March 28, 2000|By Darryl E. Owens of The Sentinel Staff
Scientists accept continued theorized that if the A-bomb anytime hit, alone cockroaches would survive.
Maybe that approach should be broadcast to accommodate addition able species: Pokemon.
Rumors accept broadcast in assertive abode apropos the annihilation of the Pokemon craze.
Perhaps for a abrupt spell afterwards Pokemon: The First Cine slipped from theaters aftermost fall, Pikachu and his pals biconcave beneath the cultural radar. Indeed, anticipation by some deep-discounting of Pokemon commodity in contempo weeks in food such as Borders Books Music & Cafe – area Pokemon amateur agenda sets were bargain to bargain – the berserk appetence for all things Pokemon has cooled. But the morphing monsters could anon be aback agilely – as if they anytime absolutely went away.
Since January, the Poke-juggernaut has formed out new collectibles, lath amateur and added merchandise. In agreement of units sold, six of the 20 top-selling toys in February were Pokemon-related, according to The NPD Group, which advance consumer-buying patterns.
Burger King, whose Poke-ball toys were abhorrent in the suffocation deaths of two babies in the accomplished four months, relaunched its attack – bare the Poke-balls – to accompany with the March 21 absolution of the Poke-movie on video and DVD.
Yet these affairs are but bald activation compared with the bent bonfire accepted to chase this month’s absolution of Pokemon Stadium d – and a acute add-on accessory that enables the alteration of accomplished Pokemon characters from the handheld Bold Boy arrangement to the TV-ready Nintendo 64 system.
And Monday, the Pokemon Stadium Array – a special-edition set that bundles a Nintendo 64 console, two controllers (one gray and one Atomic purple), the N64 Alteration Pak, a Pokemon Stadium game, a Battle Guide, Pokemon Poster and a Wizards of the Coast Pokemon trading agenda into a accurate $149.95 amalgamation – went on sale.
Dare we acknowledge that several added Pokemon amateur – and 100 new Pokemon characters – will admission this year?
Pokemon characters are pond in your child’s breakfast bowl, accomplishing comestible requirements as chewable vitamins, and cheesing on aggregate from bonbon to calendars.
Says Vince Matthews, editor of the 100% Unofficial Pokemon Trainer’s Guide, a new annual fanzine, Pokemania “is a continued way from dying.”
The Pokemon abnormality in America began in September 1998 with the absolution of the Red and Blue Bold Boy amateur and the admission of the activated TV series. That Poke-magic continues to mesmerize kids goes adjoin the atom of kiddy fads, best of which abort afterwards four years, tops.
But Pokemon isn’t your archetypal fad.
Experts allege of Pokemon synergy – the way movies, commodity and business body beautifully aloft the amount artefact – trading cards and games. They curiosity at how Pokemon has cautiously straddled age groups.
“Nothing kills a fad faster than for a 10-year-old to see his 4-year-old brother affection it,” says Robert Thompson, a Syracuse University assistant and admiral of the International Accepted Culture Association. But “Pokemon has absolutely managed to be still enjoyed with abundant artlessness by a adequately old audience. That’s back you’ve absolutely got the ability of a fad – back a high-school kid not alone address it, but can accept it.”
Its blockage ability additionally owes to the faculty of ability it gives kids. Shy kids wow accompany with their Pokemon prowess, and children, generally overmatched by adults, aback resemble Jeopardy! contestants.
DIGITAL CARDS AND MORE
Poke-worship has translated into big bucks. U.S. retail sales for all Pokemon articles – video games, TV show, movie, toys, merchandise, etc. – accept rung up about $1.2 billion back September 1998. This year, the authorization will accomplish amid $2.8 billion and $3 billion. Back introducing Pokemon in the United States, Nintendo has awash added than 14 actor Pokemon Bold Boy and Nintendo 64 games.
Such success tempts oversaturation. As Poke-stuff abounding stores, so-so admirers gradually absent absorption – approval bins are abounding with Pokemon figurines, pencils, socks, etc. – but determined admirers stood pat. Nevertheless, apprehend Nintendo ability to acknowledgment accidental admirers to the bend and drive Pokemania into 2001.
With so abundant money at stake, the Pokemon Empire consistently responds with new articles to restore the burnish to the aureate Pikachu.
For instance, to mark the one-year ceremony of its trading agenda game, Wizards of the Coast, a accessory of Hasbro Inc. and a arch architect of trading-card games, aftermost ages appear Base Set 2 – a array of 130 cards harvested from the aboriginal Pokemon Base Set and the accepted Jungle amplification set. The new cards are awash with either an advisory CD-ROM ($14.99) or CD-ROM and video ($16.99).
Now comes Pokemon Stadium ($69.95), the additional Pokemon d for Nintendo 64 (N64), which Matthews predicts, “is activity to advertise like hot cakes.”
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