Pokémon has been a childhood household name that is near and dear to our hearts. In mid-September, the Van Gogh Museum announced their collaboration with Pokémon which was set to run from September 28 until January 7, 2023. Unfortunately, due to overwhelming response and safety concerns, the museum stopped giving out their limited-edition trading cards to visitors.
I booked my tickets to visit the Van Gogh Museum weeks in advance prior to the collaboration announcement so I could not believe my luck that I was able to participate in the short-run Pokémon adventure at the Van Gogh Museum! The stars really aligned in my favour. Here’s my review of the experience:
1. Limited Ticket Availability
Book your tickets weeks in advance! Museum tickets in Amsterdam sell out fast so make sure you plan your visit well. As of writing this article in late October, tickets are sold out until December 2023.
2. Pokémon Adventure Questionnaire
Visitors can opt-in to participate in the Pokémon Adventure. At the information counter, you can choose whether you would like to do a scavenger hunt or skip to trade the cards without having to do the questionnaire. The questionnaire contains a set of basic questions about Pokémon and Van Gogh which requires exploration around the museum in search of answers. It is intended for children ages 6 and up so the questions were simple and fun.
At the end, the questions in the scavenger hunter gave clues and you would have to solve a final puzzle. You would show the answer to the final puzzle, and turn in the questionnaire in exchange for the desired trading card. If you did not participate in the questionnaire, you will exchange the museum-issued card for the trading card.
Note: No videos and flash photography are allowed throughout the museum.
3. Van Gogh Inspired Pokemon Painting
There was a long line (longer than Van Gogh’s actual paintings) to see the Pokémon paintings. Among the Van Gogh-inspired paintings were “Self-Portrait with Grey Felt Hat” “The Room” “Sunflowers” and many more.
5. Pokemon Merchandise
All Pokémon-related merchandise was sold out within days of the announcement due to scalpers wiping out stock and reselling them online. When I visited one week after its launch there was no merchandise for sale.
6. Beyond Pokémon
Make sure you leverage your visit and take the time to appreciate all the paintings in the museum. The museum was curated to reflect Van Gogh’s painting journey from Zundert, to Amsterdam and later in Paris and Arles. The museum also exhibits correspondence between Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo Van Gogh where visitors can learn more about his personal stories, and struggles with mental health which eventually became the cause of his demise.
In case you're wondering, Starry Night is not located at the Van Gogh Museum but at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
How Do I Get the Special Pokémon x Van Gogh Museum Promo Card?
According to the official museum site, fans will be able to obtain the Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat promo card at Pokémon Center in the United Kingdom, United States and Canada in the future. Participating retailers will be selling the card in the Netherlands early next year, and will no longer be available at the Van Gogh Museum.
Visiting the Van Gogh museum was definitely one of the highlights of my trip (other than Anne Frank’s house) and the rare trading card definitely serves as memorabilia to encapsulate the rare quality time that I get to spend with my mother and sister.
This article was contributed by HHWT Explorer Amalina Ariffin. If you'd like to share your travel stories with us, email [email protected].