London’s latest Pokémon Center pop-up shop has been plagued by queues on its opening day – mirroring the messy situation faced by fans the last time round.
Advice given to fans this afternoon – even those who previously pre-booked their slot to go shopping – is reportedly to now arrive and start queuing an hour before your expected entrance timing, Eurogamer has been told.
The pop-up shop is open for four more days at London’s ExCeL Centre, where Pokémon’s World Championships are taking place. Eurogamer’s Chris Tapsell is in attendance, and described it to me as “very busy”. The queue itself to get in was “gigantic, but not static”, he said.
The pop-up Pokémon Center shop is the only place you can get your hands on the exclusive London Beefeater Pikachu and Roserade plush toys, alongside all manner of other merchandise you can also find online.
Once again, it has proven extremely popular – just as it did back in 2018, when a pop-up shop at the Westfield centre resulted in queues around the block and Pokéfans camping out over night.
As well as watching some of the world’s best Pokémon players in action, Pokémon Go fans report the area is spawning regional species from special tasks. Writing on top PoGo reddit Silph Road, fans say species such as the New York-exclusive Bouffalant are available via this method.
But it is the footage of the event’s queues which are blowing up on social media, rather than discussion of the Worlds themselves.
Social media is full of photos and footage of the queues. Here’s a sample, including a video of the queue as it stood earlier this afternoon:
Pokémon center line system crashed from what I was told by someone that works here and the entire line is just smushed now barely moving if moving at all and the entire appointment system is out the door they have told everyone to just wait in line regardless or appointments. pic.twitter.com/ha3krzC4ER
— Calvin Connor (@calvinconnor12) August 17, 2022
The Pokémon center has been one of the most poorly managed things I’ve ever seen. Nobody has the right information and we’ve been told different things by different people. #pokemonworlds
— Gio™ 🇺🇦 (@the_one_gio) August 17, 2022
Got back from #pokemoncenter London at worlds
Was there hour b4 opening time 4 reservation at 12
Mad queues, staff were trying their best, but the reservation/virtual queue system isn’t good enough with queues getting out of hand quickly
Any questions about anything reply or DM pic.twitter.com/U3cprKxTFp
— Matthew Shafik/MJShafik TL40x10 GBL Rating 3810🏅 (@MJShafik_) August 17, 2022
Day 5 in the Pokemon Center line, the end is still nowhere in sight. I’ve lost my mind, I watched a man eat his own arm just to survive. Others died of the bodyheat. When will the purgatory end. I wish for a release. The sweet release
— Sabre @ Pokemon Worlds 🎮 (@Sabrewoif) August 17, 2022
Welp apparently even if you’ve booked a time slot for the Pokémon Center you still have to queue with everyone that didn’t book 🙃 What was the point if booking then?
— Sammy 🔜 Pokémon Worlds (@GhostlyFelis) August 17, 2022