I didn’t have “Pokémon 25th anniversary making me starkly aware of my mortality” on my 2021 bingo card, but here we are. The series, which began in 1996 with the Japanese release of Pocket Monsters: Red and Green, has now been around for a quarter century and is beginning its celebration with a rollout of products and promises of what’s to come over the year.
The announcements kicked off properly with the release of a video commemorating the 25 years Pokémon has been around. Opening on a Game Boy playing the original titles, the handheld falls and knocks a Pokéball into motion which then runs through a course with highlights and landmarks from the various regions the series has been to. The course is made up of various figures, plushies, trading cards, and even videogame cartridges from over the years.
Towards the end of the video, we get a tease of a collaboration between Pokémon and Katy Perry, a pairing I couldn’t imagine if I tried as hard as inhumanly possible. A post on the Pokémon website makes reference to even more future collaborations with artists that haven’t been announced, so I’m placing bets here and now on a Migos take on the Pokérap. Just think of all the “Mewtwo!” adlibs we’d miss if this didn’t happen.
Besides this musical collaboration, the Pokémon Company also announced products new and old to celebrate the occasion. They teased, for example, the re-release of a slew of original trading cards as part of their 25th anniversary-themed collections that will be coming through the year.
On the flipside, the Pokémon Center, which is the official Pokémon merch destination, announced they’d begin taking preorders on Jan. 19 for a Pokémon-themed skate deck made in collaboration with Bear Walker, a custom skateboard designer. There will be even more announcements to come.
Finally, they’ll be celebrating and “revisiting” each region in the Pokémon series month by month beginning with the latest, the Galar region from Pokémon Sword and Shield, in March.