Electrode Tomy Monster Collection figure
Pokemon is one of my favorite things in the world, and my favorite out of the hundreds of monsters is Pokemon number 101, the electric explosive ball Pokemon, Electrode. Ever since I found my first ever Electrode toy in a filthy bin of cheap Pokemon figures of questionable origin as a teenager, I have collected all kinds of Electrode merchandise. One of these toys is the Electrode Monster Collection figure.
Yes, for whatever reason, Electrode turned out to be frustratingly hard to come across. On the day of writing this, it is not unheard of for an Electrode MC figure to sell for a couple of hundred US dollars. Thankfully, I managed to obtain mine a good while before the big boom, in around 2008 I'd say, when a friend of mine picked one up for me at the Pokemon Center in Tokyo. After the final Electrode figures sold out, they were never reproduced and reintroduced to the market.
The other day, a kind stranger messaged me on Twitter asking for advice on how to seek out a genuine Electrode Tomy figure, as shady characters have noticed how sought-after it is, and started churning out fakes! Some of these fakes can be very hard to tell apart from the genuine thing, and I figured I'd share my tips right here on my website.
Here is my figure. It is mint in package, or MIP, so some details can be a little hard to see, but this is what we have to work with. I would love to add an out of package version to my collection someday, but unless they ever get rereleased, I doubt it will ever happen. Quelectrode fulfills that need well enough right now. I'll get back to that.
A closer look at the figure from different angles. It is a beautiful little figure with smooth, crisp details and colors.
This is Tomy MC Electrode next to who I affectionally refer to "Questionable Origin Electrode" or "Quelectrode" for short. My first ever Electrode toy that I mentioned in the very beginning is this very Electrode. I found this figure sometime in the mid 2000s in a bin full of questionable figures trying to pass as Pokemon. I did not know a lot about bootlegs and counterfeits back then, but some of the figures looked off. Electrode, however, looked quite beautiful, so it came home with me.
Now, as nice as this figure is, I can say with 99,9% certainty that it is a bootleg. It's not a full 100% because you never know, weird stuff happens in the world, and a legit figure COULD end up in the mix, but it is extremely unlikely, so I never try to pass Quelectrode off as an official piece of merchandise. It still looks very nice and is of huge sentimental value to me, so I keep it around. As it turns out, it's quite useful in a lesson on how to tell if an Electrode MC is real!
Click here for a supersized version of the picture above. When you compare the two figures and look closely, you can see that Quelectrode's paint job is just a little sloppier, especially in the eyebrow area and where the red and white colors are separated. The white around its mouth is just shine and not paint, by the way. The official Electrode's paint job is actually flawless, not a single drop of paint spilling out from the molded lines. Quelectrode's clear plastic base has also yellowed, but that could be incidental. Not every genuine Electrode MC is in flawless condition, after all.
Perhaps the biggest difference between the figures is the hole connecting them to their bases. The hole on Electrode is white, while the one on Quelectrode looks more like a dark void. I have, however, seen official Electrode MCs with darker colored holes, so it's possible different versions were made.
My final tip is that Pokemon bootlegs are a LOT less common in Japan, so if you can, buy one from there. And that's really all I have for you. No one knows why this figure turned out so rare, but my personal theory is that not a lot of people bought the Electrode figure when it was first released, so fewer were made. If you are after this figure for whatever reason, I can only wish you the best of luck!