Sunday, February 13, 2011

Pokemon Convention

Last week, I got an email from a PR Firm telling me about the Pokemon Black and White Tour at Wolfchase Galleria this weekend. I was told that there'd be a free Pokemon movie, kids could play the new games, and that there would be fun and prizes. It sounded like something the monkeys would love enough for me to suck it up and spend a nice, sunny day at the mall. I was right.

We got there a little after 11am, and although I thought it seemed pretty crowded it just got more and more crowded as the day progressed. At the first check in station, we got our free movie tickets and each monkey got a guide book. We were told to go to four more stations and collect stamps. At each station, there was something "cool" going on.

One of the stamp stops was conveniently set up next to a giant merch shack. Suddenly the point of the convention became clear. "You guys are just trying to get us to spend tons of money on merch, right?" I asked one of the Pokemon guides. She giggled and said, "Yep, and it's working." Everywhere I looked I saw kids, and sometimes entire families, in new Pokemon shirts carrying new Pokemon plushes and action figures.


Another stop was at the Game Stop. Here the boys could "catch" a new Pokemon--Celebi. Somehow the monkeys knew to bring their DSi systems with them and their Pokemon games, so that they could do this. Satchel was really cute. He helped Jiro get his and then he even went around and actually talked to some kids he didn't know!


The third station was a huge room with video screens showing a special Pokemon Black & White promo and then inside there were about 50 DSes set up to for the kids to try out the new games.


There was no time limit and I had a moment of panic. "Am I going to have to drag them out of here?" I asked another one of the Pokemon guides. "Pretty much," she said. However, I later learned that there was only one level, or part of a level, loaded so it did eventually get boring. Thankfully, there was no dragging required.

When we left the game cube, each monkey had his choice of a Pokemon Black or White pin. Then there were a few photo ops.



At the final station, each monkey got to spin a prize wheel. They both won three Pokemon patches.


Then Jiro had his picture taken with a REAL Pokemon!


We managed to finish everything by noon-thirty, but our movie tickets were for 2:00pm. Believe me, I tried to get the monkeys to call it a day, but they refused. "This is OUR day," Satchel informed me. So, we went back to Game Stop to look at, but not purchase, games. They did a little more socializing, then we went back to the merch stop. I was somehow convinced to let them each spend $10. I know. I'm weak.

After that Warren called and decided he'd join us for the movie. We went upstairs to wait for him, and then I got "roped" into letting them do the Bungee Jumping. It was totally worth the $7 each, though. They loved it.


Warren arrived in time to see Jiro jump, and then we all had a pretzel. (The mall food offerings were pretty slim.) By 1:30pm, the mall was packed and it was getting very interesting. People young and old were decked out in their Pokemon gear and it was nearing total geekfest levels.

After our snack, we went in to see the movie--Zoroark: Master of illusions. The monkeys reported that they had seen it once or twice on TV already, but they really wanted to see it on the big screen. Going in, Satchel said, "Don't fall asleep, Mommy. If you watch it'll be cool and you'll better understand what Pokemon is all about." How cute is that? It was hard, but I did make it through 95% of the movie without dozing off. (Warren made it through about 5%!)

When the movie was over, we all got a giant Pokemon card on our way out. The kids were finally sated and agreed that it was one of the best days ever. Their happiness lasted long enough for us to fight the heinous traffic home, too.

The convention is going on all day today too for those of you who didn't make it yesterday!


Brian said...

Sounds like a pretty sweet day!

Chip Chockley said...

Heh! You and Warren are OLD, snoring in movie theaters.

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