Trip Report – Hello Daytrip: The Paris Pokemon Centre

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    Trip Report – Hello Daytrip! A Tier Point run to the Paris Pokemon Centre
    BA332 London Heathrow to Paris Orly in Club Europe

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    In this trip report…


    The Pictures:


    Arriving at an airbridge, it was a simple walk from the plane to the arrivals area and French Immigration.

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    French Immigration was its usual self – take passport, compare, hand back. With no luggage, it was straight out of the luggage belt and over to the ORLYVal for the ride back to Antony station.

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    Trollies, Trollies everywhere…

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    Passing the Laduree…

    But first the fine for the day – a stonking €22.85 for a day transit card. When looking at the individual fares between Paris Orly and Chalet De Halles – which would be €11.25 each way, it becomes reasonable… but still darn expensive for an all-day rover type ticket.

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    Heading over to the VAL, I ensured my wallet was out of sight (those who wonder why, see what happened last time), and over to the RER station. Through the barriers out into Suburban Paris, it was time to play “when’s the next train”.

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    Whilst it was 7 minutes away, there was another fly in the ointment (but not for me), with RER B services terminating at Paris Gare Du Nord and not continuing onto Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport – an after effect of a strike affecting SNCF services.

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    In some ways, I thanked my lucky stars that I would have to fly to/from Orly, as transit would be “reasonable” – compared with dealing with Paris CDG that day.

    The RER train finally came along, and it was off on a suburban French train. and it was truly suburban as a busker got on the train to serenade us. With very bad sax.

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    And I mean AWFUL. Putting it nicely – people moved away from the sax man. Thankfully, he didn’t serenade us all the way into the city (if that was the case, I would had got off!).

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    The train wasn’t well loved either…


    Eventually, the train arrived in Chalet De Halles, and I took my leave of the train.

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    Emptying at Chalet

    After negotiing the maze that was Chalet station, I eventually popped out into the sunlight, and hit the GPS for where I needed to go.

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    One Time Exception To the Pokemon Centre

    Arriving at Chalet De Halles, it was a matter of navigation and following Google Maps to my destination. Within a few minutes, The Cremerie De Paris, Host of this pop-up Pokemon Centre came into view.

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    However, it wasn’t just me interested.

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    Ouch. (and that’s the top of the queue..)

    I took my place at the back of the line (which nearly extended to the next main street). And then it was a case of taking a case of the local street life – with people showing off their Pokemon, playing Pokemon or other games on their Nintendo 3DS, with a lot of voices in French – but also other languages too.

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    Fennekin in the window

    It’s amazing what a brand can do.

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    Limited time only!

    After an hour or so progressing through the queue, it was my turn to enter the hallowed area that was the Pokemon Centre.

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    It’s that Electric mouse type again.

    The centre itself was on two levels – an upper level with the merchandise for sale, and a lower level showing off the artwork behind Pokemon. Whilst I wanted to pick up my selection of plushes, I really wanted to see the artwork behind the games.

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    Plushes


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    Gotta catch them all I believe is the brand’s tag line?


    And it’s good stuff, taken from the whole series of Pokemon games.

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    The Kalos Region…. looks a bit like France…

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    Artwork – The Pokemon Company. More in the links above.

    Eventually, however it was time to get merchandise. Because… well it’s Pokemon. There was the collection of books, figurines, trading cards (alas all European stock as they had managed to sell out of the Japanese stock within a week of opening). And even then the staff were playing games.

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    The Kalos Staters


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    Including a gift Pokemon from the Pokemon Centre.

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    You could be Ash too (I didn’t. I have some limits)

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    Allow me to explain. In the games, there are different rarity rates of catching Pokemon – Common (easy to find), Uncommon (bit more difficult), Rare (near enough impossible). And the staff played this game too – with the Kalos starters – Fennekin, Froakie and Chespin as well as Helioptile and Pikachu being common, Dedenne being uncommon and Sylveon being rare (ie – they put two out at a time when they restock).

    It’s a clever way to make people hang around the store and limit stock.

    Me?I got a few. I’ll talk about them later [​IMG]

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    Pokemon – Caught!

    I spent about 20 minutes or so looking around, before exiting so more Pokefans could go into the store.

    By which point the queue was round the corner on the next street and beyond….

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    Caught!

    Overall:

    The Pokemon Franchise endures – and endures well thanks to good marketing and good ideas. This is just an extension of it. The idea of bring a Pokemon Centre from Japan to Paris is a great one to give something for eager Pokemon fans something to look forward to. Apart from the next game (that’s due to come out in November….)

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