Over 20 years ago, a sub-cultural hit was born. Either you’ve heard of Pokémon or you’ve seen the cutesy small yellow creature with a lightning tail, a.k.a Pikachu. The trading card game, for the first time, has hit me and my house. And I’m playing like it’s 1999!
Late to the game
In the mid-90’s, two things happened: I graduated high school, and Pokémon began to appear.1 The timing worked out to where I missed being swept up into the popular trading card game. Even though I had heard about it and knew some people who were really into it, Pokémon escaped me…for about 24 years.
Fast forward to 2019. What took so long for the Pokémon bug to bite? Was it really just a matter of time?
The short answer is the recent Pokémon movie, Detective Pikachu, sparked interest in my kids, which led to them wanting and buying plush animal versions of their favorite cinema inspired Pokémon.
I’ve not (yet) watched the movie myself, but its cute-ish creatures seemed to make my 5 boys into new fans. How’s that for marketing the franchise?
Since my sons expressed interest in Pokémon, their Papa surprised them with packs of Pokémon TCG (trading card game) cards. Life hasn’t been quite the same since.
Trading was the game
Now let me back up a few years. My family has collected trading cards before, thanks to Star Wars.
Not long ago in our own galaxy, starting with Episode VII, we bought trading cards based on the movie; it was a lot of fun! But unlike Pokémon, there was no game playing aspect. Star Wars cards were just cool! We enjoyed seeing who got their favorite character, weapon, or vehicle. Then we’d try to find the rare versions of it called, “Parallels.” Plus there were special types of cards with fancy art and graphics!
I remember more than once, while standing in the store aisle browsing all the many card sets for sale next to the Star Wars cards, I looked at the Pokémon section and thought to myself that someday my kids would probably get into that. In fact, I considered buying some to try out with them and see what might come of it.
A family trade-n-game night
Even though I wasn’t the one to end up introducing Pokémon to my kids, it’s not surprising that Pokémon still found their way into my household.
With my memories of the Poke-phenomenon from the past, I wondered, could I now look into it for myself? But I was still reluctant because the TCG just seemed like too big of a bite to chew on; there’s so much to it! This is where my astute (and ever-lovely) wife comes into play. Pun totally intended.
My smarter-half looked into the Pokémon TCG out of her own curiosity but also to help my sons grasp the gargantuan thing that is the trading card game. To give you an idea, there are: series, expansions, element types, Pokémon types, card types, deck types, sub-types, special cards, convoluted card rarity, evolves, promos, collectors’ sets, and more!
Since my wife was drawn into the TCG, like my kids, I was drawn in too. Slowly, my 3 pound brain gnawed on aspects of the Pokémon TCG. My knowledge and understanding of it grew, and now Pokémon is a thing for me. Maybe a fad, but definitely something. Let’s call it a Pokephase. I’ve been so busy with it that I’m finding it hard to carve out time for blogging! This is getting serious.
Just getting started
I’ve got some basic knowledge of Pokémon now. And like the creatures, I’m evolving from Basic to Stage 1 and then 2 as my experience with the TCG grows.
I’d like to write another post soon about the game itself, maybe geek out on my current strategy and favorite Pokémon.
Have you ever caught Pokémon or been caught up in it? What series were you into? Comment below or message me. Thanks for reading!
- Me, class of ‘95, and I think the Pokémon Trading Card Game debuted in 1996. ↩