The only way to make this Pokémon cuter is to dress him up as another Pocket Monster.
As someone who absolutely hates the cold, I’ve always thought that bears have the right idea: Enjoy the summer, eat a bunch of delicious salmon the fall, then sleep through the dreary winter and wake up in the spring.
But I may have to rethink my opinion of bears having the best winter strategy in the animal kingdom, as long as Pokémon count as animals. That’s because Pikachu is back as part of another round of Pocket Monster sleeping bag-themed goodies, and he looks warm, cozy, and adorable.
These plushies and pouches can’t be outright purchased like other Pokémon merch, though. Instead, they’re available through a popular Japanese lottery called Ichiban Kuji, which can be played at Pokémon Center megastores, branches of anime specialty shop Animate, video rental chain Tsutaya, and participating arcades and bookstores.
620 yen (US$6) lets you draw a prize card from a box which randomly gets you one of a number of prizes featuring Pikachu nestled inside a sleeping bag styled after one of his Pokémon brethren. The biggest prizes are the A and B ranks, 25-centimeter (9.8-inch) plushies in removable Pikachu or Lapras sleeping bags, as pictured above.
The C Prize, illustrated cards for the seven days of the week and a half-year 2017 calendar, would make a great addition to the home or office of a true Pokémon fan. Things get soft and fuzzy again with the D Prizes, a zippered Pikachu or Gengar sleeping bag pouch to store small items inside.
Prizes E and F are compact six-centimeter Charizard or Lucario sleeping bag plushies, which can be removed, with a chain attached to the hood so you can strap it to your bag or use it as a key chain.
There’re also six-centimeter Cubone, Eevee, and Togepi plushies, which serve as the G, H, and I Prizes.
The J Prize gets you one of six rubber straps, with Pikachu inside a Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, Psyduck, or Ditto bag (don’t worry, there are ways of keeping them clean). Similarly, the K Prize is a hand towel patterned with the Pikachu, Lapras, Slowpoke, Togepi, Raichu, or Psyduck sleeping bags.
Finally, should you draw the very last card from a particular location’s box, you’ll become the owner of a 25-centimeter Pikachu-in-a-Slowpoke-sleeping-bag plushie. Sure, Slowpoke may not be the absolutely most popular or powerful Pocket Monster, but given his lackadaisical tendencies, the stuffed animal seems like a fitting prize for being late to the party.
The Pikachu Nebukuro Collection (as this iteration of Ichiban Kuji is officially called in Japanese) becomes available on November 5.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s wondering how Magikarp spends the winter.