A giant Pikachu soft toy has been taken from Timezone Rotorua in what's been described as a "bizarre" theft.
Motion Entertainment marketing manager Narelle Brown said there would "definitely be some disappointed kids out there".
Brown said the 90cm long plush toy was the biggest ticket item, costing 15,000 tickets for eager young punters to work towards.
Yesterday afternoon, staff noticed Pikachu's usual spot was vacant and realised he had been taken after checking the system to see if someone had claimed him.
On reviewing the security footage, a man was seen walking behind the counter where all the stock was displayed which was designed for staff to have easy access in and out.
The footage also showed that the alleged thief "performed an inappropriate act" on the toy in the Timezone area, in what Brown described as air-humping the toy.
She said she was "shocked" and it was "bizarre" and they "did not condone this inappropriate behaviour as it was a whānau-orientated environment".
She said the one-of-a-kind "prized possession" was the biggest ticket they've had in a while as the identical toy had been claimed a few weeks ago.
"We already had a number of our guests, all kids, say 'wow that's amazing, we're going to start saving up our tickets to claim the giant Pikachu'".
She said many people carried in and out toys and prizes from redeeming tickets which meant it wasn't unusual for someone to be walking out with goodies.
On social media, she said families had commented saying their children were already saving their tickets to try to win it.
She said it was "really sad" the opportunity for kids to redeem their tickets for the toy had been taken away.
"We are also battling to try and get enough stock in ... we're really gutted."
She said there had been a big response from the community from people who claimed to have seen Pikachu.
A suspected address of where the toy was taken has been made known to staff, but Brown said they were waiting for advice on how to negotiate to get him back.
One person has also come forward saying they would provide witness evidence if it was needed.
Brown said police were informed about it in a "more unofficial way".
"I know our police force spends a lot of time dealing with serious incidents and this is a giant toy, but also, something wrong happened and we want to make it right."
She said they hoped the person would do the right thing and return the toy without the need to get the police involved.
"Let's all do the right thing so things can be enjoyed the way they're supposed to," she said.
"We need to be setting an example for our tamariki and giving them all the good opportunities, that's the only thing really sad about this."
Brown said the toy would not be able to be sold once it was returned, but it would be cleaned if there was no damage and they hoped to use it as a mascot or find another way the toy could still be enjoyed.