Specialty Store a Big Hit in Japan
January 20, 2000
The store is so popular that visitors sometimes have to wait an hour or more just to get in.
When King Abdullah II Bin Al-Hussein of Jordan announced his plans to buy Pokemon items for his children during his visit to Japan in November and December 1999, it was just a typical example of the current worldwide frenzy over the Pocket Monsters. Box-office sales from the animation series' first full-length motion picture in the United States, titled Pokemon: The First Movie, on day one of its release alone in November totaled 10.1 million dollars. The Pokemon television series is being broadcast in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and many other Asian countries, with no end in sight to its amazing run of popularity. In response to all the hoopla, a store specializing in Pokemon goods in Japan, where the series originated, has been gaining attention.
While the majority of visitors to Pokemon Center Tokyo are children accompanied by their parents, many local businesspeople also frequent the store. Most of these older consumers come to buy gifts for their children, but a few say that they have been asked by colleagues based overseas to purchase Pokemon items for use as gifts for clients. There are even some who, conversely, entertain visiting American counterparts with trips to the store upon request. On weekday afternoons, men in suits can be seen in the shop's aisles earnestly appraising the value of their prospective purchases.
Some people have gone so far as to call Pokemon the greatest Japanese product of the twentieth century. And in Japan, whenever new Pokemon video-game software is released, stores carrying the products attract huge lines and sell out in the blink of an eye. The media has been right on top of Pokemon's huge success, turning the boom into something of a social phenomenon. With Pikachu and his pals as alive and kicking as ever, the Pokemon whirlwind looks poised to continue sweeping the world.
Pokemon Center Tokyo's three most popular items:
Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.