Pokemon is one of Japan’s biggest exports, a hugely popular video game, television series and trading card game that’s been around for decades. With millions of fans, the franchise has branched out into merchandise that stretches across the globe. While the games are still a mainstay, there are also a number of real-life locations where you can visit and pick up some Pokemon goodies.
First, there’s the Pokemon World Championships – the game’s official competitive events which take place regularly all over the world and have been taking place at ExCeL London from April 14 to 16. Then there’s the Pokemon Center pop-up store, which was last in London during the Pokemon World Championships back in August 2022.
The Pokemon Company has now announced that a new pop-up store will be opening at the same time as this year’s 2022 Pokemon World Championships in London, giving UK fans another chance to get their hands on exclusive merch and other fun items from the game. Unlike in past years, the new store won’t require World Championships tickets to get in, meaning that UK Pokemon fans will be able to make it to the Pokemon Center without even having to travel for the event!
However, if you’re hoping to make a trip to the Pokemon Center, be aware that it will be busy, with slots limited and expected to sell out again for this year’s event. If you want to guarantee yourself a spot, the Pokemon Company has confirmed that visitors can register for a slot on their website and then join a virtual queue on the day of the event.
Alternatively, if you’re more interested in buying the cards than staking your claim on the latest expansion sets or singles, there are plenty of places to buy Pokemon trading cards online. The biggest players in this space include Amazon, which offers a wide range of both official and third-party products, as well as specialist TCG sites like Magic Madhouse, Total Cards and Chaos Cards.
There are also a number of different local stores that sell trading card games – including comic book shops – that will usually have a good selection of Pokemon cards in stock, but these might not be as easily accessible as an online retailer. Some might only have a few sets of the same card at any given time, but they might be worth checking out.
You can also look for specific trading card retailers that specialise in Pokemon cards, such as the TCGplayer network of sellers, though this will likely be pricier than buying from an online retailer. It’s also important to be aware that counterfeit cards can be very expensive, so it’s vital to make sure you buy through a reputable seller.
The Pokemon Company has also revealed that it will be reopening the Pokemon Center Pop-Up Store for the 2023 Pokemon European International Championships, which will run from April 14 to April 16 at ExCeL London. The store will open at 8am on Saturday and Sunday, giving you a few extra hours to shop before the official opening of the event. If you’re planning to attend the European Championships, head over to the Pokemon Company website and reserve a timeslot in advance if you want to be guaranteed access to the store. Pokemon Store Uk