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'Pokémon' To Celebrate 20th Anniversary With Super Bowl Ad, Special Bundles And More

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The Pokémon Company International today revealed a slew of announcements related to the 20th anniversary of its namesake franchise, Pokémon. The original Pokémon Red and Green released in Japan in 1996, and the company intends to rock 2016 in a big way — up to and including a Super Bowl ad.

More specifically, the company will be airing a live-action Pokémon commercial on Sunday, Feb. 7, during Super Bowl 50 “which will encourage fans to Train On.” It’s unclear exactly what “Train On” might mean, but one assumes it means to keep playing and collecting pocket monsters. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

There will also be a “Pokémon Day” held on Feb. 27 — the day the original games launched in Japan — with special events planned for select retail locations. Pokémon Red, Blue, and Yellow are launching as digital titles for the Nintendo 3DS eShop on the same day in North America. Also launching the same day? A special New Nintendo 3DS bundle with both Pokémon Red and Blue preinstalled and special cover plates featuring throwback art of Charizard and Blastoise, the two Pokémon featured on the cover of Red and Blue back in 1996.

In addition to all that, there will also be special distributions of mythical Pokémon every month of 2016 starting in February. Each will be available for three weeks total during those months, with Mew, Darkrai, Arceus, and Genesect available at participating GameStop locations. The rest — including the likes of Shaymin and Manaphy — will be made available via the Nintendo Network.

Over the course of the year, several more 20th anniversary events and items should be revealed, with bits and pieces likely rolling out in phases across platforms. Even the first three animated movies are getting digitally remastered versions! Here’s hoping that they actually go back and remaster the first anime soundtrack.

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