Pokémania at Space World 1999

Never-before-seen photographs from the height of the Pokémon craze.

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It was 1999, and Pokémon hype was in full swing. Pokémon Red and Blue were earning rave reviews in the United States. The second Pokémon movie had just been released in Japan. And Nintendo was almost ready to launch the next entries in the series, Gold and Silver.

Today, we’re taking a field trip to the white-hot center of Pokémania: Space World 1999!

Space World was an event Nintendo used to run in Japan where they’d showcase their newest games and hardware. These photos from our archives show off the huge Pokémon presence at Space World ‘99, including one very cuddly Meowth who looks a little overwhelmed by everyone who wants to hug him.

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The Space World events have become legendary among Pokémon fans for being one of the first places where Pokémon Gold and Silver were shown off in public. Event photos like these can give historians a first-hand look into what it was like to be there.

But we’ll never know for ourselves just how cuddly that Meowth was.

You can see tomorrow’s post right now!

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Coming tomorrow: A gallery of contemporary character artwork from Mega Man Legends that, as far as we know, is new to the internet. You don’t find gorgeous “lost” art like this from a beloved game very often!