Freshly opened Pokémon x Van Gogh exhibit in Amsterdam: exclusive art, merchandise, and a special Pikachu card awaits!
The Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum exhibition had its grand opening in Amsterdam, Netherlands just yesterday on September 28, 2023. Coincidentally, Webmaster PrimalLugia, who resides in the Netherlands, visited the exhibition today, a day after its launch.
Running from September 28th until January 7th, 2024, the exhibition showcases Pokémon-inspired artworks by renowned Pokémon TCG illustrators such as sowsow, Tomokazu Komiya, and Naoyo Kimura. Visitors can engage in an art hunt and even snag exclusive merchandise from the museum. And for those who complete their Pokémon Adventure, a special Pikachu with a Grey Felt Hat promo card awaits at the conclusion of the visit.
When we got to the Museum, there was a short line outside. Luckily, it wasn't too long for us, and things moved smoothly. Even though I arrived an hour after our scheduled reservation time, they still allowed me inside. The staff was friendly and directed us quickly to get the Pokémon Adventure brochure, which is essential if you want the Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat promo card.
If you want to see the Pokemon exhibition and visit the Van Gogh Museum shop upstairs, you have to store your backpack in the lockers. There are security staff near the escalator who'll remind you of this. Remember your locker's pin code, because you'll need it to get your backpack out later. Use the same machine where you first entered your pin; other machines are linked to different lockers and won't work for you.
Van Gogh Museum shop
Once inside, the first floor houses the Van Gogh Museum shop where they sell Pokemon collaboration items. Here's a closer look at the shop: They had signs indicating "1 item per customer". Fortunately, I managed to grab 6 Smeargle pens, as they had plenty of them and the cashier allowed my purchase. Later, I spotted Snorlax postcards and grabbed 5, along with 5 Corviknight postcards and 2 Snorlax color pencil sets. But at checkout again, a different cashier only permitted one of each item.
Interestingly, the store staff said they had mixed these special Pokemon items with the usual Van Gogh products, making them a bit trickier to spot. I also took a look in the Book Store and scoured every floor to see if more Pokemon goodies were tucked away, but couldn't find any. It seems most of the stock was snapped up earlier in the day, with only a minor restock in the early afternoon.
On the same first floor, I was treated to the sight of Pokémon paintings inspired by Van Gogh's style. Seeing them up close and in person was truly breathtaking. It's something I'd never have imagined – being in my own country's Van Gogh Museum and admiring Pokémon paintings. Regrettably, I personally missed out on snapping a photo of the Pikachu painting, my friend did manage to make one, but I've included a digital version for reference.
As mentioned before, the art has been illustrated by known Pokemon TCG illustrators, and are inspired by Van Gogh paintings. Here is a list of the paintings:
- Sunflora inspired by Sunflowers, illustrated by Tomokazu Komiya
- Smeargle inspired by Self-Portrait as a Painter, illustrated by Tomokazu Komiya
- Munchlax & Snorlax inspired by The Bedroom, illustrated by sowsow
- Eevee inspired by Self-Portrait with Straw Hat, illustrated by sowsow
- Pikachu inspired by Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat, illustrated by Naoyo Kimura
- Corviknight inspired by Wheatfield with Crows, illustrated by Naoyo Kimura
Pokémon Adventure and Promo Card
After our visit to the exhibition, we were directed to a special exit/entry area of the Van Gogh Museum. This is where they distributed the Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat promo card. There were security personnel overseeing this handout. I didn't actually do the Pokémon Adventure due to a lack of time, but it turns out you don't need to complete it to get the promo card.
However, if you want the Pikachu promo card, you must hand back the brochure. You can't keep it! This new rule started just yesterday afternoon. I heard stories about people managing to get multiple promo cards by simply rejoining the queue. It seems the museum made this change in response to what happened the day before!
A delightful detail about the promo card is that the card insert is double-sided. The back of the barcode insert card showcases a Van Gogh painting, which I found to be a thoughtful touch. What's also neat is that the description on the insert is written in Dutch. A shoutout to our friend Stephen Kent from PlaySkape Games for providing the image of this!
I'm truly thrilled that such an event took place in my homeland. It's a source of pride for me as a Dutch citizen. The entire experience was seamless, and I strongly recommend this exhibition to all Pokémon enthusiasts – it's truly one-of-a-kind.
It's disappointing that the merchandise sold out so quickly at the Museum shop, but given the high demand, it was somewhat expected.
On the opening day, our friend Mister Stolloss shared that by the time he arrived at 12:00 PM, almost everything in the Museum Shop was gone. A later restock led to a chaotic moment reminiscent of Black Friday frenzies, prompting the shop to close its doors. Videos capturing this incident sparked outrage on social media, and understandably so. The situation seemed not only dangerous for eager shoppers but also incredibly stressful for the staff. We strongly advise everyone to prioritize safety over shopping and to refrain from such behaviors.
Nevertheless, our primary suggestion is to immerse yourself in the exhibition experience. If you happen to find available merchandise, consider it a delightful bonus. Plus, the Pokemon Center will be offering exclusive Van Gogh x Pokemon items on their website, pokemoncenter.com. While it's currently sold out, given that they are vending Pokemon TCG Van Gogh products, it's worth keeping an eye out for restocks.
For a deeper dive into the Van Gogh x Pokemon collaboration, we recommend exploring our detailed article on this collab.
We hope you will enjoy your visit at the Van Gogh Museum!