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On the Origin of Species: Sobble, Drizzile, and Inteleon

After almost exactly seven years, Bulbagarden's "On the Origin of Species" has returned.

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Nov9
Pokémon Center now available in Canada
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On Nov 9th, Pokémon Company International announced that Pokémon Center, its official e-commerce arm, was opening it doors to Canadian residents. Pokémon Center was previously only available within the USA, and offers a variety of merchandise from clothing to kitchenware, to plush, to home décor, to even figurines and cards. The site has also featured collaborations with Funko POP and Kotobukiya, as well as seasonal collections.

“We are thrilled to bring Pokémon Center to our fans in Canada, giving them additional ways to express and celebrate their Pokémon fandom through premium merchandise,” said Cindy Ruppenthal, director of e-commerce at The Pokémon Company International. “Pokémon Center has something for every type of Trainer—whether it’s to play, collect, decorate, or wear—and we look forward to seeing even more Trainers enjoy these offerings.”

In celebration of the opening of Pokémon Center for Canada, Pokémon Center customers in the US and Canada will receive a Pokémon...

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Oct13
Documentary about Twitch Plays Pokémon Now Available
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The Legend of Twitch Plays Pokémon is a documentary created by Youtuber TheGamerFromMars about the untold story of the legendary Twitch series. The documentary includes actual interviews with the creator of Twitch Plays Pokémon, shining new light on the history of the streams, and what their creator had to contend with as a result of the streams taking off as they did. The full documentary can be viewed via the video embedded below.

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Oct13
Nintendo Targets Influencer over use of Pokémon Branding
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The TikTok & Twitch influencer previously known as Pokeprincxss has been forced to completely rebrand following a cease and desist notice from Nintendo. In addition, she has also been required to halt sales of merchandise that infringed on Nintendo's Pokémon copyrights, and surrender profits from past sales of this merchandise.

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Oct13
Amazon Prime Day Deals for Australian Pokéfans
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Amazon’s Prime Day sales have come again in Australia, stretched over October 13th and 14th, with plenty of deals for Pokémon fans.

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Oct11
Former Rapper Logic Pays $226K for Rare Pokémon Card
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When the Pokémon Trading Card Game was released in 1999, the cards had little to no value. As Pokémon's popularity surged, so did card prices. Most veteran Pokémon fans can name the most popular -- and expensive -- card from the Base Set expansion: Charizard. Featuring high HP and damage counts alongside a glorious picture of the Pokémon breathing fire, Base Charizard was -- and perhaps still is -- a (if not the) Holy Grail of Pokémon collecting. Even now, the card sells for at least $80 or more.

Logic, a retired rapper, Twitch streamer, and suicide prevention advocate, recently obtained a PSA Grade 10 1st Edition Base Set Charizard for $226,000, about the price of a house. This amount breaks the record for Nintendo collectibles.

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Oct9
Sagamiko Pleasure Forest to Feature a Unique Pokémon Section in their 2020 Christmas Illumination
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Every year, parks around Japan feature holiday season light displays that they refer to as "Illuminations".

One of the biggest illuminations, at Sagamiko's Pleasure Forest Theme Park, is to have an new addition this year, with the inclusion of a unique Pokémon Themed Section. The display uses the variety of landscaping at the park to feature a variety of Pokémon in their native habitats, including lakes and ponds, forests, and meadows.

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Sep24
Pokemon Twitter deletes Porygon Tweet: Controversy and History
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The official Pokemon Twitter fell under scrutiny earlier this week after making a tweet regarding Porygon. This was in reference to the banned episode "Dennō Senshi Porygon", often referred to as "Electric Soldier Porygon", which notoriously caused thousands of seizures. Soon after deleting the tweet, a joke response regarding the event was put out.

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Sep14
Pokémon Players Cup II online tournaments for VGC and TCG announced to take place from September to December
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The Pokémon Players Cup II online tournaments for VGC and TCG have been announced to take place from September to December 2020. There will be no Pokkén Tournament DX tournament for the Pokémon Players Cup II. Players who participate in the first qualifying events for VGC and TCG can become eligible to compete in the Region Qualifiers by earning a high enough rank at the end of the first qualifying competitions.

Pokémon TCG players will need to take part in tournaments during the qualifying period on the Pokémon TCG Online application. Players must have a Pokémon Trainer Club account and Player ID by September 21 at 10:00 a.m. PDT and need to have logged in to the Pokémon TCG Online application before that date to take part. Registered players will automatically have 50 Tournaments Keys sent to their Pokémon TCG Online account before...

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Sep4
On the Origin of Species: Sobble, Drizzile, and Inteleon
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After almost exactly seven years, Bulbagarden's "On the Origin of Species" has returned! In this series, I will be diving deep into the real life inspirations the concept and design of a different Pokémon or evolutionary line with each installment. Today, I wanted to start off this revival with one of the newest additions to our starter lineup, the Sobble family.

I've always been fascinated by reptiles. It's a fantastically diverse group of animals, coming in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Many even change colors based on environmental factors or their life stage. The most famous example of this is of course the chameleon, which is actually an entire family of lizards scientifically known as Chamaeleonidae. Sobble and its relatives clearly take inspiration from these lizards...

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Sep2
Pokémon Masters EX Hashtag Ought to be Capitalized
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Pokémon Masters, the latest mobile game, has received some tune-ups lately. With the addition of Eggs, new Sync Pairs, and new Story Events, it was only fitting that the game's name was adjusted to reflect the additions: Pokémon Masters EX.

Naturally, in this age of social media, the official Pokémon Masters EX Twitter created a hashtag in their August 25th post announcing the change. This was posted in conjunction with a poll asking followers to vote for which Sync Pair should be boosted to a Rank Six.

At this point it should be noted that, while the official account started the hashtag, they did so with proper capitalization. Some fans, however, did not. And quickly took notice.

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Sep1
Pokémon 2020 Halloween Collection Wave One Has Arrived!
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With Fall fast approaching, the first wave of the Pokémon 2020 Halloween collection is now available in the US. The Pokémon Company International has made various comfy tees and sweatshirts available for purchase, with more being added later in the season.

Some of the Halloween-specific clothing is themed around Dark, Ghost, and Psychic type Pokémon. Fans of Umbreon, Espeon, and Gengar will be especially happy. However, the collection is not limited to those Pokémon as some non-spooky characters like Wooloo, Eevee, and overall favorite Pikachu are also featured.

More seasonal items will be added to the collection in later waves, including Halloween-themed plushies, Haunted Pokémon Village figures, keychains, etc.

The first wave of the 2020 Halloween collection is available on PokémonCenter.com.

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Aug30
Pokémon Masters receives major EX update for first anniversary
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Pokémon Masters has received a major update for its first anniversary celebration. As part of the update, the game's name has been changed to Pokémon Masters EX and DeNA have released a new 3D animated trailer.

The update will include new in-game content and events. There are also new promotional Instagram and Facebook filters.

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Aug30
Sword & Shield—Vivid Voltage revealed, introduces Amazing Pokémon
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The Pokémon Company International has announced the next set coming to Pokémon TCG, Sword & Shield—Vivid Voltage. Releasing on November 13, 2020, the set will be made available in all of the forms fans have come to expect: booster packs, theme decks, Elite Trainer Boxes, and special collections.

Vivid Voltage will include some highly sought after cards, including Pikachu VMAX, Orbeetle VMAX, Coalossal VMAX, and the debut of Mythical Pokémon Zarude. Additionally, Amazing Pokémon cards—a brand new card type—will be introduced in this expansion.

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Aug29
Japan now has 100 Pokémon manhole covers
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After they first began being installed last year, there are now a total of 100 different Pokémon manhole covers in Japan. The newest batch (seen below) are located in Serigaya Park, Machida, Tokyo, being the first of these covers to be located in the metropolitan area.

Last year, Japan began installing Pokémon manhole covers as part of the Pokémon Local Arts project in an attempt to increase local tourism. Known as Poké Lid (ポケふた Poké Futa), the manholes have been installed in numerous prefectures, including Hokkaido, Iwate, Fukushima, Kagawa, and more.

Manhole-spotting is a popular pastime for travelers within Japan: people enjoy checking out the different designs within the country. As more Poké Lids are installed, tourism should experience the expected increase.

Curious visitors can use this site to locate the various Pokémon-themed manhole covers across Japan.

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Aug23
Battle-ready Gastrodon available with code this weekend only
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A battle-ready East Sea Gastrodon is available in Pokémon Sword and Shield until August 23 at 14:59 UTC by using the universal serial code PJCS2019CHAMP. The code works in all versions of Pokémon Sword and Sword, regardless of region or language.

This Gastrodon is level 50, has the Ability Storm Drain, and holds an Expert Belt. It knows the moves Protect, Surf, Ice Beam, and Earth Power. It has a Quiet Nature. It has a fixed IVs, with 31 in HP, Defense, Special Attack, and Special Defense; 2 in Attack; and 0 in Speed. It has EVs, with 152 in HP, 94 in Defense, 252 in Special Attack, 12 in Special Defense, and 0 in every other stat.

It is in a Cherish Ball and has the Battle Champion Ribbon. It is Japanese in origin, regardless of the language of the game in which it is received. Its Original Trainer is カ・エール (Ka Ēru) with the Trainer ID number 200822.

The code was revealed...

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Aug22
Battle-ready Porygon2 available for Sword and Shield
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A battle-ready Porygon2 is available in Pokémon Sword and Shield until August 31 by using the universal serial code PKMNPLAYERSCUP. The code works in all versions of Pokémon Sword and Sword, regardless of region or language.

This Porygon2 is level 50, has the Ability Download, and holds an Eviolite. It knows the moves Recover, Trick Room, Ice Beam, Thunderbolt. It has a Sassy Nature. It has a fixed IVs, with 31 in HP and 0 in Attack and Speed. It has 252 EVs in HP and Defense, 4 EVs in Special Defense, and 0 EVs in every other stat.

The code was revealed during the live-stream of the Pokémon Player's Cup.

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Aug20
Heatran to appear in Pokémon GO Raid Battles
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The Legendary Pokémon Heatran will appear in Raid Battles in Pokémon GO worldwide from August 21 to September 10, 2020.

Heatran will appear in Level 5 Raid Battles. Players who successfully complete a Raid Battle with Heatran will have a chance to catch it afterwards.

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Aug19
New Pokémon TCG expansion Darkness Ablaze released
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Sword & Shield—Darkness Ablaze, the third major expansion in the Sword & Shield series of the Pokémon Trading Card Game, was released on August 14, 2020. It is now available at participating retailers around the world.

Sword & Shield—Darkness Ablaze features the debuts of the Legendary Pokémon Eternatus in its Eternamax form. Additionally, Gigantamax Charizard, Grimmsnarl, Butterfree, and Centiskorch also appear as Pokémon VMAX.

The full expansion includes:

  • 7 Pokémon VMAX
  • 14 Pokémon V and 9 full-art Pokémon V
  • 17 Trainer cards and 4 full-art Supporter cards
  • 4 new Special Energy Cards

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Aug18
Pokémon Center Hiroshima reopens after COVID-19 case, new health precautions
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The Pokémon Center Hiroshima was temporary closed due to an employee testing positive for COVID-19. The store closed on August 15 and reopened on August 18, 2020 after it had been cleaned. The store will resume business as normal, albeit with health and safety precautions being taken.

On August 12, a Pokémon Center Hiroshima employee began feeling unwell. On August 15, they received a positive result for a COVID-19 test. As a result, the Pokémon Center Hiroshima was temporarily closed at the guidance of health professionals, to disinfect the store. Furthermore, 27 other employees underwent testing—all tested negative, but two employees who had close contact with the employee who tested positive will undergo a two-week self-quarantine regardless.

Due to the closure, a TCG Shield Battle tournament scheduled for August 16 was cancelled. This was part of the Charizard HR...

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Aug12
"Play! Pokémon" Weekly Podcast debuts
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A new podcast published by The Pokémon Company International, titled "The Play! Pokémon Podcast", has launched.
The Play! Pokémon weekly podcast will cover various details about the competitive Pokémon scene, such as the Trading Card Game, Pokémon Sword and Shield, and Pokkén Tournament DX. It is hosted by Jay Blake and features contributions from various competitive Pokémon experts.

The first episode of the podcast features Kay Dyson, Jeremy Jallen, and Brendan Hansen as guests. Dyson and Jallen discuss various stats of Pokémon and decks, respectively, throughout the first three weeks of the Pokémon Players Cup for VCG and TCG. Following this, Hansen discusses some of the players who qualified for the finals in the Pokkén Tournament DX tournament.

Each episode also ends with a question of the week that Blake asks the other guests of the show. The first episode has him asking the others which Pokémon would work for them if they were the owner of a cafe or restaurant in the...

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