2016 is the 20th anniversary of my most influential franchises, one that has continually brought me joy for over half of my life and still shows no sign of letting up. The Pokemon Company has been celebrating “#Pokemon20” since the beginning of the year with various game promotions, special events, and exclusive store merchandise as fans celebrate the nostalgic days of Pokemon while also getting hyped for the next generation of games with Sun/Moon. Being the Pokemon fan that I am, and with Sun/Moon just a few days away, I couldn’t resist doing something special to celebrate my fandom on a personal level. So I put together a scrapbook of all the Pokemon paper goods I’ve collected over the years – pamphlets, stickers, flyers, postcards, bookmarks, CD booklets, VHS covers, TCG badge booklets, and anything else that could fit in a scrapbook…
I did my best to put the scrapbook in chronological order, starting from the late 90s with Red/Blue and Gen 1 up until now, with Gen 7 and Sun/Moon just around the corner. I also didn’t include anything “obvious” like actual Pokemon trading cards, instruction booklets for each game, etc., – I have a few things like this, but I wanted to focus on more unique items that perhaps not everyone has seen. So without further adieu, here’s one fan’s continuing Pokemon journey told through scrapbooking!
Stickers of all the original Red/Blue sprites from the Nintendo Power strategy guide. On the right is my two first badge books from the first Pokemon Trading Card Game leagues I went to back in the late 90s/early 2000s (sadly neither of those stores exist anymore).
Stickers of all the Yellow version sprites and various other Gen 1 stickers.
An old TCG card listing booklet (back when the card game was released by Wizards of the Coast and not The Pokemon Company) as well as exclusive postcards that came with the Southern Islands card collection.
More Southern Islands postcards and a really big promo card (also two stickers of actual trading cards).
When Pokemon Snap and Pokemon Stadium came out on the N64, you were able to print out little sticker photos of the pokemon pictures you took. I did that a lot at my local Blockbuster store. There was also a rare photo booth at a theater where I went to see Pokemon The First Movie and printed out photos of my then 13-year old self with a Pokemon background.
In late 1999 I entered a sweepstakes to win a copy of the Pokemon 2.B.A Master CD…and as that paper said, I actually won! There’s the CD booklet too, along with Team Rocket stickers and a Charmander bookmark.
Pokemon The First Movie VHS cover, CD booklet, and Ancient Mew promo card.
Mewtwo Returns VHS cover along with some First Movie cards from Burger King.
Some of the first Japanese merchandise I bought – a Team Rocket CD and a VHS of random Orange Islands episodes.
Getting into Gen 2 now with the Pokemon The Movie 2000 VHS cover and CD booklet.
In addition to the actual Pokemon Trading Card Game, there were official collectible cards for the Pokemon anime released by Topps in the late 90s/early 2000s. Here are a few packs and checklist cards from that series.
Random Japanese stickers and sticker cards I managed to find at stores in the US.
The 3rd Movie VHS cover and CD booklet (and a little lenticular thing in the lower right that changes from Unown to Pikachu and Pichu).
Japanese and English CD booklets.
And we’re in Gen 3 with the exclusive Jirachi bonus disc that you got when you reserved Pokemon Colosseum on the GameCube. Also the Battle Frontier Pass booklet when you reserved Pokemon Emerald.
A pamphlet celebrating Pokemon’s 10th anniversary and some Gen 4 flyers I got when I went to Japan in 2009.
Diamond/Pearl bookmarks I got at a Pokemon Battle Revolution tournament, and some more flyers from Japan.
More Gen 4 bookmarks and flyers from Japan (one about a Pokemon promotion at Domino’s Pizza).
Flyers about a TCG set featuring Arceus.
Another paper pickup from Japan, some kind of Pokemon promotion going on at various Japan Railway stations.
And now we’ve hit Gen 5 – the booklet on top is from a Pokemon Black/White mall tour I attended in 2011 before the games hit the US. And below are tags from the Tepig, Snivy, and Oshawott plushies I bought there.
In 2012 I briefly got back into the Pokemon Trading Card Game after not playing for nearly 10 years. Here’s some of my early badge books and Play Pokemon! booklet that came with a championship deck I bought.
Into Gen 6 now with more badge books…
…and some more badge books.
And we’ve finally hit the current year! Here’s a Pokemon20 flyer I picked up at my local GameStop, as well as the various code cards they’ve been giving out throughout the year to get special event pokemon like Mew and Arceus in your games.
I attended a small Pokemon event at GameStop a few months ago and picked up this activity book. And the slips below it are from some Japanese Pokemon figures I recently bought.
The pages are getting a bit emptier now as we’re nearing the end…here’s another Pokemon20 flyer and a Sun/Moon art card I got from the aforementioned event at GameStop.
Two more art cards from that event.
With all the strife and sorrow of the world, time and time again Pokemon has continued to be a shining light of certainty for me in all the times of uncertainty. It’s helped me make life-long friends, learn about myself, find the courage to be who I am, and given me so much happiness when other sources faded away. So thank you, Pokemon. As more years go by, I look forward to filling up the scrapbook! But for now, I’m looking forward to engrossing myself in Sun/Moon this weekend! =D