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Article Classic: The Pok'emon Fad

The year of 1998 is remembered fondly to me only for one thing. The impact from the beginning of the Pok'emon franchise. It was also my first year of Middle school, and we were treated to a television show, two video games, a line of toys, merchandise, and a collectible card game. Not much of the popularity happened in my neighborhood, but mostly at my school.

After those few weeks of the series' popularity, kids from my school would bring their own Pok'emon stuff to school, but kept them secret from teachers, the faculty staff, the hall monitors, and even the janitors. From time to time When we had bathroom breaks, we would show what Pok'emon stuff we had. Some would bring their Gameboy and show everyone how many Pok'emon they had collected so far, that includes the card game too.

I didn't have much of a deck, as you can see above.

So, with the tv show almost making its next season, everyone at school had a collection of the trading cards, just waiting to be either sold or traded, and they would win special cards by defeating another card game player. It took me some time to catch up on that, but I soon had a decent deck myself. My parents slowly gave me money to buy booster packs, and upon arriving back at school, kids I never talked to would come out of nowhere and would want to trade. Usually in the bathrooms since it was easier to prevent them from getting caught. I have about 80 cards in total at the moment, the ones I previously had were the rare, holographic ones.

And as the year of 1999 was closing doors, We got a chance to see the first-ever Pok'emon film, Mewtwo Strikes Back, in which a genetically cloned Pok'emon goes on a rampage to wage war against humans. As a bonus for paying for a theater admission, a free movie exclusive trading card would be given out to anyone attending the film.

I unfortunately didn't get a chance to go and see it, but I didn't mind it anyway. From what I heard, any kids that were younger than ten year olds were rather uninterested in the movie and would just go in for those cards. Meanwhile I was trying to collect the kids meal toys that were at Burger King, with 151 toys in all, and in different forms.

This was also at the point when the card game was already making its downfall, as schools such as mine were now banning the game from school grounds. However, we still had our ways of trading cards between other people by sneaking them in the cafeteria and passing them from under the table that we were sitting at. I was starting to sulk away from playing the game anyway.

And this, is when everyone I knew no longer even played the trading card game, but just focused on watching the show and still playing the game. Cut to the year 2000, when the U.S. got an official release of Pok'emon Gold and Silver for the Gameboy.

Note that both were actually regular Gameboy carts, as they can be playable on the Super Gameboy

Another hundred Pok'emon creatures were introduced in these follow-up games, and it was the last bit of interest that I'd gotten out of these games, as every Pok'emon game that followed just felt like the same thing, and with the company milking sequels left and right with more and more Pok'emon, making the creature collecting getting boring and tedious to me.

But please note, I'm only referring to those in this article that were around my age range when Pok'emon started, as I was a mere eleven year old at the time. Pok'emon is still popular, but mostly to new generations of children. I, on the other hand, have tipped my hat in playing the games for a few years now. And even though the fad has completely outshone, I'll never forget the popularity that swept around stores and other local places when it happened.

Thanks for reading!
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Retrosc7 Posted on Jan 30, 2013 at 09:06 AM

Pokemon still held its own throughout the '00s and like you said is still popular in the '10s (the games at least are selling well). Once a franchise has maintained a level of fame like Pokemon has for FIFTEEN years, it's not really just a 'fad' anymore. It's closer to being a 'classic' (with the 90s and maybe the early 2000s being the 'golden years') that now has its own place in history with the likes of Mario and other long-lasting franchises.

pikachulover Posted on Jan 14, 2013 at 05:18 PM

When Pokemon came out what really surprised me was that my high school embraced the fad. It was mostly followed by Freshman and Sophomores.

ProphetSword Posted on Dec 30, 2012 at 02:49 PM

I'm not much of a fan of Pokemon, but at least this article helped me understand some of the fad. That's something, at least.

Vaporman87 Posted on Dec 20, 2012 at 04:25 PM

Pokemon was a fad that took place long after I had graduated high school, so things of this nature did not appeal to me. About the closest thing to it during my years in school was Dungeons

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