By Alex Irish / February 27th, 2018
Pokémon Day, February 27th, marks the 22nd anniversary of the Pokémon franchise in Japan. As has become tradition since its 20th anniversary in 2016, The Pokémon Company has put together a number of promotions to mark the occasion.
Pokémon Go is celebrating by issuing a celebratory Pikachu into the wild until February 28th at 4 PM Est. It wears a party hat and has the exclusive move Present. Catching them will give you triple the Stardust.
Having been long available in Japan, the Amazon Alexa and Google Home app Pikachu Talk was released in North America and Europe. In the spirit of 1998’s Hey You Pikachu!, this app lets you ‘talk’ to Pikachu by using any number of voice cues, including “Use Thunderbolt!” and asking him to sing “Happy Birthday”.
On social media, Snapchat has several Pokémon filters for a limited time that feature Bulbasaur, Charmander and Squirtle.
On the merchandise side, the Pokémon Center online shop is offering a special Charizard Gallery Figure DX. It is the first of a special larger sized Gallery Figure line that will continue with new releases in 2018. Dialga and Palkia pins are also available to tie into Pokémon’s Legendary Year promotion.
Finally, the 20th anniversary movie Pokémon: I Choose You! is now avaialble to watch on the Pokémon TV app and the official website for one week. It is a retelling of Ash Ketchum and Pikachu’s early Kanto adventures.
Meanwhile in Japan, the first full trailer for the 21st movie made its debut on the 27th (yesterday in Japan time). Now simply titled Pokémon: Everyone’s Story, it looks to be an ensemble piece with Ash, Pikachu, and a gathering of trainers in Fura City looking to encounter the legendary Lugia. The movie features a radically different art style in collaboration with OLM and WIT Studio, and continues the alternate reality storyline begun by last year’s I Choose You!. No English dub has been announced to date.
The new characters include Lisa and her Eevee, Kagachi and his Sudowoodo, Trito and his Chansey, Hisui with a Togepi, Totodile, Smoochum & Marill and Largo who is protecting a person or Pokémon unknown. The movie launches in Japan on Friday, July 13th and will likely be released in the west this fall, following pattern with the last few movies.