Meanwhile, Pokémon licensing is about to get a boost with the November 12 release of Kids’ WB! Presents Pokémon: The First Movie, which will introduce new characters that are making their way into licensed products. For the movie, Hasbro is releasing two assortments (US$8.99 SRP) of the monsters, including at least one new character, in two-inch five-packs, and four five-inch trainers assortments (US$8.99 SRP) with the human characters and their corresponding monsters this month. Warner Bros. Studio Stores’ 146 U.S. locations, which carry a broad range of Pokémon product available at other retailers and some exclusives, are unveiling a cross-promotion with theaters that will drive customers to theaters and stores. On November 9, the 57th Street Warner Bros. Studio Store in New York will host a promotion featuring talent from the Atlantic Records soundtrack, which launches at retail that day. A second Pokémon movie, released in Japan this summer, could also find its way to U.S. screens, but nothing has been confirmed.
Also in November, Viz Communications is bringing out the Pokémon 2000 Poster Calendar and the Pokémon TV Animation Comic Vol. 1, co-published with Nintendo, and Hasbro is releasing the first eight-inch electronic plush, called I Choose You Pikachu (US$24.99 SRP), and before the holidays, 16-inch jumbo plush. Next year, the toy maker will extend the electronic plush line and plans to release more than a dozen brand-new items. Nintendo will likely bring out the Pokémon Gold and Pokémon Silver games for Game Boy in the fall. Wizards of the Coast will offer a revised base set for its Pokémon Trading Card Game in January, Team Rocket preconstructed decks and booster packs in the spring, and part of the Gym series in the second half of the year. AH