pokéball: it's a number of different types of Pokéball ranging from the standard Pokéball to the legendary Master Ball. Better still, you can purchase a Pokéball with a Pikachu, which fits snugly inside the ball, allowing for more realistic replication of the function of the Pokéball than simpler models.
If the above Pokéballs don't take your fancy then there is always the option of purchasing a more standard example such as the Pokémon Throw Pokéball. There's nothing standard about its function however as this Pokéball includes a small plush toy that is ejected when you throw the Pokéball and it hits the floor. This is probably the closest to the authentic Pokéball experience as it gets.
If you want something that's a little bit more durable and able to take a significant quantity of punishment however, the above toys aren't going to fare very well. For those that think they'll be throwing their Pokéball about violently and for a long time, there's the soft foam 2.5 inch toy Ultra Ball. Aesthetically it looks identical to the Ultra Ball you find in the Pokémon movies/games/literature, but it's made from foam so it can be treated with a little less care than the above Pokéballs. Some may not enjoy the lighter nature of this ball, but it's perfect if you're a parent that's concerned about the longevity of the toy. You'll find this toy at Amazon.co.uk.
Now this is more like it - real Pokémon toys that function as they're supposed to and which look identical to the actual items they're representing! The Pokédex is a tool that's used by many Pokémon trainers including the protagonist of each game in the main Pokémon series. Its function in the Pokémon world is to act as a sort of intelligent database that records information the creatures that you've encountered as well as other information such as where you're likely to find them and whether you've caught them yet. It's a perfect tool for the Pokémon collector!
Though you'll struggle to find a high-quality reproduction of the Pokédex in real life, one of the closest toys that should keep children happy for hours is the Electronic Pokedex from Argos. Though the price tag (£34.99) may put off some buyers, this Pokédex is a pretty accurate representation of the one depicted in Pokémon fiction. This Pokédex also appears to function as a real one would, allowing you to pretend to scan the Pokémon (it lights up as if it's recording your Pokémon figurines). This toy is best suited for children over 3 years of age.
Pokédex Trainer Kit
While the above Pokédex is a great addition to any Pokémon fan's collection, this officially-licensed Pokedex trainer kit offers great value for money as well as a more complete experience for the more fervent of Pokemon fans. Though it's not an electronic toy like the above Pokédex, it does have more accurate functionality in terms of actually being able to display Pokémon information. It does this in the form of Pokédex Tags which it reads and stores.
This Pokédex Trainer Kit also comes with a delightful Pokeball and plush Pikachu figure that can be stored inside. There's even a trainer's glove that comes with the kit to make it a more complete experience for the budding trainer! Find out more about this Pokédex Trainer Kit at Amazon.co.uk.
Perhaps the most famous of all the 600+ Pokémon that currently exist in the Pokémon universe, Pikachu is Ash's sidekick as well as a great electric Pokémon to own in any of the Pokémon games. This is a plush toy that is the perfect size for children looking to have Pikachu as a companion to carry around. There's not much else to be said about a plush toy other than that they are a great change to the often-flimsy and easily-lost toys that many children like to play with. Smyths stocks this Pikachu Plush toy.
Pokemon Centre Play n' Store Case
Though there's not much fun to be had with this toy as a standalone object, this handy case goes extremely well with any one of the hundreds of Pokémon figures available out there. It is designed to look like a Pokémon centre and handily stores a good quantity of Pokémon toys of your choice. The case includes room for up to 20 figures as well as a healing area and a battle zone. Get this Pokemon Play n Store Case from Amazon UK.
Pokeball Cross Belt
This is one of the coolest wearable Pokémon toys that are available out there. It is a Pokémon trainer's belt that is able to carry several Pokéballs (maximum of six). The belt is fully adjustable and also comes with additional 5cm figures. The best price that this belt can be found at is £18.99 from Amazon.co.uk.
There are hundreds of different Pokémon figures out there, but what will stand out for many old-school Pokémon fans are the final evolutions of the original staters: Charizard, Blastoise, and Venusaur. Not only do these figures represent the current versions of these Pokémon from X and Y, they are the Mega Evolutions of these Pokémon! You'll be able to find the Mega Charizard, Mega Blastoise, and Mega Venusaur at Amazon (follow the links)
If you're new to the Pokémon scene, you may not be entirely familiar with these iconic Pokémon, but you can be assured that these are the final evolutions of what are arguably the greatest Pokémon from the very first generation way back in the 90s! If you're still sceptical, check out both of the Pokémon Tower Defense games at pokemontowerdefense.net, which are modelled on the original Gameboy Pokémon games and demonstrate that these Pokémon are indeed absolute classics that any Pokémon fan should own!