2016 marks the twentieth anniversary of Pokémon, and The Pokémon Company announced that it will feature a year-long celebration of the brand’s past, present, and future.
The series was first introduced in Japan back in 1996 with Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green. Since then, it has sold more than 275 million games, 21.5 billion cards, and an animated series currently spanning 18 seasons, making it one of the most successful brands in the world. Check out the 20 year anniversary video below:
As they kick-start the year of celebrations, the Pokémon Company International has revealed that they will be airing a new ad during Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, February 7, encouraging fans to Train On. Fans are also encouraged to share their favorite memories of the series on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube with the hashtag #Pokemon20. Check out more details on the official site.
The site will contain information about monthly Mythical Pokémon distributions, retail events, special products, messages from some of the biggest fans, and even information on the upcoming Pokémon Photo Booth application.
Here’s some of what you can look forward to during the year-long celebration, courtesy of the official press release:
In a fitting tribute to where it all began, Pokémon Red Version, Pokémon Blue Version, and Pokémon Yellow Version will be released as digital downloads on Nintendo eShop for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems on February 27. Pokémon Red Version andPokémon Blue Version will also be included in a New Nintendo 3DS bundle. The New Nintendo 3DS Pokémon 20th Anniversary bundle will come with Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version pre-installed, two unique cover plates featuring artwork from the original Pokémon Red Version and Pokémon Blue Version game boxes and the Pokémon 20th logo, and a download code for an exclusive Nintendo 3DS Pokémon HOME Menu theme. The commemorative New Nintendo 3DS bundle will be available on February 27 at retail locations.
Pokémon TCG fans can celebrate 20 years of Pokémon with the Pokémon TCG: Generations expansion (Pokemon.com/20). This special expansion covers every stage of a Trainer’s journey, from the choice of a first partner Pokémon to the most elite of Trainer battles. Featuring Pikachu, Snorlax, Ninetales-EX, Jolteon-EX, plus Mega Charizard-EX, Mega Blastoise-EX, and Mega Venusaur-EX, the Generations expansion will be available in February. Generations booster packs will be available within specially labeled and designed Pokémon TCG products released as part of the Pokémon 20th celebration, starting with the first Pokémon TCG: Mythical Pokémon Collection coming in late February. A total of 11 Mythical Pokémon Collections will be released throughout 2016, each containing two Generations booster packs. In addition, four Pokémon TCG: Red & Blue Collections focused on the original superstars of the Pokémon world, each containing four Generations booster packs, will be released in 2016.
The celebration continues with special retail events. Four Mythical Pokémon video game character distribution events will take place at participating GameStop locations throughout 2016, with one being distributed each quarter. Fans will need to have Pokémon Omega Ruby, Pokémon Alpha Sapphire, Pokémon X, or Pokémon Y, and a system from the Nintendo 3DS family to receive Mew, Darkrai, Arceus, and Genesect.
On Pokémon Day, February 27, at participating Toys“R”Us locations, fans can receive special foil Pokémon TCG cards featuring Pikachu and Magikarp from the Generations expansion, a Pokémon activity book, and a poster of the original 151 Pokémon, while supplies last. Toys“R”Us will also have an exclusive Generations-themed folio available for purchase to collect the new expansion.
Beginning in January and continuing throughout the year, 12 full-length Pokémon feature films will be available for digital download from iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon. Among the releases will be digitally remastered versions of Pokémon: The First Movie andPokémon the Movie 2000 and Pokémon 3: The Movie. In addition, Pokémon TV, available on Pokemon.com, Roku, Chromecast, and Amazon Fire platforms, will feature one film title per month to align with other Pokémon brand activities. The first three Pokémon films will also be available in both DVD and Blu-ray formatted bundles from licensee Viz Media.
A 48-page interactive digital reader will accompany Pokémon: The First Movie and can be viewed on any device that supports iBooks, including Mac, iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.
Fans can celebrate 20 years of Pokémon in style with new apparel, accessories, and souvenirs available only at PokemonCenter.com. They can find everything from a special Pokémon 20th baseball cap by New Era to a commemorative pin and lanyard set. Pokémon 20th TCG accessories, such as card sleeves, deck boxes, playmats, and much more, are available for fans of all ages. Limited-edition Pokémon 20th figures and plush items from TOMY International, Pokémon’s master toy licensee, will also be available at participating retail locations.
What are some of your favorite memories of Pokémon?