REVIEW: Squirtle Vanilla Churro, Pikachu Butt Pizza Bun, and Bulbasaur Sipper Herald Pokémon’s Arrival at Universal Studios Japan

For the first time at any major theme park, Pokémon is hitting the streets here at Universal Studios Japan in the new “NO LIMIT! Parade,” and as with any major event at a Japanese theme park, there’s new food to tie in. Fortunately, we were able to grab a time ticket for the new Pokémon booth near Hollywood Dream: The Ride and try out the new Squirtle-themed churro, the Pikachu bun, and pick up a Bulbasaur sipper.

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Located in the usual spot of Star Walk Snacks, right next to Hollywood Dream: The Ride, the Pokémon Booth features a trademark Poké Ball right at the top center, and “Pokémon” written atop in multicolor letters with a Squirtle, Pikachu, and Bulbasaur right above.

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The art wrapped around the booth shows off bubbles, sparks, splashes, and thunderbolts. with Squirtle and Pikachu taking front and center.

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Bunting hangs on top featuring the Universal Studios Japan disco ball logo used on the “NO LIMIT! Parade” merchandise. Squirtle and Pikachu adorn them.

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It’s worth disclosing before we begin that we were provided one each of the churro and the Bulbasaur sipper for a media event hosted by Universal Studios Japan, although we later bought our own as well.

Splash! Squirtle Vanilla Churritos – ¥650 ($4.76)

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This adorable churro has a plain base with a lot of sugar and icing.

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Vanilla sugar covers the churro all over, and a milk-flavored icing is drizzled atop the portion sticking out of the wrapper. White chocolates and puff pieces dot the top.

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The wrapper prominently features Squirtle popping out of his Poké Ball and shouting “Zeni!” in reference to his Japanese name Zenigame. A disco Poké Ball sits at the bottom keeping in theme with the dance theme of “NO LIMIT! Parade.”

I’ve written at length about the many ways Universal Studios Japan has disappointed me with churros, and sadly this adds to the list yet again. The tendency for this park to serve stale, rock-hard churros at room temperature or even cold ruins what could be an otherwise interesting combo. The vanilla sugar generously coats the churro but isn’t overwhelming, allowing plenty of room for the strong milk flavor in the icing to come through.

In case you’re wondering what milk-flavored icing tastes like, imagine the flavor of a glass of milk, manifest as a semi-rich icing. It’s not unusual for Japan, where the default flavor for soft-serve ice cream is milk, but probably a strange sensation for more foreign palates. If these churros were served fresh, I would rate this as a solid sweet choice while walking around the park, but I just can’t forgive being served what tasted like yesterday’s churro dressed up in sugar and icing.

Wagging Tail Pikachu Pizza Bun – ¥700 ($5.13)

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This adorable bun features Pikachu’s back stripes and iconic thunderbolt-shaped tail in a paper boat reminiscent of Pikachu bursting out of tall grass to surprise a trainer.

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While most of the sides are covered in the tall grass pattern, we do see one side with the disco Poké Ball icon.

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This was definitely the better of the two snacks at the booth. The pizza filling has a nice flavor and included some delicious tomato sauce and sausage bits that would’ve been right at home on any pie. It’s satisfying and reasonably filling, if slightly expensive for the portion size compared to a pizza bun of similar size from any convenience store in Japan. But you don’t get it in a well-executed Pikachu design from a 7-Eleven! It’s certainly Instagrammable and makes for a delicious bite between meals, and you won’t be disappointed if you decide to pick one up.

Bulbasaur Cup with Melon Sofrozen- ¥1000 ($7.33)

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The real star of the show is none other than the Bulbasaur drink cup, which comes with a melon Sofrozen, which is Universal Studios Japan’s way of saying “slush.”

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The adorable very first Pokémon in the Pokédex is rather small, barely enough for a small drink. He’s made of plastic with his features printed on.

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The build quality varied greatly between the one we were given for the media event and the two others we bought. Sometimes the plastic around the lips was a slightly different color, and other times the printing for the eyes in particular was much more obvious.

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In order to pour a drink in, the namesake bulb atop pops off, although it can be difficult to get back on due to how it’s molded. The plastic straw which comes out is also soft plastic like a disposable straw rather than hard plastic like most reusable straws would be.

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But he’s still adorable nonetheless.

All of these items are available now at the Pokémon food booth next to Hollywood Dream: The Ride at Universal Studios Japan. As of press, guests can line up freely first thing in the morning, although timed return tickets are distributed shortly after the park’s official time. Those wishing to purchase should check in sometime in the earlier morning to inquire about these timed tickets.

How do you feel about these new Pokémon items? Let us know in the comments below.

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