Pokémon was a big thing for me as a kid. I had all of the games, t-shirts, plushies, a ton of the cards, and I can’t even tell you how many allowances I spent on those Tomy Pokémon figures. I even went to some of the Pokémon league meetings that Toys R Us had. It was a great way to meet new friends and socialize with kids of all different ages.
When I was 8 we moved into a new house, and I didn’t know anyone. I was sitting on my front porch one day going through my Pokémon cards with my brother, when the kid across the street strolled over. He was also a Pokémon fan and wanted to trade cards. He was a year or two younger than me, so I was hoping to get some good ones out of him ;) About a week later, him and I were walking around the block with our cards in hand and met 5 or so other kids who also had cards and wanted to battle/trade. I was hyped! That led to some really good friendships and memories.
Another awesomely memorable experience with Pokémon was at my 9th birthday party. I asked my parents to get me a Gameboy Pocket (Red of course, my favorite color). After my friends and I had devoured the cake and ice cream, it was the moment of truth. As I ripped the decorative birthday paper, I noticed a familiar logo, my heart jumped and I began to frantically rip at the paper faster. There it was, a red Gameboy pocket, with a copy of Pokémon Red Version. I was overjoyed to say the least. I remember secretly wanting all of my friends to go home so I could begin my new addiction. It’s a memory I will never forget, and it was the beginning of a long, beautiful relationship. To this day, you can catch me playing the latest Pokémon game on my 3DS. I can’t tell you much about the newer generations, save for those first 151, they were the best. (Yes I counted Mew). It seems like every time I start a new Pokémon game I always go with the fire types. I can’t tell you why, but I always find them more appealing than the other types. Plus Charizard is a fire type, and he’s totally awesome!
Another fun memory I have is going to the store with my dad. I begged him to buy me a pack of Pokémon cards to add to my collection. He caved, and before we were even out the doors, I had them opened and was shuffling through to see what I’d got. I stopped dead in my tracks and my mouth fell open. My dad thought something was wrong, but I was ecstatic. There in my 10 year old hands, lay a holographic Charizard. The holy grail! A card I had coveted for so long was now mine! It was like opening a Wonka bar and finding the golden ticket. I was the happiest little geek alive that night, and I still have my prized holographic Charizard :)
It’s especially fun watching my 8 year old niece get excited about the games or a pack of cards. It’s a great feeling, seeing something I love being appreciated and played by younger generations.
To some people, collecting and battling pocket monsters is lame or they assume it’s just for kids. But Pokémon is a brand and name that will always be special to me.
So, Happy 20th birthday, Pokémon! Thank you for all of the good times and awesome games! May you always be the very best, like no one ever was! ;)
Favorite Pokémon: Cubone, Charizard, Raichu, Squirtle
Favorite Pokémon game’s: Red Version, Pokémon Stadium, Pokémon Puzzle League, Pokémon Snap, Pokémon Picross