Pokemon turns 25 this year, and it has been an international phenomenon for much of that time. The franchise has expanded from video games into a popular anime, manga, a trading card game, and more, with plenty of merchandising opportunities such as recent collectible McDonald’s-exclusive Pokemon cards. Given the scope of The Pokemon Company’s offerings, it is inevitable that mistakes will happen, but one Magnemite plush has resulted in the company issuing a big apology.
Magnemite is one of the original 151 Pokemon introduced in Pokemon Red and Blue on the Game Boy, and the Electric/Steel-type can evolve into Magneton followed by Magnezone; the second-stage form being introduced through Pokemon Diamond and Pearl. Many are nostalgic for these first-generation monsters, leading to Pokemon like Charizard receiving many new forms as others like Eevee receive merchandise including Funko Pop figurines. Thus, it made sense when the Japanese Pokemon Center stores begin selling Magnemite plushes in July 2020.
However, this particular plush was shipped with an error resulting in one of Magnemite’s magnets being turned upside down. An apology notice posted to the Pokemon Center’s Japanese website on February 6 offers pictures showing two versions of the Pokemon plush, with the mistake resulting in the polarity of the magnets on both sides matching one another.
As a result of this mistake, any fan who has bought the plush between July 15, 2020 and January 15, 2021 is being offered the opportunity to exchange their purchase for a Magnemite with the correct construction by visiting a Pokemon Center store or calling its customer support center. However, there is nothing particularly dangerous about the mistake, so those who want to sit their mismatched Magnemite alongside other Pokemon merchandise such as a Build-A-Bear Workshop Mew still have that option.
While a uniquely mismatched Magnemite is a mistake some may find charming, other errors which have slipped past The Pokemon Company have resulted in more drastic changes. Late last year an errata was issued for a misprinted Cinderace Pokemon card that led to the Fire-type having a lower Retreat Cost than intended. All future reprints of the card are set to have the correct information published.
Giveaways such as the McDonald’s Pokemon TCG packs and new merchandise like a Gigantamax Meowth plush are all fine ways for fans of the franchise to celebrate its 25th anniversary, but many are still waiting for the potential announcement of more video games. While New Pokemon Snap is set to release this April, rumors about Pokemon Diamond and Pearl remakes will likely continue to circulate online until official Pokemon announcements are made.