PUMA’s latest collaboration is with the Pokémon franchise, centered around five distinct styles based on different starting Pokémon characters. Pokémon is still the highest grossing media franchise of all time, with Pokémon trading cards in high demand, such as the $5 Million PSA 10 Pikachu Illustrator card sold by Logan Paul earlier this year. PUMA is being very strategic about working with such an influential franchise with a strong fanbase. PUMA is the third largest sportswear manufacturer in the world.
The five sneaker styles are inspired by the starting Pokémon that people pick at the beginning of the original games, including Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, and Pikachu. The PUMA Rider FV silhouette features Bulbasaur and Pikachu versions. The Slipstream Lo 1987 basketball shoes feature Charmander and Squirtle is on the PUMA Suedes. Each silhouette comes in the distinct hues of their respective Pokémon with the character’s face appearing on the tongue tabs, hanging as a charm, as part of the co-branding on the insoles, featured on the heel tabs and all coming with Pokédex numbers printed on the inner side of the tongues.
The shoes, in both adult and children sizes, are set to release on November 12 via the PUMA website, Footlocker and select retailers. In the world of sneaker collaborations, Pokémon fans might be a highly valuable audience for a sneaker brand to unlock. Previously, we have seen Pokémon collabs with Converse and Clarks. With PUMA, this latest collab brings together sneakers and the highly sought after Pokémon franchise, potentially creating a new type of collectible shoe.