It was a time to be the very best, like no one ever was. To catch them was the real test, to train them was the cause!
Gabriel H. Sanchez
Posted on February 27, 2019, at 12:58 p.m. ET
Flight attendants of Japan's All Nippon Airways introduce the airline's new "Pokémon Jet" on June 21, 1999, at Tokyo International Airport.
Members of the groups Nobody's Angels and Youngstown perform the song "Pokémon World" during a concert prior to the premiere of the animated film Pokémon: The Movie 2000 on July 15, 2000, in Los Angeles.
Tsunekazu Ishihara (right) co-creator of the Pokémon universe, poses with Pikachu at the Los Angeles Convention Center on May 9, 2000.
A Nintendo employee shows off the newly launched Pokémon video games, Pokémon Gold (left box) and Pokemon Silver (right and being demonstrated) at Nintendo's Tokyo office on Nov. 24, 1999.
A Hasbro employee shows off components of the Pokémon Battle Stadium at the company's showroom in New York on Feb. 15, 2000.
Japanese children participate in a Pokémon card tournament, which attracted some 35,000 people in a weeklong event in Tokyo on Aug. 4, 1999.
A pair of American boys trade their Pokémon cards on Sept. 27, 1999.
Ashley Harris, 11, checks out a selection of Pokémon cards at a game store in Ventura, California, on Sept. 2, 1999.
Kristina Radicia (left) and Scott Radicia look over Pokémon toys received at a Burger King restaurant in Hackensack, New Jersey, on Dec. 21, 1999. Burger King began recalling millions of the toys following the death of a 13-month-old California girl, who suffocated when one covered her mouth and nose.
On Dec. 27, 1999, Burger King issued a voluntary recall of the plastic balls, similar to the one shown here.
M2M perform the Pokémon theme song at a store in New York City on Nov. 9, 1999.
People try the "Odotte Pikachu" or "Please dance, Pikachu" game machines during the 37th Amusement Machine Show in Tokyo on Sept. 10, 1999.
People preview the new Nintendo 64 game Pokémon Stadium, in Westminister, California, on March 5, 2000.
Children play with Pokémon toys in Makuhari, Japan, on Jan. 23, 2000.
A brother and sister watch an episode of the Pokémon television show on April 6, 2000.
Customers shop for Pokémon memorabilia at the Pokémon Center in downtown Tokyo on Nov. 21, 1999.
Fake Pokémon cards seized by French customs in Lyon, France, on April 6, 2000.
Kids in New York City line up to purchase Pokémon merchandise on Nov. 12, 1999.
The Pokémon mobile arrives at the film premiere of Pokémon: The First Movie in Hollywood on Nov. 6, 1999.
Gabriel H. Sanchez is the photo essay editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York City.
Contact Gabriel H. Sanchez at email@example.com.
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