Pokémon fans are already familiar with the manner in which the “pocket monsters” are captured by their trainers, through use of a Poké Ball that can vary in type. Introduced in the Pokémon Diamond and Pokémon Pearl video games, the Quick Ball has a higher chance of capturing a wild pokémon if it is used as soon as possible. Now, those fans can enjoy real-life catch-and-release action with their very own Quick Ball, along with a 2” figure of Pikachu, who remains a flagship figure for the Pokémon franchise.
Tomy's Catch 'n' Return Poké Ball line has three other pairings: Tornadus With Premier Ball, Thundurus With Luxury Ball, and Landorus With Ultra Ball. All sets come with the Pokémon figure, Poké ball, a stand, and the Pokédex ID Tag for the particular Pokémon.
The Poké Ball has wheels and works like any other classic toy vehicle, where you pull it back and let it go in order to send it rolling. However, upon colliding with an object, it then reverses direction, which is a nifty feature to see in motion. The red plastic stand that is included is intended for the Pokémon to sit upon, which allows it to fall into the colliding Poké Ball before it speeds away.
In addition to the three items required for catch-and-return action, the Pokémon's Pokédex ID Tag is included. This is a small, two-sided, laminated card just a little over two inches long. On one side is listed the Pokémon's name in different regions, image, and height and weight, given in both metric and Imperial measurements. On the other side is given the Pokémon's type, along with a distorted image meant to be revealed by using the Pokédex, which comes in the Pokédex Trainer Kit, a separate toy set from Tomy.
The individual items are well-crafted. The simple red stand that enable the catching action is actually more detailed than shown on its Toys R Us listing online, as Tomy has added a stylistic Poké ball graphic with grayscale hexagonal grid background as a sticker, inlaid in the upright stand.
The Quick Ball is plastic, with the hinged opening and four wheels on the bottom. It also has a button on the front, which is what activates the reverse gear once it collides, presumably with the stand. Four colors are used in the painting, which is done well. Outside of a very slight, small smudge you have to squint your eyes to see on my particular ball, the paint job is immaculate. One pleasant enhancement is on the ball's interior, where the top is painted yellow and the bottom painted black, other than leaving the inside as one uniform, plain hue.
Then there is Pikachu, who looks as good as ever as a 2” mini. This is a PVC figure, which provides durability, and a little flexibility in the tail. The paint work here is great, game-accurate for Pikachu's iconic appearance, which in this case is the one-ear-back pose originally popularized with use in the animé. Interestingly, this is not the same Pikachu mini figure offered in other sets with Pikachu in them. This is a nice nod from Tomy, to give unique iterations of the same Pokémon per differing play sets.
As fun as the capturing action of the Quick Ball is, which poses tense anticipation whenever a capture attempt is made since slight aiming miscues will not result in a catch, Pikachu is probably the highlight here. In any case, Catch 'n' Return Poké Ball – Pikachu And Quick Ball is a dynamic choice for a Pokémon/Pikachu fan, given the possibilities for play or posing, offered at MSRP of $13.99.
Eric Bailey blogs at NintendoLegend.com, where he is reviewing every American-released NES video game. He also serves as Editor-In-Chief of retro gaming features site 1MoreCastle.com, and can be followed on Twitter @Nintendo_Legend.