Reliving the Release and Rare Promotional Toys of 'Pokémon: The First Movie'

Celebrating 20 years with hard to “catch” nostalgia.

By
Entertainment
9,814 Hypes 0 Comments

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Pokémon franchise, the first animated film of the series is set to return to select theaters across the U.S. for a limited time. According to the official Pokémon website, select Cinemark theaters will show Pokémon: The First Movie October 29 and November 1. In addition to the first full-length animated feature film which centers around Ash and Pikachu’s encounter with Mewtwo, the short film that accompanied the original theatrical release in 1999, Pikachu’s Vacation, will also be shown.

Directed by Kunihiko Yuyama the English-language adaptation of the first theatrical releases of the franchise were produced by Nintendo and 4Kids Entertainment. Pokémon: The First Movie was an instant commercial success, debuting at number one at the U.S. box office charts and making $10,096,848 USD on its opening day. When the film closed it had generated $85,744,662 USD in North America and $163,644,662 USD worldwide, making the film one of the highest-grossing anime films to this day.

Just as important as the film itself, was the hype and legacy that was built around the release, as it served as the driving force that made the Japanese series what it is now globally. Here is our retrospect of the key promotional releases that accompanied the release of Pokémon: The First Movie.

Burger King Promotional Pokémon Toys

With the initial release of Pokémon: The First Movie fast-food retailer Burger King released a set of toys and a special edition Burger King crown were distributed with kids meals before and during the movie’s run in box offices. Additionally, the promotion used the slogan “Gotta catch ‘em here!,” a play on Pokémon’s slogan “Gotta catch ‘em all!.” In total 59 unique toys were released which included light-ups, keychains, beanbags, spinning tops, launchers, water squirters and talking plushes. All the toys that were released were paired with trading cards, that were made exclusively for the promotion. A set of six 23-karat gold plated cards which came in Poké Balls were also available for purchase at participating Burger King restaurant chains.

Though with the Burger King promotion came quite a scandal, as within the same year the toys were recalled. The recall was due in part to the deaths of two infants who suffocated to death because of the Poké Ball that came with every toy. A $1 million USD recall campaign was initiated by Burger King, which included television advertisements, warnings on take-out bags and tray liners from its restaurants. Additionally, more than 100,000 notices and fliers were sent to health-care providers and sites frequented by Pokémon fans.

Pokémon the First Movie Trading Cards

Trading card manufacturer Topps released a set of Pokémon-themed trading cards that coincided with the first films releaseThe set contained 72 cards in total, with 41 cards featuring scenes from The First Movie, 18 cards featuring scenes from Pikachu’s Vacation, 12 evolution cards and a checklist. Each card also had two foil variants and there were 30 bonus “chase cards,” 12 die-cut embossed evolution cards and 18 sticker cards not included in the checklist. Additionally, a promotional foil card numbered 0 was distributed with the rental of the first film at Blockbuster Video locations.

Pokémon the First Movie Trading Card Game Promo Cards

The Pokémon Company and Wizards of the Coast card manufacturer for the first film released a range of promo cards that were given out at cinemas and obtainable with media connected to the movie. The general Wizard Black Star Promo cards were Pikachu, Electabuzz, Mewtwo and Dragonite, and were given out to those that watched Pokémon: the First Movie in theaters during its initial release. Additionally, a variant Mewtwo card was included with VHS/DVD purchase of the film and a Jigglypuff card was included with every purchase of the film’s soundtrack.

Let us know if you remember these nostalgic pieces of Pokémon history that serves as part of the hype behind the series and legacy.

Read Full Article
Photographer
DaveHere

Join Our Discussions on Discord

The HYPEBEAST Discord Server is a community where conversations on cultural topics can be taken further.

1239 Users Online

What to Read Next

adidas Drops a "Core Black" Edition of the EQT Support ADV
Footwear

adidas Drops a "Core Black" Edition of the EQT Support ADV

The modern addition to the EQT lineup gets one of its cleanest colorways yet.

Vetements' Guram Gvasalia on Why Fake Pieces Aren't Necessarily a Bad Thing
Fashion

Vetements' Guram Gvasalia on Why Fake Pieces Aren't Necessarily a Bad Thing

“People also sometimes take the industry too seriously.”

PornHub Says "Six Seconds Is More Than Enough," Offers to Buy Vine From Twitter
Tech

PornHub Says "Six Seconds Is More Than Enough," Offers to Buy Vine From Twitter

Giphy has another solution too.


Read the First Chapter of DJ Khaled’s Book, 'The Keys'
Entertainment

Read the First Chapter of DJ Khaled’s Book, 'The Keys'

“Just remember I’ve gone through all of it and triumphed.”

Stüssy's 2016 Holiday Drop Includes Bomber Jackets, Button-Down Shirts & Beanies
Fashion

Stüssy's 2016 Holiday Drop Includes Bomber Jackets, Button-Down Shirts & Beanies

Satin bomber jackets are the stand out item of this Holiday release.

adidas Football Celebrates Halloween with the "Unearthed" Collection
Footwear

adidas Football Celebrates Halloween with the "Unearthed" Collection

Glow in the dark.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. In adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.