There don't seem to be any good Poké Ball replicas out there, which is unfortunate for those of us who grew up loving the games and/or the show. For years, we've been looking for a ball with a few characteristics:
1. The Poké Ball must have detailing accurate to that shown on screen (some leeway is needed here, due to the disparity of detail and sizes shown).
2. The Poké Ball must be made of a high quality material such as plastic or metal.
3. The Poké Ball must open without adding unsightly and un-prototypical external hinges.
I've spent some time getting this right, and I finally feel comfortable revealing what I believe to be the most accurate functional Poké Ball design yet produced.
Here you can see that the black belting and the white detail buttons on the front are present. Sizing on the button was a guess at best, but this is a decent compromise.
Here's a head on view, so you can get an idea of the size. The fact that the whole thing is spherical throws your senses off a bit; the radius of the large black circle here is only slightly less than a third of the radius of the entire ball. Again, the white circles are a best guess, but they're a good compromise between the massive amount of reference available from the show and the games.
This is what's most exciting about this; there are no external hinges on the ball whatsoever. You're looking at a view from the right of the ball; the front of the ball is on the right side of this image. The rear, where the current open-capable offerings have placed their hinges, is clearly hinge free and accurate to the original design.
This is how I did it. Without going into too much detail, the fact is, it's not truly physically possible to have the ball open the way it does in the show. This is a best-fit scenario; the back of the ball cannot be spherical if it is to open as it does onscreen. Clearly, that's not acceptable, so I've developed a new hinge type which allows the ball to open fairly accurately, without cluttering the outside of such an iconic design.
The size of the item is 3" in diameter; the same as a large baseball. I'm still working on a latching mechanism for the front, but this is where the project is at the moment. Note that these are renders, and no prototypes exist at the moment.
So, what do you think? At this point, it's very simple to produce the other balls in the series; I plan on making a Great Ball, Ultra Ball, and Master Ball in the next few days.