In our last visit to the world of meal-related Pokemon items, we looked at a few of the most notable examples of Pokemon lunch boxes. In this second part of “Gotta Eat ‘Em All” we’ll be taking a peek at a variety of crockery and cutlery products released during the late 1990s and early 00s, featuring dishes, eggcups, utensils and more!
As the Pokemon phenomenon took over the globe, a range of different lifestyle and homeware brands produced Pokemon-themed food and drink items. A number of these items were originally sold as full meal-time sets, however in the years since have become more commonly available on the collectors markets to be purchased individually, although some complete sets can still be found. UK based lifestyle retailers Presence have been selling a variety of plastic Pokemon crockery since the 90’s, primarily in meal time set form with the Ash-centric set below being one of the most popular. They continue to sell children’s meal time sets today, such as the more recent Generation VI set also pictured.
Another UK-based company who dabbled in the production of Pokemon meal sets were Wade, a ceramics company hailing from the home of British pottery, Stoke-On-Trent in Staffordshire. Wade manufactured a small handful of breakfast sets that included Pokemon-themed plates, bowls, mugs and (most importantly in my opinion, as someone who very much appreciates a nice boiled egg) eggcups. Their designs consisted primarily of the key characters from the early series of the Pokemon anime, with Ash, Brock, Misty and Pikachu at the forefront of the products.
As well as handling licensing for a very wide variety of other Pokemon products, the franchise’s Japanese advertising agency JR Kikaku licensed the likeness of numerous Pokemon characters to many different companies to use on meal-time products that were primarily made of Melamine (a nitrogen-based compound often used in plastic dishware and utensils) during the start of the worldwide Pokemon phenomenon. Like the ranges put out by Presence (which also featured some Melamine-based products), these often consisted of full sets of mealtime items (plates, dishes, cutlery) along with singular items.
Along with producing lunch boxes as mentioned in part one of this blog, Tupperware also produced plastic cereal bowls and tumblers in the early 00’s, which came with plastic lids should you want to eat your cereal on the go.
Their designs featured a variety of older Pokemon as well as new Pokemon (at the time) that were introduced in the Johto-based Generation II games and anime. As well as the cereal bowls and cups, Tupperware also produced handy cereal storer/dispensers, which featured the evolutionary lines of Pikachu and Chikorita.
Along with the other Pokemon-themed cups and mugs that were included in the meal time sets above, a number of different plastic tumblers with straws were also produced, although manufacturer details on the majority of them are fairly scarce other than them being licensed by Nintendo. A selection of tumblers were produced that featured Ash on the transparent part of the tumbler and were topped with lids featuring plastic models of Pokemon such as Pikachu and Charmander, although a rarer Poliwhirl-topped tumbler was also produced.
Interestingly, versions of these tumblers without the Pokemon model-topped lids were also produced, with just a plain red or blue lid and a straw. What the cause of this difference in design was is unknown, but it could be a case of the Ash-themed cups being produced in greater numbers than the Pokemon-topped lids. As well as the traditionally-shaped cups and tumblers, a variety of 3D Pokemon-shaped sipper bottles with straws were also available. Pikachu and Meowth were-commonly-seen designs however Squirtle and a much rarer Clefairy bottle were also available. These bottles were filled (in a slightly disturbing fashion) by unscrewing part of the featured Pokemon’s head and pouring in whichever beverage took your fancy. Although, seeing as removable parts on children’s products such as these can easily be misplaced, I do dread to think how many decapitated plastic Pokemon may be lurking at the back of kitchen cupboards across the world…
Of course, this by no means a comprehensive list of all Pokemon-themed crockery and cutlery, as you could probably write an extremely long book cataloging even just the mugs featuring the various characters from the Pokemon world that have been produced over the past 25 years, let alone any other products in the mountain of meal time merchandise that is now available. I do hope however that the handful of items featured here may have brought back some fond memories of enjoying a refreshing drink on a hot summer afternoon in a Charmander-topped bottle, or dipping soldiers (thinly cut strips of toasted bread, for our non-UK readers) into a nice runny egg that is held safe and sound by your favourite Pikachu egg cup. Or perhaps, if you have yet to add any Pokemon crockery to your collection, it may have inspired you to see if there are any mugs or plates out there that take your fancy, whether that be purely for display purposes or to throw a Pokemon-themed dinner party. Who says fun crockery and cutlery has to just be for kids?
Written By Emily Carney
Sources and Further Reading:
Presence – https://presencedirect.com/
Wade – https://www.wade.co.uk/
Tupperware – https://www.tupperware.com/
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