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LONG BLOG

A Look at Video Game Ads of the Past: Pokémon

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Pokemon Intro

Hello and welcome back to another installment of retro game ads. I was excited to put this segment together, as Pokémon was such a big part of my childhood. While I’ve separated other entries based on consoles, this segment will be unique in that it focuses on a single property through the years. So, in this segment, you’ll find ads from 1998 through around 2005 for the Pokémon franchise, though much of it focuses on the earlier generations.


As popular as Pokémon was in the late 90’s, I found many ads unrelated to the actual games. These ads instead focused on merchandise, films, and, of course, Pokémon cards. Looking back, it was crazy just how quickly Pokémon grew into a juggernaut franchise. I flipped through the issue of Nintendo Power that introduced the franchise and it was amusing reading how the basic aspects of the game were explained for the first time. Today, we know all about Pokémon, how evolutions and types work and how to create the perfect teams. Yet, it all had to be explained at some point. I hope you enjoy this blast from the past.

 

Games

Pokemon Player's Guide

Fat Pikachu is best Pikachu.

 

Pokemon Yellow

That's what Pokémon is all about: adventure and exploration.

 

Trading Card Game

Though I collected Pokémon cards as a kid, I had no idea how the game worked. The cards looked cool, though.

 

Pokemon Stadium

Sign me up.

 

Gold/Silver

Sorry about the neck, Lugia.

 

Pokemon Crystal

 

Ruby/Sapphire

An interesting ad campaign catered around trainers that look like their Pokémon. I especially like the Don Knotts-esque guy in the bottom left. So, if you were a Pokémon trainer, which Pokémon would you resemble?

 

Pokemon Pinball

I'm not big into pinball games, but I love the art style used here.

 

Fire Red/Leaf Green

Did anyone here take part in one of these bundles back then?

 

Pokemon Emerald

I love the subtle green color used here. Plus, I love ads like this. Mysteries abound in an unknown land where new challenges arise. Who wouldn't go?

 

Pokemon Colosseum

I know that sign on the right is supposed to be partially covered by the one in front, but that is some weird text formatting. Is there something hidden there, or is it just awkward white space?

 

Pokemon Dash

This one seriously freaked me out when I was younger. How did that happen? How painful must that have been? The line down the middle just makes it worse; it looks like undoing the laces would make some gross wound open up. Who thought this was a good idea?

 

Cards

Trading Card Contest

That looks like a dream come true, if for nothing more than the art. If Nintendo ever released an official artbook of early Pokémon artwork, I would buy it in an instant.

 

Toy Wiz

Wow, this screams 'late 90's', at least how I remember it. Be sure to get all the new Beanie Babies; they're sure to be valuable collector's items. That was also when I was first obsessed with Dragon Ball Z as a kid. I couldn't get enough of it. Also, you can get all this stuff "On-Line"? A dream come true.

 

Fire Red/ Leaf Green

 

Pokemon Emerald

 

Deoxys

 

The Secret Within

 

Team Rocket

Prepare for trouble and make it double.

 

Delta Species

 

Merchandise 

2.B.A. Master

This is absolutely beautiful. I found a copy at a Goodwill a few years back, but was crushed to find the case empty. Gotta have that PokéRap.

 

Best Buy

One of everything, please.

 

Poke Mania

I think you meant to say "Pika Pika-Pi."

 

Burger King

I asked my parents to go to Burger King a ton when this promotion was going on. I still have a bunch of these toys in a box somewhere. I think I have all of the gold plate Pokémon cards as well.

 

Burger King

I think I have the two on the bottom left. Looking at all the others, I'm a little jealous. Mine just sort of shook around, while the others lit up and made noise. Off to eBay, I guess.

 

Marbles

 

Marbles

 

Dog Tags

Proof there was Pokémon everything back then.

 

Viz

Electric Pikachu Boogaloo. That sounds amazing. Hey, I'd buy it based on the title alone.

 

Pokemon Movie

I still have the cards they handed out in the movie theater for this. They were a Mew and a Mewtwo, I think.

 

Pokemon Movie 3

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About Bardleyone of us since 2:51 PM on 09.29.2014

Hi all, I'm Bardley.

I've been gaming ever since I was a kid, starting with the Nintendo 64 and Game Boy, both of which I still own and use. In the past few years, I've really enjoyed getting into retro game collecting. It's a blast playing games that were made before my time or that I have missed over the years. I have stuff from the Magnavox Odyssey 2 up to modern systems and enjoy them all.

It's incredible just how much video games have changed and advanced in the decades since their inception; I can't wait to see where games go from here.

If you'd like to know more about me, check out my introductory blog.