When it was released in 1996, Pokemon made children's fanatics. Desperate to catch them all (as the slogan comes out), they will wait for hours, play the exaggerated school ("Pokoe" obviously), fight, steal and bankrupt their parents. Demolished schools banned trading cards; nervous parents flared the flames of moral panic.
In November 1999, when the phenomenon reached its peak, Pokemon praised the cover of Time magazine; the accompanying feature describes Pokémania, the fanaticism inspired by the game, as a "multimedia and interactive barrage as no one in front of it", and a less flattering Patrice Patent Scheme. Finally – at least outside of Asia – Pokémon, like most children's days, disappeared from the mainstream.
"When I started my website in 2003, Pokemon was dead," said 30-year-old John Saagian, chief editor of fans pokebeach.com. "People in the schools did not talk about it and they scoffed at me and the few other fans who once expressed any interest in it."
However, Pokémon somehow continued to hold a dedicated fan; enough to see that it is estimated to be the biggest earning franchise of all time. Now, with the release of Detective Pikachu, starring Ryan Reynolds, this month, the franchisee got its first action movie. Not only is it expected to be a hit at the box office (and potentially the most successful movie based on a video game ever), early reactions suggest that it is cleverly positioned to appeal to both heavy fans and those who do not know their Squirtles from their Sogli. The scene is set for Pokémania to return.
Unsurprisingly, Pokemon delivered Bill Nade in the 1990s. The 69-year-old actor was, according to his own admission, "generally disqualified" by Pokémon. In fact, when he assumed the role of an anthropologist and entrepreneur Howard Clifford in Detective Picacho, he says: "You could write what I knew about Pokemon on the needle head." But his participation in the film demonstrates Pokémon's softening charm and curious traction: he fell in love and now he truly joined Pokéffand.
"I made an accident on Pokem's evening and bought every book available, including the deep impressive Poetdex," says Naysi, referring to the encyclopedia Pokemon. "I love the collection. When I turn to that, I'll take it down [Pokémon Go] apartment and go to Strasbourg. Someone told me that they went hunting Pokémon in Strasbourg, which gave me an impression. "
Although he has since split with his beloved Poekdex (donated to a little boy in Victoria, British Columbia), Nigga is excited about many of the extremely rare items of Pokémon, including the limited edition of Picasso ("The Pikachu who can resist! ") was presented to the CEO of Pokémon.
He even brought large portions of Pokémon to decorate his house. His character had a court office with "the old walls of Pokémon, decorated in ancient stones, or at least considering the appearance of it," he says. "I now own them, they are absolutely huge, they weigh a ton, they are in my basement at the moment, because I have to find a wall strong enough to keep them."
Like most fans, Nigga has her own favorite Pokémon. "The Ancient Move was probably my top, greatest favorite, because he was just magnificent and he was the first … He was classy and powerful."
Pokemon's creator is a video game developer Satoshi Tajiri. His vision was simple: players will explore the fictional Kanto region for catching, training, and fighting 151 creatures called Pokemon, including the franchise mascot, Picacho. The games had a heavy emphasis on collecting (TAGRI collected insects as a boy) and trading (it was impossible to catch everyone without being traded with peers).
He started the Nintendo game in 1990, and six years later, later on February 27, 1996, Pokemon Red and Green were released in Japan for the hand-held Game Boy. When the games made their international debut as Pokemon Red and Blue in the autumn of 1998, they coincided with the launch of trading cards, animated series and feature animated film.
Since then, the universe has expanded. Each new "generation" of Pokémon is marked by the release of a new video game and more creatures; the current total is 807 which covers seven generations. There are more than 100 additional video games, an animated series with more than 1,000 episodes, 21 movies with feature films, 11,000 plus trading cards and countless action pieces, soft toys and comics.
Pokémon fever has emerged and flowed over the past two decades, but this year again increases. Pokemon Go, the phenomenally successful application for augmented reality from 2016 that watched players risk their lives, was still the fourth mobile game with the highest earnings in March 2019 (Niantic developers claim that the application has been downloaded 850 million times). While two games released in November last year, Let's go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee, so far have sold a combined 10.63 million units. The next video game installments – Pokemon Sword and Shield – come in November, introducing it into the eighth generation. And fans can not wait.
It's everywhere in pop culture: last month was Pikachu's party at Coachella, and Jigglypuff-inspired clothes appeared on the fashion runway in Milan's fashion week. The stars also acknowledged their love: Ariana Grande discovered a new tattoo from her favorite Pokemon, Evi; Rachel Brosnanhan told Jimmy Kimmel that he is the chief teacher of Pokemon Level 37; and "Tan France on the Quir eye" has taken them to wear boots to Pikachu. It's fair to say that 2019 is shaping to be the year of Pikachu.
"Whenever a new generation of games comes out, it's like a huge wave," says Paul Franz, editor of pokemon funky pokeyungle.net. "We have the Sword and Shield later this year, and the interest in the fantasy will be peak for a bit. I feel like the cycles go two to three years, so I think this will be a high point."
"I was kidding some time in 2019 to be the new 2016, which was the new 1999," said 32-year-old Joe Merrick, a freelance writer and regular webmaster at serebii.net, a site he started at 13, which he says that he is the biggest non-Vickie Pokemon freak online. The traffic on his website is as high as it was from 2016, and Merrick believes this year could be the biggest ever for the franchise.
"There is a common effort to appeal to the original fans," he says. "Nostalgia is definitely an element. You have people in the late 20s and early 30s who loved Pokemon when they grow up." They now have children and say, "I remember this, we need to get our children into it." It's definitely good marketing tactics ".
To join the 90's nostalgia, Pokemon effectively "restarts" the original 151 Pokémon and announced a new line of plush Toy pokemon, along with glossy refinements from the original games.
The last big year, of course, was 2016, when Pokemon was released. Twenty-eight-year-old Marty Bennett, freelance writer and content creator of Pokémon on YouTube and Twitch, remembers the sudden excitement of everyone else who joined his long-term passion. "I will go to work and I will get five people who bombed me as soon as I entered the door:" Marty, what is all this Pokemon, is not it? " [It was] for the first time in six years I've worked there that they once showed interest. "
Almost overnight, the stunning popularity of the application made it inevitable in pop culture. It was the 90s backwards, but with adults on the iPhone, rather than children at Game Boys. Now the softness, the children's universe felt mature and truly relevant. For 29-year-old YouTuber, Reversal, it was a profitable milestone. The inverted grew up playing the original games in the Netherlands and emerged from them as a teenager; Pokémania hit him again with Pokemon Go. To say that he takes seriously Pokemon Go is an understatement: he traveled around the world to try to catch everyone (his next trip is in Singapore for an event called the Safari Zone). He reported that he spent more than 4,500 kilometers of the application, caught 150,000 plus Pokémon and won over 10,000 battles. When his friend noticed a close Girafarig – Pokemon that he avoided for a long time – The reverse immediately left his house. It was 3 o'clock. "Texture me:" Here it is, "says Reversal." I went out and lived. I searched for about an hour. "
Prior to Pokemon Go, the YouTube channel of Reversal had more than 100,000 subscribers and he focused on mobile games such as Boom Beach and Clash Royale. When they turned to Pokemon, they were not all thrilled. "I have alienated the whole fan base," he says. However, his audience soon grew to three times its size. The reverse is protected by money, but its channel has more than 337,000 subscribers and says it is much better funded. His most watched video – an eight-minute clip from him that performs rare eggs on Pokémon – has 3.9 million times.
But more traditional elements of the community also attract new, young fans. The competitive scene – where the players fought with their virtual or commercial card Pokémon – flourished both locally and at the annual World Championship of Pokémon (this year in Washington).
Sixteen-year-old Connor Pedersen, based in Sacramento, California, last year was a finalist in the final series of the final handball game. Before the tournaments, he says he spends five hours a day, practicing with his cards (of which he lost the number of 10,000). "I will make a marathon day where I will play 10 hours a day, like two weeks before the tournament," he says.
Pedersen estimates he has received $ 30,000 for gains, and plans to continue for five years. But he says it's not about money. "I play it because I want to win the worlds [Championships], "he says." So I'm so close. It's been three years in a row, where I've been in the top eight, but I could not win. "(He wants to be the best, as no one was).
He is not the only one. James Evans, 15, from New Jersey, was world champion in 2018 for an elderly video game player and played in more than 50 tournaments around the world. This year, as Pedersen, he graduated from the master division, where he competes at the highest level.
"I've been able to fight a few major events and do pretty well in the first year," he says. "Right now, my poker career is pretty good." He estimates that practicing and playing tournaments takes up 40% of his time and – with the help of some very supportive parents – he travels around the world as competitive (he is as far away as Australia). Evans has even an arrangement with his school for extra leisure, as long as he makes up the job.
"I would like to have this as my job," he says. "I remember that my grandfather asked me this question last year. He was like," So, when will you give up this pokemon thing? "And I was really serious and was like," Never! ""
Evans hopes that the renewed interest for Pokémon this year will be beneficial to the competition scene. "We will not only see more people playing the game in general, but I think more people will gravitate towards playing competitive," he says.
There is a sense of justification among the faithful Pokemon. Sahagian from Los Angeles is a fan after the original games were released in the United States. "When I go out and go to the world, I will have some goods like stickers on my car or Pokemon backpack," he says. "Pokemon just means a lot to me. I dedicated my life to bringing together fans together to talk about it."
Sahajiya is no longer feeling alone. "We live in the Marvel films era as the best movies of all time, this is the age of geniuses now," he says. "I think fans are much more willing to show their excitement for the franchise now. If they were previously hiding, they are now more willing to be more open about their love."