Pop-Up Pokemon Center Is Already A Disaster
Why has no one invented a clock Pokemon yet, and why has no one given it to anyone at the Pokemon World Championships? 2022 has seen the return of in-person events for the Pokeverse, and if you want to celebrate all things Pikachu, head to London's ExCeL Centre between August 18 and 21.
Here, you can watch the best of the best assemble their own Pokemon teams to play everything from Pokemon Unite to Pokemon the Trading Card Game. Away from the competitions, easily the biggest draw is the pop-up Pokemon Center that lets you grab some exclusive merch. Although the organisers have promised things will be better this year, it's a similar story to previous events.
What's Going On With Pop-Up Pokemon Center?
London last hosted a pop-up Pokemon Center in 2019, but back then, there were queues around the block. With reports of queues taking hours, attendees were furious. In 2022, we were assured that a virtual booking and queue system would make things sail more smoothly than a ride on a Lapras. If you look on social media, you'll know it's not the case.
Posting on Twitter, user @Jimray3mta shared footage of a queue for the Pokemon Center that stretches outside of the ExCel Centre. When asked whether this is the line for those who've already booked a timed slot, the OP confirmed it is. It's a truly baffling scene when you consider how much the Pokemon World Championships promised us it would iron out the kinks in the Pokemon Center queuing system.
Unfortunately, this doesn't seem like an isolated incident. Eurogamer's Chris Tapsell is there and described the Pokemon Center as "very busy". As for the line, he said it was "gigantic, but not static." It's unclear what has caused this bottleneck. Whether it's a breakdown in the online system or simply letting too many walk-in customers into the pop-up, we suggest you get there early if you want to nab any of the goodies inside.
What Can You Get From The Pokemon Center?
Things only seem to be getting worse, as one fan fumed: "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." The problem is that because the store is only open for five days - and it's been hyped so much - customers are literally crawling over each other to get inside. There is the online Pokemon Center, but this has so much more.
If you manage to get in, at least it looks like there are some adorable collectables to get your hands on. We don't imagine it'll be long until the scalpers are cleaning out the shelves and repricing items on eBay for ridiculous sums of money. With all this queuing, you might ask why anyone would bother going to the pop-up Pokemon Center. A big reason is that it's the only place you can get the adorable Beefeater Pikachu and Roserade, and trust us, they're worth the wait on their own.