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The very best gifts for the Pokémon Master in your life
...and also some of the weirdest. Don't say we didn't warn you.
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Throughout 2021, the Pokémon Company has been celebrating its 25th anniversary in some weird and wonderful ways. Like when rapper Post Malone covered the 1995 Hootie and the Blowfish hit 'I Only Wanna Be With You'. That was both weird and wonderful. But as weird as it seems, it’s a testament to Pokémon’s enduring popularity across generations. 25 years since Pokémon Red and Blue was first released on Game Boy, some of the series’ original fans are now are all levelled up, possibly raising little Pokéfreaks of their own.
All of this is to say, there’s no single age group for Pokémon fans and if you’re shopping for one this year, you might be at a loss for what to buy your level 5 Pokémon fan vs a fully-evolved level 35 trainer. As fans ourselves, we thought we’d help out by offering a lengthy list of the best official and fan-made Pokémon gifts money can buy.
Let’s start with where it all began: video games.
The Pokémon games
While older Pokémon fans will almost certainly have an opinion on which generation of Pokémon is best, your safest bet when buying for someone else is to stick to the latest releases. This year, there are remakes of two classic Nintendo DS titles: Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl for Nintendo Switch are a solid choice because they’ll be an entirely new experience for younger players and a nice throwback for older players.
It’s important to note, that Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are more or less the same game. So if the person you’re buying for already has Brilliant Diamond, they won’t need Shining Pearl and vice-versa.
With that said, there are a few more options if they already have the latest releases.
Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl (2021)
2021’s Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl are the latest games in the Pokémon series. Available for Nintendo Switch, both games are remakes of the 2006 Nintendo DS games, Pokémon Diamond and Pearl. They’re great for every type of fan but particularly for youngsters, as the difficulty has been toned down a notch this time around.
New Pokémon Snap (2021)
The creatively titled New Pokémon Snap is the long, looong-awaited sequel to 2000’s fan-favourite Pokémon Snap for the Nintendo 64. Just like the original, New Pokémon Snap is a guided adventure through the lush natural habitats where Pokémon roam. True to its name, your goal is to snap pictures of over 230 Pokémon while they go about their business,.
It’s hard to imagine how a game entirely about capturing Pokémon on camera (instead of inside Pokéballs) could be so thrilling but somehow Nintendo managed to effortlessly reproduce the magic.
Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee (2018)
While the latest Pokémon games have a fairly broad appeal, 2018’s Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu and Let’s Go Eevee are more specifically aimed at younger fans, thanks to a more approachable learning curve. Like most Pokémon games, these two titles are almost identical except for one important difference: the Pokémon you start with. Let’s Go Eevee gives you Eevee as a starter Pokémon and Let’s Go Pikachu gives you… you guessed it, Pikachu. The iconic Pikachu is likely to be the more popular choice here but the evolutionary marvel Eevee isn’t far behind these days in terms of popularity.
Pokémon Sword and Shield (2019)
One year after the Pokémon Let’s Go games, we got the first brand-new entry on Nintendo Switch, Pokémon Sword and Shield. Even though Sword and Shield are over two years old, there has been a series of expansion packs since the initial release that added more Pokémon to catch and more areas to explore.
Pokémon cards and protectors
The video games might be where the Pokémon journey began but the official trading card game (TCG) saw similar success shortly after and continued to grow over the years until it developed a fanbase completely separate from the games and TV show. But if you thought buying a Pokémon video game was confusing, wait ‘till you get a load of the complicated TCG.
If you’re shopping for a Pokémon card collector, your safest bet will be the current run of cards known as Pokémon Sword and Shield Fusion Strike. Card packs can be purchased individually or in bulk and if you’re not completely certain it’s what they’re after, you can’t go wrong with some protective card sleeves and binders.
Pokémon Cards: Fusion Strike Booster Pack
Fusion Strike is the current generation of Pokémon cards. If you’re desperate, you could settle for just about anything from the Pokémon Sword and Shield series but we’d recommend sticking with the latest. A single booster pack contains a random selection of 10 Pokémon cards and can cost anywhere between $6.99 and $16.99, depending on availability....
Pokémon Cards: Fusion Strike Triple Pack
...but, like most things, you can occasionally get a deal for buying in bulk. For $34.99, you can get a triple pack which works out at roughly $11.65 per pack but it also comes with a unique Eevee foil card and a plastic counter for the game.
Pokémon Cards: Fusion Strike Booster Box (36 packs)
If you’re feeling extra super generous, you can also purchase Fusion Strike booster packs in bulk. For around $180 (via Amazon), you can buy a bundle of 36 Fusion Strike booster packs which works out at roughly $5 per pack.
Pokémon Cards: Chilling Reign Booster Box (36 packs)
Fusion Strike is the latest Pokémon TCG expansion but Chilling Reign also released in 2021, so it's also a safe bet if you're looking to hook someone up with the latest cards.
Master Ball Ultra Pro Protector Box
Not one hundo (100%) on what kind of cards to buy your Pokémaniac? Fear not. One thing all collectors covet above all else is the integrity of their cards. For less than $10, you can get a card protector box that’s designed like the rare Master Ball from the game series.Not one hundo (100%) on what kind of cards to buy your Pokémaniac? Fear not. One thing all collectors covet above all else is the integrity of their cards. For less than $10, you can get a card protector box that’s designed like a Master Ball from the game series.
Master Ball Deck Protector Sleeves (60)
And if you want to add another layer of protection, you can get matching individual Master Ball card sleeves. This pack gets you 60 card sleeves for $14. Much like the rare Pokéball that adorns each sleeve, this gift has a 100% success rate amongst serious card collectors.
Espeon and Umbreon Starry Constellation Card Sleeves (65)
If you want to gift a pack of card sleeves with some beautiful artwork, there’s also this limited edition set of 65 Espeon and Umbreon Starry Constellation card sleeves. Sure to be a hit with Eevee fans.
Pikachu Flip Box Ultra Pro Magnetic Box (100 sleeves)
When all else fails, go classic. Pikachu is the face of the Pokémon Company, and is it any wonder why? Look at those rosy, electrified cheeks. This ‘leatherette’ case holds 100 cards and features a magnetic clasp to keep everything secured when you’re carting your cards around between battles.
Pokédex Card Binder
Sleeves and card boxes are typically for those that want to keep their cards in pristine condition while playing the actual TCG. But if you’ve got a true blue collector on your hands, they’d likely prefer to keep their cards secure in one place. Enter the classic card binder. This particular binder is fittingly designed like a Pokédex, a device from Pokémon that identifies and records observed and captured Pokémon.
Bulbasaur Card Binder
And if you’re after something more pointed, you can find plenty of binders themed after specific Pokémon, like this official Bulbasaur Binder.
Pokémon Gift Wrap
If you’re looking to level up your Pokémon gift game, some themed gift wrapping will put a bow on it. If you’ve got the skills and time, some creative DIY wrapping paper will do the trick but there are a few ready-made options if not.
Mimikyu Wrapping Paper
This year, cover your gifts with this beautiful purple wrapping paper featuring the quietly creepy Pikachu copycat, Mimikyu. How can this creepy can this dear little impersonator be, you ask? Take a look at its Pokédex entry and decide for yourself:
A gust of wind revealed what hides under this Pokémon's rag to a passing Trainer, who went home and died painfully that very night - Pokémon Ultra Moon Pokédex entry for Mimikyu
Pokéball Holly Gift Wrap
For something traditional with a Pokétwist, consider ordering some of this lovely fan-made Pokéball Holly wrapping paper.
Igglybuff Gift Wrap
If your loved one has an affinity for the lyrical pink blob known as Jigglypuff, this gift wrap featuring its pre-evolution (baby version) Igglybuff will have them singing your praises.
Pokémon toys and dolls
The fact that your loved one is already a Pokémon fan makes buying the games and, to a lesser extent, the trading cards, a bit of a risky purchase. They’ve probably played all the games and might have a healthy collection of cards already. But Pokémon fans young and old will always appreciate a Poké Toy, especially a rare handmade pick.
Sleeping Pokémon Plush (Eevee, Jigglypuff, Charmander)
There’s only one thing cuter than a Pokémon plush: a sleeping Pokémon plush. I don’t make the rules but my baby daughter does. Throughout her very short life (about a year and a half), my daughter has received several Poké-themed cuddly toys from friends and family but the sleeping Eevee is the one that never leaves her side. It’s just so cute and cozy, as all cuddly toys should be.
HUGE 200cm Snorlax Beanbag
This one speaks (or snores) for itself. The spirit Pokémon of every fan that’s ever been called a lazy layabout, Snorlax is a Pokémon with a lot of hidden potential. All it needs is a little encouragement. If your loved one identifies with Pokémon’s grandmaster of sleeping in, there’s no better gift than this giant 2-metre Snorlax beanbag. It’s big enough that a grown adult can curl up in the warm embrace of the laziest Pokémon to ever laze.
Ripped Pokémon Statues
Unlike the Snorlax beanbag, this one might require a little explanation; not just to you, dear reader, but to me too. How do I know why these crazy kids like the things they do? All I know is there are few things funnier than gifting a fan with a Psyduck or Dugtrio figure with washboard abs and glutes that look like they were carved by Michelangelo himself.
Both online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores are chock-full of low-effort Pokémon stationery but there are some genuinely nice notebooks and accessories out there if you know where to look.
Pokémon Kanto Dream Notebook
This Kanto Dream Notebook sold through EB Games and Zing was designed specifically for Pokémon’s 25th anniversary. The hardcover artwork features the original three starter Pokémon (Squirtle, Charmander and Bulbasaur) as well as series mascot Pikachu, catching some sleep under the shade of a tree. It’s a dotted A5 notebook with 240 pages to fill.
MissingNo. Phone Case
This gift is a deep cut for older Pokémon fans. Shrouded in myth and conspiracy, the mysterious MissingNo. was a Pokémon that could be in the original Red and Blue Game Boy games. There were countless theories on the true nature of MissingNo. (my uncle who works at Nintendo told me so) but sadly, it was eventually revealed that MissingNo. was a simple programming quirk that had made its way into the final version of the game. It’s also kind of the perfect shape for an iPhone case.
Fluffy Jigglypuff Notebook
Much like the sleeping plush Pokémon, why settle for a standard notebook when you could get a fluffy pink tribute to the hypnotic diva Jigglypuff? There are 126 lined pages to fill and at $15, it’s a great gift at a good price.
Black Pikachu Notebook
On the other hand, if you’re buying for someone who likes to keep things classy, this Black leather-style Pikachu notebook features a minimalist graphic of the electric rodent on the cover.
Pikachu Forest Bento Box
From the same range as the Kanto Dream Notebook comes this practical Pikachu-themed Bento Box from the 25th Anniversary product line. On the lid, you’ll find a sweet illustration of three Pikachus sharing a meal. On the inside, you’ve got three compartments for food and cutlery. The Bento Box is plastic but it’s microwave and dishwasher safe, according to Zing’s website.
Togepi Egg Cup
If the fan of your family loves Pokémon almost as much as their hard-boiled eggs, you could do a lot worse than shelling out less than $10 for this adorable egg cup. The design is a riff on the egg-shaped Pokémon Togepi from the second generation of games, Gold and Silver.
Bulbasaur Ceramic Succulent Planter
If any of your green thumb friends grew up playing Pokémon, there’s zero doubt in my mind that Bulbasaur was their very first companion Pokémon. What better way to show your love for the Seed Pokémon than a handmade ceramic succulent planter?
If that same Bulbasaur trainer in your life is extra special, you could also splash out a little on this phenomenal Pokéball terrarium. It has a removable top and even comes with a remote control for the in-built light.
And if your loved one was more of a Charmander or Squirtle type, you can’t go wrong with this Oddish planter. This Weed Pokémon wasn’t a Starter but it was one of the first wild Pokémon you could encounter in the games; so just about everyone has had an Oddish in their party at some point.
Hey Snorlax. Man, you look like I feel.
Snorlax Google Home Mini Stand
This creative 3D-printed gift transforms your standard Google Home Mini into a functional Snorlax smart speaker. You can order it pre-painted, or blank and paint it yourself!
It’s going to become obvious pretty quickly that Gengar is a personal favourite Pokémon of mine. This unique rug is available in a few different designs, but it’s the Gengar one that will soon be laying proudly in my home office.
Pokémon ‘I Choose You’ 3D Shadow Box Frame
This delicately crafted handmade shadow box frame celebrates the moment it all began for Pokémon fans across the world: the moment they got to choose their first starter Pokémon. This one’s just a bit cute and would make a very sweet gift for the special someone in your life.
Low-poly Gengar Planter
Yes, it’s another planter but I had to shout out this incredibly cool low-poly Gengar Planter from Etsy. Come to think of it, that would go nicely with a rug I’ve just ordered...
Squirtle Squad Neon Lamp
If your starting Pokémon wasn’t already Squirtle, you sure wished it was after watching episode 12 of the animated series, Here Comes the Squirtle Squad. The Squirtle Squad were a ragtag group of Squirtle who were abandoned by their trainers before turning to a life of crime. Like any good gang, the Squirtle Squad had one defining feature: killer shades. This neon lamp depicts the leader of the Squirtle Squad
Pokémon clothing and apparel
The Pokémon brand is such a colossal enterprise, it’s no wonder it has spawned an empire of merchandise and apparel for fans to show their love. But all the Pokémon fans we know won’t settle for your bulk-standard Pikachu print shirt. When it comes to the average Pokéfreak, the weirder (or more unique), the better.
We’ve already explored the mass market of Pokémon’s mass layabout Snorlax. So if you’ve already ordered your Snorlax Beanbag and your Snorlax Mug, this cozy Snorlax Onesie is the final addition before your beloved Pokéfan goes into hibernation.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, Gengar is one of my favourite Pokémon. It’s just such a menace. I mean, look at this sicko. And if you’re living that sicko life like me, you simply won’t hesitate to sport this absurd Cubic Zirconia Gengar pendant in public.
Weird Tree Hat
One of the deepest cuts on this list is this Weird Tree Hat available on RedBubble. In Pokémon Red and Blue, trees were only made for cutting, but in the second generation of games, we were taken aback when one of those trees decided to fight back; revealing a brand-new Pokémon known as Sudowoodo.
Darumaka Pokémon Hat
Another solid choice of headwear for fans of the later generations of Pokémon is this simplistic Darumaka cap on Etsy (just make sure they're a fan of the colour red).
Duskull Pokémon Hat
And if red is a bit loud for your loved one, the same designer has a very cool black Duskull cap with an equally minimalist design. I believe that’s what the kids call “fresh drip”.
Bulbasaur Mesh Cap
To cap off our series of hat recommendations here’s an officially licensed Bulbasaur mesh cap from the 25th-anniversary range of products. It’s a bit gaudy for adult fans of the series but it’s perfect for the younger fan in your party.
25th Anniversary Kanto Short Sleeve Shirt
If your loved one boasts an aversion to any sort of formal wear, one way to ease them into the concept of buttons is via this Short Sleeve Kanto shirt. Another one from the 25th Anniversary line, the design on this top is subtle enough for a night out on the town while still allowing you to show your love for Pokémon on your sleeve (literally).
Mythical Kanto Night Bi-Fold Wallet
And if you are planning a night out on the town (you big spender, you), then there’s no cooler way to pay for a round at the bar than whipping a greenback out of your ultra-cool Mythical Kanto Night Bi-Fold Wallet.
Black Milk Bulbasaur Overalls
There’s some very tacky Pokémon merchandise out there but for something genuinely fashionable, look no further than Black Milk’s Pokémon Collection. Our top pick of the bunch is these comfy-looking Bulbasaur overalls but there’s an entire range of dresses, tops, jeans and shorts, that all feature unique designs featuring your favourite Pokémon. Check out the entire range here.
Super cute Pokémon earrings
Since you’re already heading out dressed head-to-toe in Pokémon-themed attire, why not top it off with a pair of these adorable handmade earrings from Etsy. This Melbourne-based creator has loads of options available, so make sure you head to their store page to pick the Pokémon you want dangling from your ears.