Moleskine Pokémon Pikachu Limited Edition Notebook Review

Pikachu! I choose you!

This is the final large format Moleskine Pokémon limited edition notebook that I haven’t reviewed, and I think that it’s the one that Pokémon fans will most gravitate towards. Why? Because it’s Pikachu, and because it is so well designed.

Like the Charmander edition cover, the Pikachu notebook front cover shows Pikachu dreaming of when he’ll be all grown up and kicking ass as Raichu. It’s a lovely, cute design.

I would have liked the elastic closure to be yellow, but it works in black too, and I guess that black is more pragmatic in that it doesn’t show dirt that much.

Pikachu is super skipping happy on the front endpapers, and the background of banana coloured Pikachus works really well. You can’t have enough Pikachus after all, as any Pokémon GO player will tell you.

The back endpaper has the same background, and Pikachu resting from jumping around and fighting I guess. They probably posed him like this so you can see his stripes and tails, but I would have preferred him an an action pose with lightning maybe. Then again, it’s cute, and Pikachu is all about the cute. For those wondering, the background print is aligned on the back pocket of the notebook, and the webbing on the side of the back pocket is black.

The pages are lined (I love Moleskine’s lined notebook line width, as it’s perfect for my handwriting size) and the ribbon bookmark is black, which works, but I would have liked a yellow one instead.

As in the Pokéball edition and the Charmander edition you get cardboard bookmarks instead of stickers as the little add-on in the notebook’s back pocket. These are really well designed and I’m going to hazard a guess that Moleskine would have preferred to make stickers for these editions, but they were limited by their contract with Nintendo. Nintendo sells a lot of Pokémon branded merchandise, and there’s probably a contract somewhere that gives some sticker company rights for the Pokémon brand.

I accidentally tore the paper sleeve, and so the b-side on this one is pretty much ruined, but like the Charmander edition it’s Pikachu in all his evolutions: Pichu, Pikachu and Raichu.

Should you get this for the Pokémon fan in your life? Yes you should. All three notebooks in this series (and the pocket notebooks which I will not review) are excellent. This would be a great way to get someone to consider journalling, or keeping notes on a trip or during an interesting or difficult time in their life. These are now pretty heavily discounted all over the place, so they’re also kind of a nice little treat to buy for yourself.

Pika! Pika!

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Moleskine Pokémon Pikachu Limited Edition Notebook Review

Moleskine Limited Edition Pokémon Box Review

I was going to  write a review of the Moleskine Pikachu Pokémon limited edition notebook first, but I forgot that I gifted someone the copy that I had. After a bit of internal debate, I decided to write about the highlight of the Moleskine Pokémon limited edition set, the Pokéball Box, first, and order another copy of the Pikachu notebook for later review. As these make such great gifts, I suspect that this copy too won’t make it into my rotation but instead be snagged by a friend.

Last spring I was visiting London with my family, staying right next to a Moleskine store (my poor, poor wallet) and trying to take my luggage allowance into account (notebooks are heavy, and Moleskines are easily purchasable online after all), when I first saw these. At the time, I wasn’t into Pokémon, I hadn’t played the Nintendo games, and the Pokémon GO craze passed over me without leaving its mark. I thought I was safe. Then I saw this box at the store.

Such a simple design, but so effective

I left London without purchasing the box, but I kept thinking about it. As my family left on a flight two days after me and it turned out that they had weight to spare, they asked me if there’s anything I wanted from the Moleskine store. I considered for a while, and then asked for the Pokémon box. They ended up buying all three notebooks for me.

It’s been almost a year since then, and I’ve been swept into Pokémon GO as a way to handle my anxiety while dealing with my mom’s illness, and so when I photographed this box today, it was no longer an abstract thing that I had very little emotional ties to. The design, however, has not changed.

Unlike many other Moleskine limited edition boxes, this one comes with a Moleskine pen. The tradition started a few years ago with the Writing Box, and this year it’s part of the Basquiat box.

This isn’t a review of the Moleskine rollerball, but of the Pokémon box, so I’ll just point out two things: Strangely enough the logo on the clip is set so the Moleskine logo isn’t aligned with the Gotta Catch ‘Em All! logo. When one of them is right side up, the other isn’t. Also, the Gotta Catch ‘Em All is printed only on one side of the pen, which is disappointing. If you clip it to a notebook there’s a 50/50 chance that you won’t see the logo, unless you make sure the cap is positioned so the clip isn’t on the side of the logo.

The other thing that’s disappointing here is the choice of the body colour of the pen. Red would have been so much more functional, as the white is going to look grimy and tarnished just about the moment you start using it.

The pen uncapped. Now imagine in it bright red. So much better, right?

Inside the notebook you are greeted with a whole lot of Pokéballs, both on the front and back endpapers.

Front endpaper
Back end paper

The design even continues into the inner lining of the back pocket:

This edition comes with four Pokéball bookmarks, like the other Moleskine Pokémon limited editions.

All in all it’s a nice box, but in terms of design, it’s all in the cover. The endpapers are bland in my opinion, and they could have done a much better job on the pen. The initial price on these was pretty high, but as it’s now dropped somewhat, I still think that they make a great gift for the Pokémon lover in your life, though you might want to consider the other Moleskine Pokémon notebooks.

Moleskine Limited Edition Pokémon Box Review

Moleskine Pokémon Charmander Limited Edition Review

Moleskine’s Pokémon limited edition notebooks are some of the most attractive and colourful ones that the company has come out with in recent years. Even if you aren’t a fan of the franchise you might want to pick one of these up, just for their design. Also, if you’re looking for a gift for the Pokémon fan in your life, look no further. Even if they aren’t a notebook fan they’re bound to love these gems.

The cover design, with the paper wrapper still on, is fantastic. You can see little Charmander dreaming of when he’ll be all grown up and a Charizard. It’s cute, perfectly aligned with the wrapper, and the colour contrast with the black background really make Chaemander pop.

Dreaming Charmander
The back cover. I love how understated Moleskine’s logo is.

 

The cover looks great even without the wrapper, which is a thing because Moleskine has created designs in the past that look much better with the wrapper on than they do unwrapped. The only thing that could make this cover better is if dream Charizard was embossed on the cover, adding a little texture to it. On the other hand, that would have almost certainly made the design less durable over time, so I guess that’s it’s good that Moleskine went for a simple print this time.

Inside the front cover you are greeted by a multitude of very happy Charmanders, and that design continues in the back.

Just look at the perfect alignment of the print on the back pocket. Also, way to go Moleksine for fully embracing the cute.

 

Instead of the usual specially designed sticker set, this edition gets Pokéball bookmarks. Again, these are super well designed, but like all bookmarks of this type, they’re not likely to hold up to much use.

The B-side of the wrapper shows the various evolutions of Charmander (Charmeleon, Charizard), which is nice, if not Moleskine’s best B-side idea yet.

There are two more notebooks in the Moleskine Pokémon limited edition set and I’ll review those later on. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a cool gift (that costs less than a Nintendo Switch) for the Pokémon lover in your life, this is definitely it.

Moleskine Pokémon Charmander Limited Edition Review