Pokémon have taken over my life, from games to cards to toys

Promotional frame from Pokemon The Arceus Chronicles with children and their monsters.

Image: pokemon company

When I’m in my 40s, my life is so recent Pokémon take over. After falling down Pokémon GO hole in 2020and then chronicle the slow takeover of my free timeI have since found myself basic Pokémon GO correspondent Kotaku. And now it’s like it never happened enough, I finally discovered TCG. RIP my bank balance. Today seems like a good day to chat with you about everything that happened.

I was definitely not the right age for Pokemon. In 1997, I had just failed the exams that we British students take when entering university, and was having a hard time retaking the same subjects that I did not understand. In 1998, I began a much less ambitious (and ultimately terrible) university course. I was a student, just starting my writing career, making out with girls and playing pool instead of going to lectures. Pokémon were happening all around me, but I was completely unaware of it.

If I were ten years younger or ten years older, I would get it. But at the age of 19, I fell into the gap between the pillows. I remember looking at one of the mainstream games, probably the GBA, a few years later and just being baffled. You were some random kid and then you were sent to some tall grass and these birds and insects kept attacking you for no reason and yes I was ready. Now I had no backstory, no foundation, and of course no idea of the seething world from which it all arose. And then I never caught up.

Two years ago I could almost tell you name “Pikachu”. Since August 2020, I have been taking a course of study that has certainly surpassed that weak attempt at university over 20 years ago. And while I certainly don’t have the slightest bit of experience necessary to boast of deep knowledge of the subject (I say no exams please), I found myself deeply in love with all this nonsense. So much so that today is mine beautiful A new Snorlax cap has arrived, some Mantine and Snorlax cards, and a pack of Vivid Voltage, which I’m about to open before this article is written. um, and this after Friday when my boy and I have spent over $200 on various Boxes and bags TCG to celebrate a recent personal event.

A large collection of different boxes and decks of Pokemon TCG cards.

A photo: Kotaku

My younger self annoys me, but I don’t blame him. Pokemon undeniably childish for an older teenager, all the cutesy cartoons and TV anime that mostly communicates with squeaks. For me, from my brief glances, it was indistinguishable from, say, wuzzlesand indeed this is fair enough. But if I just kept playing the game I was trying, I could get past that initial JRPG, which meant I also never managed to find love for last fantasy or almost something like that.

I’m trying to play catch up right now. now i’m playing Pokemon FireRedthinking that a good compromise for loved ones surviving the first game without demanding, I put up with unnecessary anachronism. And I’m absolutely enamored with the trading card game with my exthe best time to discover it is only a week after The World Cup took place in an hour –as well as-a-half of where I live.

The card business started like everyone else Pokémon in my life through my son. He’s almost eight now, but he was five when it all started, and I’m so glad it came into his life at such a beautiful moment. Where he flutters through the whimslego ninjago for a hot minute, then a brief obsession mine craftand prolonged flirting with How to Train Your Dragon…), Pokemon is maintained throughout. It somehow manages to escape his mayfly attention span and is like a living encyclopedia for the franchise.

(The other day someone asked us both about Pokémon, and Toby told them, “I was in this for Indeed for a long time, most of my life,” and I said, “I just started doing this in the last couple of years,” before I realized we were both talking about the same time period.)

I think the first cards entered our lives through Pokemon a magazine that often gives out a couple of decks of three cards taped to the cover. This is how I learned since free kick heroin drug dealer offers somebody. Then we discovered that the local supermarket rarely sells the strange test strip blisters (that I know what they’re called amazes me), and even rarer the tin can. We fed his habit.


Around the same time, YouTube Kids offered him some videos of an absolutely wonderful team in (very sadly ended) POkemon Evolutionaries. Them Providing a video of the packages being opened completely hypnotized him, which at first caused my confusion and contempt, before the hypnosis worked for me as well.

Then we discovered a wonderful positive and inspiring YouTube channel. RealBreakNatewith his kid-friendly collection of jokes and frequent outbursts about the importance of appreciating yourself in between frankly disturbing conversations with two oversized plush Psyducks.

The only downside to these fun, holiday videos is the sheer amount of cards they go through and, in turn, the inevitable devaluing non-rare cards, even if they feature great artwork or even very well-suited for use in a combat deck. No one who is paid to open these cards or receives them as promotional materials can keep up with the pace and volume. Don’t tell him, but I bought Toby his own Lost Origins booster box for his birthday next month.crazy 36 packs with 10 cards each and the inevitable offer of some exciting raffles – but even that, ironically, will seem somewhat limited compared to the volumes viewed on YouTube each time. day.


Our wonderful friend gave me huge container filled with previously opened Pokemon cards from his own children years with the game. Of course, without everything of value, and mostly from before the era of rainbow rares and gold secret rares, I deftly stacked these cards in stacks of 10, each with a reversed holographic image and a rare in each, and delivered them carefully to my boy. also by month. He desperately wants to know where they are kept. They’re in an orange container on the top shelf in my office! He will never read this! Hahahaha! But, you know, it’s not as exciting as opening a foil package yourself.

But then we found Pokémon TCG Online! The latest aspect of our ever-growing collection of ways Pokémon are invading our lives, I finally figured out what all those code cards were really for. You get an app for a tablet or PC (but, oddly enough, not for a phone), then you scan those QR codes, and for each card, you have a whole other digital package to open! It’s not the same, but, you know, it’s methadone.

The task was executed just as well as TKGO maybe he has the worst matchmaking. We had the starter cards he gives and a few code cards from matching packs we bought, but pretty much everyone we played with was armed with decks that were almost entirely Vs or better. We were beaten in almost every game, and even after I unlocked the best cards by persevering through the Trainer Challenge AI mode, it wasn’t a fun time for a seven year old who struggles with losing at the best of times. I’m puzzled why there isn’t a better system to pair an obviously very weak deck with someone who plays similarly.

And then I remembered that orange container. There were also code cards! I honestly had no idea what they were when I first saw them, assuming they were just some kind of advertisement.superfluous, and I was very close to throwing them away. Luckily something stopped me and there we seventy code cards. 70! My God, what’s the difference. Of these, perhaps 50 were for full packs, and he seemed to have found the keys to the candy store. We’ve been pulling epic card after epic card, and now we have a collection of decks who can easily hold them in most situations (except Team-Ups, our constant bane).

Me and my Snorlax and shelves full of stuff.

A photo: Kotaku

Later this week my first play mat arrived. Of course, this is the theme of Snorlax. Every morning I drink coffee from my huge Charizard mug. There is Pokémon on my pillowcases. He is completely captured. At the age of 44, 25 years late, I finally figured it out.

Oh, and that Vivid Voltage package. Let’s watch. Pack your trick, four to the bottom, and let’s go. Lightning Energy, Krokorok, Excadrill, Bea, Sidot, Fanpy, Shuppet, Poochyena, Voltorb, reverse hologram Twilight and… Whemsicott, non-holographic rare. Well. There are ten more packs from other bands in the bag behind me.

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