Today is my TENTH anniversary of making my first post (it’d really be more fun to look back on if tinypic hadn’t deleted all the photos :c ) on this community! I really can’t believe it’s been that long already. I started lurking some time in 2008 and finally decided to join in October 2011, and I’m so glad I did! I’ve met a lot of incredible people, had many fun conversations, and thoroughly enjoyed reading all of the collection posts over the years.
I want to celebrate this occasion, so I thought it’d be fun to make a list of my top 10 favorite gets over the last 10 years of being part of this community! Many of these items were grails I've mentioned to many of you before I obtained them.
Before I actually start the list, I wanted to share a little bit of nostalgia from our old Swapnote group! I was looking at the notes we sent each other while preparing this post. Here's a picture of my cat I sent everybody in 2012! I really loved getting to know everybody through pictures and handwritten notes.
OKAY NOW FOR THE LIST!
I figured it’d make the most sense to go in reverse order to build suspense, so let’s do that! Here are my TOP TEN GETS OF THE LAST DECADE!! Oh, and one caveat: I’m focusing on non-flats in this list!
Number Ten: Third Anniversary Buttons
(Added to my collection in 2021)
This might look like cheating because there is more than one item here BUT I got these at the same time, they have the same packaging, and they share the same artwork, so I think we can count these buttons as one get :’D After seeing a scanned advertisement for the 3rd anniversary merch years ago, I became very invested in searching for these buttons. I kept losing auctions for the big button on eBay especially, so I was ecstatic to find incredible deals for these MIP buttons on mercari JP! The artwork is so wonderfully nostalgic and I love the sparkles on the big button!
Number Nine: Charizard Sketch Deck Box
(Added to my collection in 2011)
I still stare at this deck box in disbelief all the time! Usually Mitsuhiro Arita sketch deck boxes sell for $100+, and I got this one for an absolute steal of about $20 including shipping. Beyond the incredible deal, this deck box is incredibly BEAUTIFUL! It’s hard to get a good picture of the sketch, but it’s really lovely in person. Some day I hope to get something with the full-color version of this artwork!
Number Eight: D-Arts Charizard
(Added to my collection in 2013)
This figure is one of the COOLEST ones in my collection. I love the airbrushed shading on it, and there is an infinite number of poses you can create with all of the points of articulation. I’ve had a lot of fun making dynamic poses and scenes with this figure, but I most often have it on my shelf in this Flamethrower pose! This was the first fancier articulated figure I ever added to my collection, so it's special for that reason too.
Number Seven: Pokemon Mystery Dungeon Charmander Plush
(Added to my collection in 2012)
When Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red and Blue Rescue Team were up for preorder on the old US Pokemon Center website, you could choose a bundle that included this Charmander plush with Red Rescue Team or a Squirtle plush with Blue Rescue Team. I really wanted the Charmander plush, but I really wanted to play PMD on my DS instead of my GBA, so I ended up not ordering the game from the Pokemon Center site at all. Many years later, I finally bought one on eBay when it popped up for a decent price! I love this plush very much and it reminds me of my original Blue Rescue Team, in which I played as a Charmander with a Treecko partner!
Midpoint note: ordering numbers six through four was really tough and could’ve gone any way!
Number Six: Third Movie ChibiPokeHouse Playset
(Added to my collection in 2020, and stealing a picture from my previous collection post teehee)
I always loved looking at all of the Deluxe ChibiPokeHouse playsets on the old US Pokemon Center site, and this one always looked the prettiest to me. The third Pokemon movie is also my favorite, so I especially loved the fact that this playset was a physical representation of it. I was fortunate enough to be gifted the Tree and Pokemon Center Deluxe playsets before the site stopped selling them, but I never had the opportunity to add this playset to my collection. Fast forward many years when a Discord user shared the link to an incredibly cheap listing for it, complete with the box, on mercari JP! I used Buyee for the first time to get it (with that sweet discounted international shipping coupon) and I still can’t believe that it’s in my collection! It’s just as beautiful as I imagined it would be when I was browsing the old Pokemon Center site all those years ago.
Number Five: Charizard Line Zukan
(Added to my collection in 2019)
I had been looking for the Charizard line Zukan ever since I learned that it existed while browsing this community in 2008. I lost a couple of auctions for it on eBay, including a MIP one that went for $50 in 2009 that was especially painful because I just didn’t have the funds at the time, but my search finally ended when I was visiting Tokyo with friends! I was shocked to see it in a store window while shopping in Nakano Broadway, but it was 10,000 yen so I decided I should think about it longer. I finally decided it was worth it near closing time, so I ran back to the store right as the owner was about to close down for the day and bought it! I could’ve gotten a better deal on Yahoo Auctions maybe, but actually buying it in person like that made it an extra special grail get! The third generation energy just radiates off of these figures’ designs and I love them so much.
Number Four: Third Anniversary Gameboy Color
(Added to my collection in 2012. Also, sorry I didn’t realize I didn’t have a newer picture of this console!)
I might not have mentioned much that I am a HUGE FAN of Nintendo consoles, especially special edition ones. I love just browsing websites that list special edition consoles and talk about their origins, and this Third Anniversary console was always at the top of my dream list. I really wanted this console complete in box, but I eventually decided that I should just get it on its own if a good enough deal popped up, and one day I got very lucky with an eBay listing from a Japanese seller! I was starting to get antsy because the Gameboy modding scene was getting more prevalent, along with reproduction shells and screens for this GBC, so I’m really glad I got one that I am absolutely sure is legit. This GBC has super vibrant colors and Charmander’s tail is over the power light so it lights up when the GBC is on! The color scheme and style of the Pokemon graphics are super nostalgic and wonderful.
Number Three: Shiny Charizard Hasbro Figure
(Added to my collection in 2011)
I always loved the regular Charizard Hasbro Combat Figure, but I didn’t realize there was a Shiny version until years after these figures were off the shelves. As soon as I learned about it, my search began! I lost several auctions over the years, but ended up winning a lot of very loved Pokemon toys that included this Charizard without its wings. A small success! I thought that I could sculpt wings out of clay if I never found one of these figures in better condition, but then a few months later this one popped up for auction on eBay and I actually won! Holding this figure in my hands after searching for so long was simply magical. The metallic colors are really striking, especially when it’s on a shelf with my other Charizard figures. I really love the more blue color for its body that is so emblematic of GSC Shiny Charizard!
Number Two: Shiny Charizard Kid Figure
(Added to my collection in 2013)
I never thought that I'd own this figure because of how expensive it was. When a former Charizard collector from this community started selling their top-dollar items on eBay, I knew that their Shiny Charizard kid was going to be listed sooner or later. Then, the auction came and I actually won! I remember seeing a couple of comments on this community shortly after I won saying that they were surprised at how it went for under $100 haha. The day this figure came in the mail was so magical! I wrote about my feelings a little bit in this post and I still can't believe I have it whenever I look at the shelf it's on. The regular version of this kid figure is my favorite Charizard kid figure, so the fact that they made a shiny version of it is simply the best!
Before I get to the number one item on my list, I wanted to mention a couple more items that didn't make the top 10 list, but still make my heart sing in a similar way!
Charizard Petit Chara Figure
I wanted this figure ridiculously badly, and the former Charizard collector I mentioned in my Shiny Charizard kid figure story put it up for sale a little while after the Shiny kid figure. I thought that it wouldn't get too expensive because it was a small, kinda obscure figure, but I ended up in a ferocious bid war with somebody and I paid a lot more than I should have for this figure. A small amount of financial regret aside, I really love this figure! It is meant to plug into an accessory slot on your GBA so it can hang out with you while you play games.
I bought this figure when I was in Tokyo in 2019, so it is already special in that way, but it has an additional story to it! I debated importing this figure right when it came out, but knowing that I was going to actually be in Japan a little while after, I decided to wait to save on shipping and maybe find a deal. I'm glad I waited because I was able to find a great deal at the giant AmiAmi store in Akihabara! However, the sales clerk didn't deactivate the sensors on the box that make the anti-theft bars in front of doors sound the alarm, so we set the alarms off on every subsequent floor we went to until a sales clerk on the top floor took matters into her own hands and deactivated the remaining sensors. I was so embarrassed each time the alarms went off because I had very minimal survival Japanese skills, but it makes a funny story!
Champion Red Nendoroid Charizard
Finally, I wanted to mention the Charizard figure that comes with the Champion Red Nendoroid figure! Red is my first and only Nendoroid, and I felt really lucky to be able to order it from the USPC. It was a perfect way to celebrate Pokemon's 20th anniversary! Red is such an iconic character and seeing him with the final evolutions of the Kanto starters makes my heart very happy. This Charizard also has a very cool style that makes me feel nostalgic.
AND NOW, TIME FOR A DRUMROLL the last item on this list is...
NUMBER ONE: Charizard Flying over Manhattan PCNY Statue
(Added to my collection in 2013)
Owning this figure is a literal dream come true. When Pokemon Center New York still existed, I spent so much time browsing their site and adding items to my wishlist for whenever a gift-giving occasion arose. This statue always stood out in my mind as the best Charizard thing ever created. I loved the style of the sculpt, the forced perspective of Manhattan underneath, and of course the PCNY logo at the bottom. I looked at the product page for this statue every time I was able to get online, but it was an expensive item so I never got it. I've always had a lot of dreams about going to the Pokemon Center in New York and getting to buy things that I very badly wanted, and this statue frequently appeared in those dreams. Flash forward many years when a seller who likely worked at PCNY when it still existed had a few of these statues mint in box up for auction on eBay. I engaged in a bid war with somebody who sniped me at the very last second and I was crushed. However, a couple of days later, the seller messaged me saying that the winning bidder never paid and offered the statue to me for the amount of my last bid. I simply couldn't believe that I was going to finally own this statue. I was really worried about it getting damaged in the mail, but it thankfully came to me in pristine condition.
Look at how PERFECT they are! The style of the sculpt really gives you the PCNY vibe.
They even made sure the details were spot-on in the back!
Even after 8 years of owning this statue, I still feel excited just looking at it. It is the most magical item in my collection and I am so happy that I could finally fulfill my dream from the early 2000s. I may never have had the opportunity to physically go to the Pokemon Center in New York, but owning this statue allows me to imagine at least a little bit how it would've felt to be in PCNY. It's also the banner for my collection site teehee!
And that concludes the list of my top 10 gets in the last 10 years of being a member of this community! I'm really grateful for all of the fun times I've had interacting with all of you, and I'm looking forward to even more fun times to come! <3