Pokemon Popularity

Friday, November 12th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The Pokemon fad has arrived. The multi-billion dollar phenomenon has local movie theaters and trading card shops filled to capacity with kids and parents. There's been a steady stream of kids and parents coming to see the Pokemon movie at the AMC Theatres in Tulsa. If you're over 15 and don't know what Pokemon is, you're not alone. The fad over these little monsters started in Japan as a handheld video game and exploded into trading cards, toys and one of the top rated kids shows on television. Most people say Pokemon is just another fad, but others say it's more than that. These little monsters may be tiny, but they've captured a worldwide audience. Pokemon is everywhere, even rivaling some of America's famous baseball giants with their own trading cards. A clerk at a local store says "kids, they love it and they'll bug their parents until they get it." There's hundreds of trading cards, some more valuable than others. They're used for trading and to play games. The clerk continues "it's kind of like chess in a way where you have to build up your deck." And just how much will a nice pile of cards cost you? "Probably anywhere from $30 to $60 to get going." It's costing some kids more than cash. In New York this week, one boy was stabbed by a fellow collector for his cards. Some parents aren't so happy about this latest rage. They're concerned that trading the cards teaches kids to gamble and some don't like the spells that are supposedly cast on the cards. One for instance tells kids that if they collect enough of them, they can cause lightning to strike. A local father says "as a father I just don't have a real good feeling about pokemon they stand for pocket monster that's the real long name on it." But other parents say it's just another trend and the trading cards may actually teach kids. Bill Jones says "I think it serves some purposes memorizing cards and learning things it has some good qualities, but also tends to monopolize their time so you have to watch that." Like it or not, Pokemon is drawing in millions of dollars. One kid told me tonight that it was the best movie he'd ever seen. Pokemon can be found in all kinds of things from fruit roll-ups to clothing lines. It's certainly has taken over.