With the release of New Pokemon Snap, Lawson convenience stores in Japan are offering a print service to get Pokemon fans physical copies of their in-game photos — just like they did in 1999.
The Pokemon Snap Station (1999)
First, let’s take a look back.
Nowadays, it’s incredibly easy to take screenshots of your gameplay (the Switch even has a dedicated button for it on the controller), and to get those images off your game systems. But in 1999, when the original Pokemon Snap was blowing up on the Nintendo 64, there was of course no such thing. The best you could do was take a photo of your TV screen and hope for the best — and even then, digital cameras weren’t super common yet.
Enter the Pokemon Snap Station.
Across the US, Blockbuster video rental stores had this machine set up to print your Pokemon Snap photos. All you had to do was bring in your game, pay for a print card at the counter, and put them both into the machine to select & print your saved photos onto sticker sheets.
In Japan, convenience store Lawson had a similar setup, and they’re back in the game more than 20 years later.
How to Print Your Pokemon Photos in 2021
Step 1: Get Your Photos Off Your Console
Before physically trekking out to Lawson, there are actually 2 steps you have to take to get your photos ready.
First, you’ll need to go into your personal album on Pokemon Snap and save your photos to your Switch. Then, from your Switch’s photo album, get those photos off your Switch, whether you’re posting to SNS or sending them to your phone.
Step 2: Send Your Photos to the Print Service
Access the dedicated site for the Lawson Print service here. You can do this from PC or a smartphone, whatever works for you.
Follow the steps below to set up & send off your photos:
It’s important to note for sticker sheets that there is a limit to how many photos you can actually use. If you upload too many, the website will only take the first ones you uploaded, up to the limit for the sheet you selected.
For example: for a 9-sticker sheet, you can only have 3 photos, with 3 stickers each.
Optional Step: Find a Lawson
This sounds easy if you live in Japan, but it turns out not all Lawson stores have the updated print machine that supports Pokemon Snap printing. The first shop I went to, closest to me, has an older printer, so I had to find another.
You can find stores with the printer you’ll need at this link.
Step 3: Print at Lawson
All you need to print is your code and some coins. Head to Lawson and let’s get started!
When you confirm your print job, you’ll need to go ahead and put your money into the machine. It takes it a minute to print, then your photos are dispensed into the dropbox below the screen (not from the printer side of the machine).
Here are my results!
The sticker sheets are printed on unperforated paper so you’ll have to cut them yourself.
I have no idea what I’m going to do with these yet, but I had to have the experience for nostalgia’s sake.
If you’re playing the New Pokemon Snap, I’d love to see your favorite photos — link ’em in the comments! And don’t forget to check out HLJ for all your Pokemon figure, plushie, & collectible needs!