We caught wind that Nintendo was planning to develop Pokemon Rumble U into a Skylanders-esk video game/toy line a couple of days ago, however, it took until today for The Big N to reveal exactly what they were planning for the line of collectible figures. Now that we have seen them, via the game’s debut trailer, we are a little perplexed as to why they decided to take such a lackluster approach.
The launch figures Nintendo revealed today for Pokemon Rumble U are; Torchic, Piplup, Lucario, Victini, Bulbasaur, and Pikachu. There will also be one additional “special” character, which was not announced today. Much like Skylanders, each figure has its Near Fields Communication (NFC) tech inserted into its base. Unlike Skylanders, the Pokemon figures appear to be quite small and extremely limited in detail and scope.
It really is surprising to see Nintendo take such a mild and tame approach to Pokemon Rumble U. Skylanders has already proved that there is a huge market for this type of game, and the Pokemon franchise seems like it was custom built for this genre. Had Nintendo gone all out with a full retail game, worldwide launch, and impressive looking Pokemon figures, fans would be lining up to (literally) catch them all. As it stands now, the Japan-only digital download game and tiny figures will probably still be a mild hit, but it could have been so much more — possibly even a system seller, in certain circles.
Nintendo is planning to release Pokemon Rumble U in Japan as a downloadable eShop title on April 24th, with the game costing about ¥1800 (around $19) and individual figures running around ¥200 each (around $2). Check out the debut trailer, along with images of the first six figures in the gallery below. We will keep an eye out for any news of the game’s Western release, and let you know as soon as Nintendo reveals anything official.