Neon Pokemon Signs
(Source: Pokemon TCG)

What’s Been Announced With #Pokémon25 (So Far)

It's been our destiny for 25 years!
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25 years is an amazing milestone when it comes to the entertainment industry, but as I said before, I feel like Pokémon’s been in my life for longer than two and a half decades. That’s the kind of impact it’s had, in my opinion. It’s one of those franchises that I don’t think about all the time, but lord, as soon as I hear the beginning beats of that opening theme I drop everything to sing along.

It’s left more of an impression on me than I ever realized.

It’s no surprise that the momentous occasion is coming with all kinds of announcements, merchandise, and… a concert?! I’m gonna try and list everything that’s been announced, so far, whether it’s for this week or later in the year.

  • The Virtual Music Concert

We knew from the 25 Years of Memories video that some kind of music-themed Pokémon something was coming, after all, that video mentioned Katy Pery. However, I’m not sure anyone was expecting an entire concert. And… was that Post Malone? As always, I’m delighted when celebrities reveal that they’ve been loving the same geeky mainstays we’re all fond of.

Here are the details courtesy of their press release:

Taking place on Saturday, February 27—better known as Pokémon Day—the event will be an online party not just for Pokémon fans but for all music fans around the world. It will also serve as the launch activation for the franchise’s yearlong P25 Music program. The Pokémon Company International has teamed up with Universal Music Group to bring this concert and more music surprises to life throughout 2021 as part of P25 MusicP25 Music is a collaboration with some of music’s biggest names to create new songs, styles, and pop-culture moments, all through the lens of Pokémon. Pop icon Katy Perry was announced last month as the program’s premier artist.

“I’ve been a Pokémon fan for a long time, so the opportunity to headline the Pokémon Day concert celebrating 25 years is awesome,” said Post Malone.

The concert will be free to view on the official Pokémon YouTube channel, Pokémon’s official Twitch channel, and on Pokémon’s 25th anniversary website beginning at 7:00 p.m. EST / 4:00 p.m. PST on February 27. Pokémon will unveil more P25 Music details at the end of the concert, so fans will want to tune in for more upcoming collaboration surprises.

So we can expect more musical treats throughout the rest of 2021 and not just this Saturday? Bless this anniversary! The press release continues with more news that’ll be exciting for Pokémon Sword and Shield players:

In anticipation of the concert, The Pokémon Company International will host several celebratory activations across the brand in the week leading up to the virtual music event. In addition to the previously announced Pokémon GO Tour: Kanto event on Saturday, February 20, The Pokémon Company International will distribute a special password on February 25 for players of the Pokémon video game franchise to add a special Pikachu to their Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games. In keeping with the music theme for the year, this Pikachu knows the move Sing, which it can’t ordinarily learn. On February 27, fans can tune in to Pokémon TV, either on the web or by downloading the app, for a curated selection of music-themed episodes of the popular Pokémon animated series as they prepare for the big Pokémon Day concert with Post Malone in the evening. Fans can expect more announcements that week from across the franchise.

To stay up to date on all the latest news as Pokémon celebrates 25 years, fans can visit Pokemon.com/25 and join the conversation online with #Pokemon25.

  • The Shining Fates Expansion Pack

Image of the Shining Fates Elite Trainer Box

Full disclosure: sometimes I forget that Pokémon is more than just the video games and the anime. There’s an entire trading card series, too, because there are multiple ways to get hooked on this series. Announced on the 19th of February, the Shining Fates expansion is available now! According to the press release, “Shining Fates features over 100 Shiny Pokémon on beautiful etched cards, including nine Shiny Pokémon V and seven Shiny Pokémon VMAX, as well as three Amazing Pokémon. Trainers will also be able to bolster their Pokémon TCG decks with fan-favorite competitive cards from the Sword & Shield Series, including more than 30 Pokémon V and Pokémon VMAX to play with.”

Here’s what’s currently available:

Shining Fates Elite Trainer Box: Includes 10 Shining Fates booster packs, one foil promo card featuring Eevee VMAX, and various gameplay accessories

Shining Fates Tins: Includes six Shining Fates booster packs and one foil promo card featuring Shiny Eldegoss V, Shiny Boltund V, or Shiny Cramorant V

Shining Fates Collection—Pikachu V: Includes four Shining Fates booster packs, as well as one foil promo card and one foil oversize promo card featuring Pikachu V

Shining Fates Mad Party Pin Collections: Includes three Shining Fates booster packs; one foil promo card featuring Bunnelby, Dedenne, Galarian Mr. Rime, or Polteageist; and one corresponding pin.

That’s not all. Come March 5th, the Shining Fates Mini Tins and Shining Fates Premium Collections will be released!

  • New Pokémon Snap Release Date: April 30th

For a while, I thought the only way I’d ever seen this game again was via YouTube videos or me asking my parents to send me my old Nintendo 64 that I know they still have because they don’t know how to let go of things from my adolescent days. I still remember going along the trail and taking way too many pictures of my faves, not quite realizing that I needed to conserve my film so I could have a variety.

I never did go to the station at Blockbuster, though. I’m not sure why. I kinda wish I did, lol.

The next generation of Pokémon Snap will be available on the Nintendo Switch, which means I’m either gonna have to clear out some of my Animal Crossing pictures or suck it up and get an SD card. Either way, I have a feeling that Pokémon Snap is about to be that mentally relaxing Nintendo game that I spend my mornings with, similar to how I still water my blue roses in Animal Crossing (now that I FINALLY have them).

  • Levi’s x Pokémon 

Image from the Levi x Pokemon collaboration

Yep. That’s right. Levi’s as in the world-renowned denim brand. Not only are we getting new trading cards and games, we’re getting a new clothing line that features our favorite trainers and, in the case of this Levi’s collaboration, some iconic first-generation Pokémon. Let’s go, Kanto region squad!

“It’s really fun hearing people talk about their love for Pokémon. Everyone has their favorite. So being able to play and create with so many iconic Pokémon and characters was a very special experience. This is a very careful collection who respects and celebrates the world of Pokémon, and it’s been great to mix our icons and story with his own – it’s nostalgic and optimistic, with a bit of escapism.“- Karyn Hillman, Chief Product Officer at Levi Strauss & Co.

Graphic tees. Jeans with Pikachu’s squishable cheeks smacked right on the leg. Misty’s flippin’ SHORTS! Announced back on February 15th, you can check out the collaboration via two different websites:

English

Spanish

“In the year of its 25th anniversary, the Pokémon brand is celebrating its enduring legacy in pop culture with fans around the world. Our friends at Levi’s® have developed a collection of franchise icons that blends the spirit of the A time when Pokémon was first released, with today’s style sensibilities in a way that only Levi’s® could. This has been a tremendously fun collaboration with Levi’s® to look back at the origins of Pokémon and to offer fans who grew up with the brand and today’s trendsetters a way to infuse cute and smart Pokémon nostalgia into their style.” – Amy Sachtleben, Director of Licensing at The Pokémon Company International.

  • The Happy Meal Trading Cards

Pokemon collaboration with McDonalds

It’s not just Levi’s that’s getting in on the celebration, select McDonald’s (as of February 9th) were offering a 25th Anniversary Special Edition McDonald’s booster pack of Pokémon Trading Card Game cards.

Each of these packs includes four exclusive cards. You’ll have the opportunity to collect cards featuring all 24 first partner Pokémon from the many regions in the Pokémon world, plus Pikachu. There are standard and foil versions of each card, and all the cards sport the Pokémon 25th logo. In total, there are 50 cards in this set, so have fun collecting and trading with your friends.

These cool Pokémon TCG cards will only be available in McDonald’s Happy Meals for a limited time, so don’t wait to start your collection.

In a perfect world, this would’ve launched without a hitch, with plenty of cards for everyone and no one buying an absurd amount of Happy Meals just to get a specific card or sell cards at ridiculously marked-up prices online. But we live here, in the real world, and much like the Beanie Baby Happy Meal frenzy from the nineties, it didn’t take long for there to be a shortage and a need for McDonald’s to limit the number of Happy Meals folks were allowed to purchase.

According to this article from Polygon, McDonald’s has addressed the issue:

“With such significant demand for our promotional Pokémon TCG cards, and some fans even going to extreme lengths to get them, we’re working quickly to address shortages and also strongly encouraging restaurants to set a reasonable limit on Happy Meals sold per customer. We want to offer the full Happy Meal experience to as many families as possible, and help ensure everyone is able to get in on the fun!” 

So please try and be reasonable when catching them all.

Note: Speaking of hard-to-find items for the anniversary, a wristwatch was announced via BABY-G (Casio’s line of women’s watches) but it’s currently out-of-stock. You can check out the page here, but I’ll warn you, the watch is REAL cute and I dunno if it’ll ever be restocked.

Happy #Pokémon25, everyone! Here’s to an entire week, nay, an entire YEAR of celebrating!

(Image: Pokémon)

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Author
Image of Briana Lawrence
Briana Lawrence
Briana (she/her - bisexual) is trying her best to cosplay as a responsible adult. Her writing tends to focus on the importance of representation, whether it’s through her multiple book series or the pieces she writes. After de-transforming from her magical girl state, she indulges in an ever-growing pile of manga, marathons too much anime, and dedicates an embarrassing amount of time to her Animal Crossing pumpkin patch (it's Halloween forever, deal with it Nook)