Pokémon, Reviews

Review: PokéPla – Meganium, Typhlosion, & Feraligatr Evolution Sets

PokéPla Retail Release – September, 2009 Release – ¥760 Each

Yes, I’m finally getting around to the slew of PokéPla reviews I have done! For the sake of ease on my work schedule, and the ability to compare and contrast, I have decided to make the first three PokePla reviews a trio of trios! The first trio brings us the Johto region starters, Meganium, Typhlosion, and Feraligatr. Each Evolution Set contains the three members of their evolution tree, as well as a bonus Pikachu that honestly drives me crazy. They retail for ¥760 a piece, around $10, and can be found at most major online Japanese retailers. Each kit is a snap together model kit that features no pre-painted pictures. Stickers are included to decorate the toy, but to get the toy on the package, you WILL have to paint them. The toys seen in the review are unpainted, and simply have the included stickers applied.

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Meganium Evolution Set: It might have to do with my distaste for Chikorita, but I feel as though this is the worst set of the bunch. Meganium is really well done, and features a moveable tail which activates a neck swivel. Also included are two different antenna pieces to make Meganium a male or female. Bayleef is also really well done, but features no moveable pieces. Chikorita pretty much fails on all possible levels though. The coloring isn’t right, she’s all one plastic hunk, and it just ends up looking awful. The Pikachu included is in a cute “Did I do that?” looking pose.

Typhlosion Evolution Set: It might have to do with my love for Typhlosion, but I feel as though this is the best set of the bunch. The stickers used on his fire pieces offset the clear plastic well, and it looks pretty nice as an end product. His movement features a cool ab crunch that lets him curl up a slight bit as if he was charging his fire. His stubby little legs are also movable. Quilava has the same benefit of the stickers going for it. While he doesn’t move, he looks really nice. Finally, Cyndaquil, while featuring no movement and no fire, looks both accurate and adorable. The Pikachu included is sitting with his head tilted.

Feraligatr Evolution Set: This set is the worst offender of “ruined by stickers” syndrome. Granted, that is a complaint that can be remedied by using paint like a proper model enthusiast, but keeping in mind that most people will not paint these cheap end models, these things have to be pointed out. The stickers used on Feraligatr’s teeth have tendencies to not stick properly. Other than that, he actually looks really nice, features a cool gimmick that when his arms are raised, his mouth opens. His nails aren’t painted, but it looks great anyway. Croconaw is Chikorita levels of fail in the sticker department. Instead of casting his body in the loincloth tan and using blue stickers, his body is cast in blue, and the loincloth is stickers. That would be fine, but they decided it up into about four or five sticker segments to make the loincloth while it could easily have been a front and back instead. That aside, Croconaw looks great. Totodile is adorable as he always is. Nothing majorly wrong with him. The Pikachu included is in his typical “V for Victory” pose.

Long Final Verdict: These were the first PokéPla kits released way back when HGSS was originally released. While I feel the Unova starter sets are a step BACK from these, the Evolution Sets, as always, are very hit and miss. The final stage of each line is pretty well done, usually only suffering when you get to the lower stages. Typhlosion however has no major drawbacks, and is a set I can easily recommend with no negatives. If you’re a fan of that specific starter, I can recommend the other sets, just keep in mind the quality of the sets when no paint is applied. When you look at Lugia, Ho-Oh, Kyurem, or any of the larger single-packed sets, you can see how great looking these kits can be. It’s a shame the final stages of the starters ultimately get punished from a good kit because of the inclusion of the other two stages and that stupid Pikachu.

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Short Final Verdict: If you love that line, pick up the set. Otherwise, the only one I can recommend with no negatives is the Typhlosion set. It’s pretty ace.

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