Twenty years later, the Pokemon craze is still going strong, as the South Korean chain of Krispy Kreme shops introduces Pokemon-themed doughnuts to its menu.
Here's a fun game: ask die-hard Pokemon fans to list ten items that haven't had a Pokemon-themed version of them made and watch them struggle for a few minutes to come up with half that number. While Nintendo's collectible monster franchise has still largely kept to mainstream media like video games and animated spin-offs like Pokemon Generations, its immense popularity and hybrid fanbase has made the property a desirable tie-in for a wide array of products and services.
Now, with Pokemon Sun and Moon on the horizon and Pokemon GO still a global phenomenon, it appears that the South Korean chain of Krispy Kreme doughnut shops are looking to cash in. Starting this month, Krispy Kreme will be baking Pokemon doughnuts in the familiar shape of a Pokeball alongside the smiling faces of Pikachu and Squirtle.
Gamers can pick up a Pokeball doughnut for 1,800 won (about $1.63 USD), a Squirtle for 2,000 won ($1.80), and the omnipresent mascot of the Pokemon franchise, Pikachu, for the slightly higher price of 2,500 won ($2.27). Fans can also choose to purchase a "Pokemon Dozen" for 15,000 won ($16.30), although that combination will include other doughnuts besides the Pokemon-themed ones.
Although the thought of cracking open a sugary version of Squirtle's noggin for some sweet jelly filling is a little disturbing, the tie-in of cute Pokemon references and a delicious, sweet snack is a match made in financial heaven. That players who are still dedicated to becoming the very best in Pokemon GO can now play the game without constantly being on their phones is an added bonus - nobody wants a syrupy iPhone just because a Dragonite spawned near their preferred South Korean Krispy Kreme location.
Pokemon doughnuts are yet another new creation that is likely related to Nintendo's franchise celebrating its 20th anniversary, and the edible Pocket Monsters aren't even the weirdest thing to emerge from the year-long event. Earlier this year, The Pokemon Company announced that it would be producing plush Pokemon butts of some of the series' most iconic - and cute - Pokemon, a move that was met with some confusion in North America but certainly managed to sell well in Japan.
Sadly, there's no word yet on whether or not Pokemon doughnuts will make their way to Krispy Kreme locations in the west. Gamers who want to devour a Pikachu while satisfying their sugar fix will likely have to wait and see if South Korean Pokemon trainers share that sentiment - after all, when it comes to Pokemon, all it takes is a little bit of hype to turn something into a worldwide craze.