There’s a subset of the population who reads this line and feels a nostalgic wave (including the US Olympic swim team at 5:01). I didn’t encounter Pokémon games until college with a bootleg rom of Crystal, but it was a big part of my husband and his sister’s lives, and I’m now pretty into the games and the fandom. Some of Justin’s proudest childhood moments are when he broke the clock in Pokémon Blue (at 255 hours, probably because 8-bit data storage can handle 256 values, including 0), got 13 Pokémon to level 100 without cheating, and won a Mew off another kid way back when those were only given away at contests and events.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first Pokémon games, and the company has been having a year-long celebration. The original games had 151 beasties you could catch and interact with, and in two decades that number has increased to a staggering 720, with another batch on the way later this year (totally reserving a copy of Sun, by the way).
Image by Firehippo782. It doesn’t include the most recent generation, but you get the idea :-).
Like Mario, Legend of Zelda, and other lasting video games, the main Pokémon games are rife with traditions that fuel the nostalgia. The player always starts as a new Pokémon trainer, who is given their first Pokémon by a local professor, and then embarks on an adventure to explore the world. In celebration of the anniversary, I’m making a scene from the game world, with my all-time favorite Pokémon team.
This project has been tricky to get into, mainly because I kept changing the setting, I had several hundred possible Pokémon to whittle down to about six faves, and a not insignificant part of me wimps out publicly and serially posting the extent of my previously hidden geekiness. This project will also be a huge technical challenge, because most of it is going to be sculpted out of polymer clay and painted. I’m also trying to recreate the feel of franchise’s art style. Sort of like when you go to Mikey and Minnie’s Houses at Disney World and it’s like you’ve stepped through the television screen.
Half of my team is sculpted in 1:24 scale (though some doozies are left) and the house is in rough pieces.
So grab your PokéDex and choose your starter, because we’re going on a little journey to the world of Pokémon!