The year of 1998. I remember it fondly. My first year of Middle School had started, and already Pok'emon had swept the nation. Two video games, a tv show, a line of toys, merchandise, and, a collectible card game. As it all began, kids everywhere had bought everything Pok'emon. It's popularity soon grew in only a few weeks. But not much happened in my neighborhood, at my school however, that's where everything happened.
Our school. Composed of classes inside the school and in trailers.
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.
The Trading Card Game
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.
I'm afraid I couldn't show you guys the full deck of my cards, mainly because my parents' digital camera is off limits to anything meaningless i add to the camera.
The first movie
With the show already ending in its first season, we would soon get to see the US version of the movie, soon to be in theatres around the states. The Burger King toys were selling like hotcakes, and the theatres were packed. Sadly, I never got to see it when it hit there, but my friends gave me info on the whole thing. The movie, while a little hard to understand at first, was about the story of mewtwo, and its hatred for humanity. Now, as an extra to the movie, a free limited edition Pok'emon card would be given out to any participants who saw the movie. Any kids who were younger than an 8 year old was uninterested in the movie and would just be in it for the cards. Some went to go see the movie again and again to get more of the cards.
Pokemon Red and Blue
Both games were a big thing back when they first came out, and for the price of $30 a pop. This is the part of the series that stood out at my school. I never bought the new color game boys when they were around, but still had the old fashioned gray one with green screen. When entering the bathrooms at my school, pok'emon trades were frequently offered whoever brought their games in. The only one I ever remember getting was a Pinsir.
The slow downfall of the card game
As 2000 was coming near, kids everywhere in school were soon getting tired of the card game. It was fun for awhile, but after the next couple of months they just stopped playing, but continued collecting cards. It wasn't just the fact that the game was challenging, but it seemed that whatever cards each kid had, they had an unbalanced deck compared to their opponents. And before they stopped playing however, the school board had made a new rule violating any card playing at lunch, which would happen from time to time. But even with the game playing at an end, kids still traded, so they would grab any cards they had in their pockets, and hand them over under the table, pretty easy.
So, what now?
With the series still going strong, the games are still being made, the tv show is still with us, and the card game, being ignored. So, even though we're not interested in the series as much as we used to, it's still interesting to see where it all started to us all. I still play the video games even if they haven't changed much, but it's still as much fun as it was collecting all those little monsters as it was back in the day. With thousands of fans, Pok'emon is still a great franchise to this day. This is the end of my article, and I'll see you all again soon.
Coming article: My autism, my life experience.