Pokémon today announced that 2016 will offer a year-long celebration of the past, present, and future of the 20-year-old brand. First introduced in Japan in 1996 with the video games Pokémon Red and Pokémon Green for the Game Boy handheld system, there have been more than 275 million video games sold worldwide, 21.5 billion trading card game (TCG) cards shipped to 74 countries, and an animated series spanning 18 seasons.
To kick-start the celebration, The Pokémon Company International will air a new commercial during Super Bowl 50 on Sunday, February 7, encouraging fans to Train On. Fans should share their favorite Pokémon memories on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube using the hashtag #Pokemon20. On Pokémon Day, February 27, special events will be held at participating retail locations across the country. More details can be found at Pokemon.com/20. Fans visiting the site throughout the year will find information about monthly Mythical Pokémon distributions, retail events, special products, messages from some of Pokémon’s biggest fans, and the upcoming Pokémon Photo Booth app.
In addition this spring, Pokkén Tournament will release for the Wii U, and Pokémon GO launches later this year. To coincide with Pokémon Day on February 27, Nintendo will also make some of their best-selling Pokémon amiibo available again, at select retailers only. Fans should be on the lookout for Charizard, Jigglypuff, Greninja, and Lucario to join Pikachu at stores nationwide.
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 and Pokémon 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. This 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.
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.
Finally, 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 and Pokémon 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. While you wait for the celebration to commence, check out who we think the best Pokémon additions are for Pokkén Tournament.