Pokémon retail exclusives in SA: the Mythical Squishy Premium Collection

Overseas, especially in America, the concept of a big company releasing certain products into only certain stores is a common practice.

These are usually referred to as “retail exclusives” and have overseas buyers needing to head to big stores like Walmart and Target to buy products available only there.

For us in South Africa we usually expect two things to happen for these limited releases: either they never arrive on our shores, or they get a broader release where most stores can stock it.

As we’re continue the second wave of Pokémon card game mania not seen since the late 90s / early 2000s, we’re now seeing some retail exclusives appear in South Africa where they remain as such.

The example we’re going to be looking at today is the Mythical Squishy Premium Collection, a boxed product that was released solely to Target in America but is now available in South Africa sold only at the official Nintendo store in Sandton, or online.

The box (and what’s in it)

You can see the front of the box in the header image above and the back of the box here.

This is a rather large container with all the contents spread out in a way that takes up a lot of shelf space on purpose, both to attract the eye and to make more of an impression when it’s given as a gift (more on this later).

Inside there are three V Pokémon cards and three “Squishies” of them too with Mew, Victini and Celebi represented.

For those not familiar with the game V Pokémon cards are a rarer kind of card that is more powerful when use in a game. These three are really not the best and can be bought for a few Rand online as they’ve been made available elsewhere.

The Squishies are probably what most people want the box for as they can’t be acquired any other way than this box.

Finally there are eight booster packs. The eight in our box consisted of the expansions Vivid Voltage (two), Evolving Skies (two), Battle Styles (two), Rebel Clash (one) and Chilling Reign (one).

All of these expansions are on the older side and we don’t get any of the most recent expansion Brilliant Stars. This is because the Mythical Squishy Premium Collection was released some time ago overseas so when it arrived in South Africa it was already outdated.

That being said all eight boosters are still Standard, which means the cards inside are of the most recent block and can be used in competitions involving the TCG.

What do the kids think?

The Squishies and V Pokémon cards from the box. Note that the box does not include plastic sleeves for the cards, which we have provided here.

I got the opinion from some kids who opened this box with me. My nephew (12) and niece (nine) both had their opinions about this toy.

My nephew is already a fan of Pokémon and collects the cards so he was happy to get a decent amount of booster packs in the box. He liked the three V Pokémon cards but, unfortunately, out of the eight boosters he only go one extra V Pokémon.

A warning for parents and others not in the know: boosters contain 10 cards that are completely random. One person could buy a single booster and pull a card worth hundreds of Dollar / thousands of Rands while another can buy dozens of them and get nothing.

Our box fell into the latter category but that’s just all up to chance.

My niece was more interested in the Squishies and liked them, but remarked that they weren’t as soft was some other ones she had played with in the past.

Overall I’d say the kids liked this box and would be happy to get it as a birthday present or under the three on Christmas.

This really seems like a product squarely aimed at that “present” market where the buyer may not know much about Pokémon but sees a nice box like this available.

Core, the official importers of Nintendo in South Africa, sent us this box to look at and currently sells them for R999.

This is a good present for kids but, as we will discuss below, it’s not necessarily the best choice for all Pokémon fans.

What about the other retail exclusives?

The Mythical Squishy Premium Collection is not unique in the fact that it’s locked to one retailer both overseas and now in South Africa.

Several other products were brought into the country in a similar way. Below is a list of these products, the name of the US retailer where it is available, a name of the South African retailer selling it right now, a link to the store to buy it, and the current price.

The Reshiram & Charizard-GX and Pikachu & Zekrom-GX Premium Collection boxes are both intended for collectors as they feature gold cards that can’t be played in contests anymore but looks nice in a binder. Both also come with 10 boosters each in addition to the promotional cards.

The two Urshifu boxes are intended for the competitive players the titular Urshifu cards have both had success in past tournaments. Both come with eight boosters each in addition to the promotional cards.

And, as we discussed above, the Mythical Squishy Premium Collection is more for kids and those looking for a casual present before a birthday, Christmas or other gift giving event.

It’s good that there’s a product for most fans in the country, especially as we may not have gotten these retail exclusives in the country before now.

Lastly, all the products mentioned above also contain code cards to unlock their contents in PTCGO.


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