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Pokémon in Singapore

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Pokémon in Singapore
Pokémon logo Southeast Asia.png
Singapore Flag.png
Flag of Singapore
Languages English
Continent Asia
Original anime airdates
EP001 N/A
AG001 N/A
DP001 N/A
BW001 November 19, 2011
XY001

The Pokémon franchise first debuted in the Republic of Singapore around 1998.

The official distributor of Nintendo products such as the Pokémon Trading Card Game and the video games is Maxsoft Pte. Ltd., while the licensed distributor for the Pokémon manga is Chuang Yi, a publishing company based in Singapore.

Pokémon video games

All internationally released core series games have been available in Singapore since 1998, the first being Pokémon Red and Blue. These games were usually available within a few weeks after its US release, but with growing popularity over the years, recent games like Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, and Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver have been made available immediately on its US release date. From Generation V onwards, launch event tournaments have taken place to celebrate the US release of Pokémon Black and White (March 6, 2011), Pokémon Black and White Versions 2 (October 7, 2012) and Pokémon X and Y (October 12, 2013).

Japanese versions of the games were also made available on the date of its Japanese release to cater to some of the players in Singapore. This included the Pokémon HeartGold and SoulSilver, Pokémon Black and White, and Pokémon Black 2 and White 2. Spin-off Pokémon games like Pokémon Conquest were also made available.

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The first Pokémon distributed in Singapore was the Pika Pika Carnival Pikachu, which was given out between May 11 to 20, 2012 as part of the Pika Pika Carnival held at Isetan Scotts, Singapore. The second and most recent distribution was the XY Garchomp, given out via a serial code redemption by purchasing a new copy of Pokémon X and Y between January 24 and March 31, 2014.

Elite Four Tournaments

Since 2010, tournaments have been conducted in June to determine the top four players within the video games community in Singapore. These tournaments, also known as Elite Four tournaments, are usually conducted in a competitive setting, with rulings following closely to those of the Video Game Championships of that year. The top four players would have the honour of being dubbed the 'Elite Four' of Singapore, and will preserve the title until the next Elite Four tournament.

In December 2010 and 2011, 'Elite Four Challenges' were conducted, an event culminating in a competitive tournament in which the selection process involves playing against the Elite Fours. The Elite Fours took on special roles in the event where participants would have to defeat them in order to qualify for the tournament. This was done in a slightly easier and more casual setting, where the Elite Fours took on some form of handicap. The Elite Fours would preserve their title at the end of the tournament, regardless of its outcome.

The Elite Four tournament of 2012 took place on June 17, 2012 at Funan DigitaLife Mall, Singapore. There was no Elite Four tournament held in the year 2013. This year, the '2014 Elite Four Challenge' will take place between June 27 to 29 at the Institute of Technical Education (College Central), Singapore as part of the Campus Game Fest 2014.

Pokémon anime

The English dub of the anime was first aired in Singapore on MediaCorp's kidscentral every Saturday at 10.30 AM, beginning with the first episode of the series, Pokémon - I Choose You!. It aired at that timeslot for several years before moving to 11 AM, and finally to the 10 AM timeslot which is still used today.

On October 20, 2008, central was replaced by okto, but the broadcast timeslot remained the same. At that time, the Diamond & Pearl series was being aired. Notably, there were also brief periods of time when previously-aired episodes of the series were being broadcast in an evening timeslot.

In Singapore, all episodes were aired in English. The episodes are usually a few months behind the US broadcast. On January 1, 2011, Dressed for Jess Success! was aired.

On November 19, 2011, the Best Wishes series debuted on okto at the same 10 AM timeslot, with the first episode being aired, In The Shadow of Zekrom!.

Pokémon Trading Card Game

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Please feel free to edit this section to add missing information and complete it.
Reason: more information is needed.

Since the introduction of the Base Set, cards for the Pokémon Trading Card Game were sold in Singapore. The cards are usually in English. In April 2011, the Black & White expansion set was made available.

Southeast Asia Regional Championships

On December 1 and 2, 2012, Singapore hosted the first ever Southeast Asian Regional Championships (Autumn) for the Trading Card Game.[1] The event took place at Pasir Ris Elias Community Centre, Singapore, and hosted players from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong.

The second Southeast Asian Regional Championships (Spring) took place at SAFRA Mount Faber on March 16 and 17, 2013.[2]

Pokémon merchandise

Volume 1 of Pokémon Adventures published by Chuang Yi in Singapore

Pokémon manga

Pokémon manga has been available in English translated by Chuang Yi, a company which was based in Singapore. Chuang Yi translated many different Pokémon titles, including the popular Pokémon Adventures series, Pokémon Pocket Monsters, Magical Pokémon Journey and Phantom Thief Pokémon 7, among others. Chuang Yi's publications of Pokémon manga are well known by English-speaking fans worldwide, as they translated several series which were not licensed by VIZ Media, as well as their continuing publication of Pokémon Adventures. As Chuang Yi is now registered with Singapore's government as being in voluntary liquidation, the future of Pokémon manga in Singapore is uncertain.

Pokémon toys

McDonald's in Singapore occasionally gives out Pokémon toys as part of their Happy Meal promotion. The Happy Meals were first accompanied by one of eight different Pikachu toys in March 2011; Snivy, Tepig, Oshawott, Zekrom, Reshiram, Victini and Pikachu later in April 2012, and finally Pikachu, Oshawott, Zekrom, Reshiram, Thundurus, Tornadus and Landorus in January 2013.

Pokémon Center merchandise

In March 2013, Maxsoft collaborated with The Pokémon Company and stocked shelves of local retailers such as 'Comics Connection' and 'This & That' with goods and merchandise direct from Pokémon Centers in Japan.[3] These include small and large plush toys, Pokémon mascot dolls, A4-sized clear folders and goods from the video game Pokémon Conquest.[4]

As of June 2014, local retailers such as 'Comics Connection' and 'Funz Center' continually restock their shelves with Pokémon Center merchandise.[3]

Community

Team Robo

Main article: Team Robo

Team Robo is an official Play! Pokémon organization, a group of people dedicated to promoting Pokémon in Singapore and organizing Leagues and Tournaments for the Trading Card Game. They oversee nine 'Pokémon Gyms' spread across Singapore, which are gathering places where Pokémon fans can interact with each other or participate in local tournaments. These 'Gyms' are usually managed by a Pokémon Professor, and a person known as a 'Gym Leader'.

Team Robo Video Games

Team Robo Video Games is the local community founded on the competitive aspect of the Pokémon Video Games. It was established as part of Team Robo in December 2010 and has been growing ever since. The community organizes regular meetups and small-scale tournaments for its players to interact and to develop their skills in competitive battling.

In 2013, players from Team Robo Video Games represented Singapore in the 2013 World Championships Last Chance Qualifiers in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Veteran player Low Wai Yin was the first Singaporean to qualify through the Last Chance Qualifiers, and went on to represent Singapore in the 2013 Pokémon Video Game World Championships.[5]

Events

In Singapore, large-scaled Pokémon-themed events are usually held in June and December as it coincides with the school holidays. The events are usually held at shopping malls and are closely associated with important Pokémon events like the World Championships. The main organisers are usually Team Robo and Maxsoft Pte. Ltd., although there have been events like the Pika Pika Carnival which is jointly organised with The Pokémon Company.

History of major events

2010

A flyer on details of a Pokémon-themed event at Tampines Mall

The first large-scaled event held in Singapore was the Pokémon HeartGold & SoulSilver TCG Tournament, held on March 2010 at Junction 8, Bishan. The event was primarily aimed at TCG players.

Following that, in June 2010, an event was held at Millenia Walk which expanded its target audience to general Pokémon fans in Singapore. The event incorporated the Pokémon TCG National Championship 2010, the first-ever Elite 4 challenge in Singapore, and a digital art contest.

From mid-November to December 2010, Team Robo organized a Christmas-themed event at Tampines Mall. The event incorporated many small events together such as mini-games, workshops, stage shows, as well as tournaments such as the Pokémon TCG City Championship SG 2010 and the Pokémon NDS Video Game Christmas Bash. The video game challenge, dubbed the "Battle Mall Challenge", incorporated features of the in-game Elite Four as well as Battle Frontier facilities. Challengers had to defeat four Trainers in a row, each stationed on every floor, in order to be able to challenge the Battle Mall Captain. Players would have to restart if they lost to any of the four Trainers. If the player managed to defeat the Battle Mall Captain, it would entitle him or her to participate in a tournament (Boxing Day Challenge) held on December 26, 2010. The top three players of the tournament would be able to win a coupon to be exchanged for a copy of the Pokémon Black and White on the day of release.[6]

Event area for the Pokémon Black and White Versions Launch Event held on March 6, 2011 at Funan DigitaLife Mall, Singapore
A stage show held during the Pokémon-themed Christmas event at City Square Mall, Singapore between November and December 2011.

2011

On March 6, 2011, the date of the US English release of the Pokémon Black and White, a launch event-cum-tournament took place at Funan DigitaLife Mall. Participants of the tournament had to form a team while playing through 3 hours of a new game, and then battle each other in a tournament with their team. Matches were conducted via Wonder Launcher Triple Battles. The overall winner of the tournament would walk away with a new copy of Pokémon Black or Pokémon White, and a companion guidebook for the game.[7]

A snippet from a promotional image advertising for the Pokémon-themed event at West Mall.

From June 13 to June 19, 2011, an event took place at West Mall which comprises the Pokémon TCG National Championships 2011 and the Pokémon Black & White Video Game Elite 4 Tournament. The video game tournament used the rules of the 2011 Video Game Championships, and each day, players competed in several swiss rounds to become the top 3 finalists for that day. All the finalists then competed on June 19, 2011 to determine the top four players who would be crowned the "Elite Four" of Singapore. The overall winner won a Nintendo 3DS.

Between November 19 and December 31, 2011, an Pokémon-themed Christmas event was held at City Square Mall. In conjunction with the mall's theme of being eco-friendly, there were craft workshops and stage shows for children which promoted the benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling. There were also tournaments that took place during the event, such as the Pokémon TCG City Championships 2011 for TCG players, and well as the Pokémon Nintendo DS Challenge for video game players, where the top three winners walked away with a new copy of Pokémon Rumble Blast.

The logo used for the Pika Pika Carnival.

2012

From May 11 to 20, 2012, the 'Pika Pika Carnival', an event co-organised by Maxsoft and The Pokémon Company, was be held at Isetan Scotts. The carnival featured merchandise from the Pokémon Centre, a motion sensor game, mini-games, and a photo taking session with a Pikachu mascot. An event Pikachu was also distributed during the event which holds a Light Ball, and knows the moves Volt Tackle, Thunder, Grass Knot and Quick Attack. This event marked the first time an event Pokémon was distributed in Singapore.

Advertisement promoting the Singapore Pokémon Summer Battle Arena
Advertisement for Pokémon Black and White Versions 2 launch event

On June 16 and 17, 2012, the Pokémon TCG National Championships 2012 and the Video Game Elite Four Competition was held at Funan DigitaLife Mall, Singapore. The event was jointly organised by Maxsoft and Team Robo, and was the third time an Elite Four tournament was held in Singapore. The rulings for the Elite Four tournament follows the 2012 Video Game Championships.

On October 6, 2012, the first inter-country video game tournament in Southeast Asia took place between Singapore and Philippines.[8][9] The event was coordinated between the two heads of the respective video games community and battles were conducted in the Wi-Fi room.

On October 7, 2012, the day of the US English release of the Pokémon Black and White Versions 2, a launch event-cum-tournament took place Funan Digitalife Mall, Singapore. The event was the same as the launch event tournament held for Pokémon Black and White on March 6, 2011, the only difference being the versions used for the tournament.

On December 1 and 2, 2012, Singapore hosted the Southeast Asian Regional Championships for the Trading Card Game, together with a video game tournament and a variety of side events. The Regional Championships featured players from Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Hong Kong, and was the first time a regional tournament was held in Southeast Asia. On the second day of the event, a video game tournament was held which only allowed the Pokémon Black 2 and White 2 video games. The rules are similar to the rulings of the upcoming 2013 Video Game Championships. The event also featured PokéPark 2 on the Wii, a series of video game side events, and a seminar on competitive play by Eugene Tan, the first-place winner of the 2012 Elite Four Tournament.[10]


2013

From December 27 to 29, 2013, Team Robo Video Games organized a Pokémon XY video game event at the Gaming Entertainment E-sports Exhibition (GE3) held at Downtown East, Singapore. The main attraction was the Pokémon XY Double Battle Championships, a competitive video game tournament which took place on December 28, 2013. There were also side events which included a Battle Factory-like event for newer players, some mini-tournaments, as well as a challenge to take on veteran players who played for Singapore in the 2013 Pokémon World Championships.[11]

Logo for the 2014 Elite Four Challenge

2014

Coming June 27 to 29, 2014, the '2014 Elite Four Challenge', another Pokémon XY video game tournament, would be held at the Institute of Technical Education (College Central), Singapore as part of the Campus Game Fest 2014. The event is jointly organized by Team Robo Video Games and the Singapore Cybersports & Online Gaming Association.[12] The tournament consists of two days of qualifiers and will culminate in a single elimination tournament held on the third day to determine the "Elite Four" of Singapore, and the winner of the tournament. The Elite Four of 2012 are expected to return in this tournament. Participants of the tournament may be playing for a copy of Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire and a copy of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS which will be given to the winner of the tournament as coupons, and redeemable at a local retailer on their respective dates of release.[13] The rulings for the Elite Four tournament follows the 2014 Video Game Championships.[14]


See also

References

  1. 2012 Autumn Southeast Asian Regional Championships
  2. 2013 Spring Southeast Asian Regional Championships
  3. 3.0 3.1 Maxsoft, locations currently selling Pokémon Center merchandise
  4. Maxsoft, List of Pokémon Center merchandise sold in March 2013
  5. IGN article, Singapore plants flag at Pokémon World Championships
  6. Pokémon Christmas Bash Event Report @ Team Robo Forum
  7. Pokémon Black and White versions Launch Event & Tournament information and details
  8. Announcement on the Philippines Pokémon Community webpage
  9. Results for the Singapore-Philippines inter-country video game tournament
  10. Maxsoft's events page
  11. Article on the Pokémon XY Double Battle Championships at GE3
  12. Campus Game Fest 2014, Community Feature: Team Robo Video Games
  13. Campus Game Fest 2014, Information for Competitors
  14. Campus Game Fest 2014, Rulings of the 2014 Elite Four Challenge


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