Here's the finished Pikachu:
Yeah... not perfect.... but eh... my son loves him anyway.
The yarn I had started him with was more neon-shaded... but I ran out and couldn't get more... so the new yellow is a bit brighter than the photo would appear... it's a good color. I didn't get the face/head quite right. But I love the ears and the tail. Tail is made in seed stitch with lots of zigs and zags and a bit of darker color at the base. I added stripes to his back with duplicate stitching.
Sadly, he looks a bit more like a pillow than a pikachu... but I can live with it since little 'a' loves him all the same.
Of course, five seconds after he took Pikachu back to his room after he was finished he came back to me asking for a Snorelax... because it 'ought to be easy and really good for cuddling'.
While he ought to be easy enough to make.... I'm not sure I'm ready to sign up for coming up with him from scratch with no pattern... not yet anyway. Maybe. Good news is that his face is pretty straight-forward embroidery - so at least I'd be less likely to mess it up. So, for right now, little 'a' is just going to have to settle for 'let me think about it'.