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19 Pictures That Show Just How Outrageous Pokémania Really Was

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!

Posted on February 27, 2019, at 12:58 p.m. ET

Toru Yamanaka / AFP / Getty Images

Flight attendants of Japan's All Nippon Airways introduce the airline's new "Pokémon Jet" on June 21, 1999, at Tokyo International Airport.

Fred Prouser / Reuters

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.

Hector Mata / AFP / Getty Images

Tsunekazu Ishihara (right) co-creator of the Pokémon universe, poses with Pikachu at the Los Angeles Convention Center on May 9, 2000.

Eriko Sugita / Reuters

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.

Yoshikazu Tsuno / AFP / Getty Images

Japanese children participate in a Pokémon card tournament, which attracted some 35,000 people in a weeklong event in Tokyo on Aug. 4, 1999.

Yvonne Hemsey / Getty Images

A pair of American boys trade their Pokémon cards on Sept. 27, 1999.

Ed Compean / Getty Images

Ashley Harris, 11, checks out a selection of Pokémon cards at a game store in Ventura, California, on Sept. 2, 1999.

Jeff Zelevansky / AP

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.

Charles Krupa / AP

On Dec. 27, 1999, Burger King issued a voluntary recall of the plastic balls, similar to the one shown here.

Arnaldo Magnani / Getty Images

M2M perform the Pokémon theme song at a store in New York City on Nov. 9, 1999.

Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP / Getty Images

People try the "Odotte Pikachu" or "Please dance, Pikachu" game machines during the 37th Amusement Machine Show in Tokyo on Sept. 10, 1999.

John T. Barr / Getty Images

People preview the new Nintendo 64 game Pokémon Stadium, in Westminister, California, on March 5, 2000.

Toshifumi Kitamura / AFP / Getty Images

Children play with Pokémon toys in Makuhari, Japan, on Jan. 23, 2000.

Yves Forestier / Getty Images

A brother and sister watch an episode of the Pokémon television show on April 6, 2000.

Toru Yamanaka / AFP / Getty Images

Customers shop for Pokémon memorabilia at the Pokémon Center in downtown Tokyo on Nov. 21, 1999.

Alexis Orand / Getty Images

Fake Pokémon cards seized by French customs in Lyon, France, on April 6, 2000.

Evan Agostini / Getty Images

Kids in New York City line up to purchase Pokémon merchandise on Nov. 12, 1999.

Brenda Chase / Getty Images

The Pokémon mobile arrives at the film premiere of Pokémon: The First Movie in Hollywood on Nov. 6, 1999.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.