I got my hands on some OFFICIAL Pokemon Kanto Gym Badges. How did I get them, and how do they compare to unofficial badges?
Everyone knows how much of a Pokemon freak I am. Not only have I cosplayed as a Pokemon trainer, but I’ve purchased two sets of unofficial Kanto Gym badges in the past. Recently I was made aware of a set of OFFICIAL Pokemon Kanto Gym Badges. The very first official set offered to the public to my knowledge.
These Kanto Gym Badges were only available in Japan for a limited time through Gachapon / Gashapon machines. These are small crank machines where you put in a 300 yen coin, turn a crank, and get a small capsule with one badge. Since you only get one badge, people have spent quite a bit of money to get a full set of eight. You can see YouTuber Amadofu and his friend at these machines trying to complete their sets in THIS VIDEO.
Each capsule contains one badge and a little insert. The insert has pictures of all eight badges, the Japanese names of the badges, the city the gym is located in, and the name of the gym leader.
The badges are made out of metal and have a very thin clear plastic coating on the top. Some of the badges have a very thin plastic coating which allows you to feel the little raised parts on the face of the badge. Others have a slightly thicker coating that doesn’t allow you to feel anything but the smooth plastic.
The backs of each badge have a metal pin with a metal clasp to keep them attached to your clothes or whatever else you may want to pin them on to. Part of me prefers the rubber on the unofficial badges since they’re easier on your skin, but the rubber plugs are a lot tougher to take off.
Since the badges are different designs they have slightly different sizes. The boulder badge is exactly 3 cm wide, but the marsh badge is about 3.2 cm wide.
The designs have their ups and downs when compared to the anime and the video game. Sometimes the official badges are more accurate, and sometimes the unofficial badges have a better design. If you’d rather see these badges head to head instead of reading about them, click the video at the top of the post.
- The official Boulder badge looks more like the video game design, but the unofficial Boulder Badge I previously purchased looks more like the anime design.
- The video game and anime Cascade Badge has a little dot at the bottom of the badge, as does the unofficial Cascade badge. The official Cascade badge, on the other hand, does not have any dot whatsoever.
- The Thunder badge looks the same among all designs.
- The official Rainbow badge has a blue middle with white cross. The unofficial Rainbow badge has a black middle with white cross. The Rainbow badge is tough to see in the video game design because there are so few pixels, but the anime design seems to have a black middle like the unofficial design.
- The Soul badge looks two-toned or colored in the video game, but neither the official nor unofficial badges have two colors.
- The Marsh badges look the same for the most part, though the official badge is more gold while the unofficial badge is more yellow. The Japanese name of this badge is the gold badge, so I’d say the official badge wins that one.
- The video game version of the Volcano badge appears pink on the outside and red on the inside, but both the unofficial and official badges have red outsides and pink insides. When it comes to the shape, the unofficial badge seems a bit wider and more accurate to the video game design.
- The Earth badge in both the video game and anime appear to have two colors. The unofficial badge has the same color scheme, but the official badge seems to have a shape similar to the video game design.
As you can see, there are some official badges which I prefer to the unofficial badges and vice versa. But own a set of rare OFFICIAL badges from the Pokemon company and Bandai makes them extra special to me and other collectors.
Again, these badges were only available in Japan for a limited time. If you want to get a set of your own, your best bet is to find them on eBay or a Japanese auction site. Act quickly before they’re gone forever or the prices sky rocket!