Pokémon’s origins may be little known to some, but the Japanese franchise centered around catching fictional creatures was actually inspired by the children’s pastime in that country of catching insects during summertime. So now the Pokémon Company is releasing a branded bug catcher for children, and we’re honestly surprised this didn’t exist from the start.
Insect baskets are known as mushi kago in Japanese, and are used to hold large bugs like Japanese rhinoceros beetles.
America loses again — A standard Poké Ball version of the bug catcher was previously released in 2019, but new this year is a Master Ball version (Master Ball’s can catch a wild Pokémon without fail) that will cost about $15 when it’s released later this month.
The product seems like a slam dunk for Nintendo, one that should be well because of both the cultural significance Pokémon has there and the popularity of bug catching. The design is also just really cute.
You’d wish that Nintendo would sell the bug catcher in America, too, but maybe there aren’t enough insects here big enough to be contained in something like this. Having large harmless bugs hanging around to catch would be something fun to do as a kid in the summertime, though. Needless to say, we’re quite jealous.
American exceptionalism — Asia gets a lot of cool Pokémon branded goods that Americans are excluded from. In Taiwan, for instance, transit riders can replace their fare card with a Poké Ball that has an NFC chip inside. In Japan, players of Pokémon Snap can send pictures to be printed out at convenience stores across the country. There are also Pokémon stores there and even a Pokémon Cafe in Tokyo. We’re just hoping that given its proximity to Asia and its proliferation of sizeable bugs, Australia’s getting the Pokémon Master Ball bug catcher. It would be tragic if it weren’t.