When Orville was three, someone lent him 73 episodes of Pokemon, which he kept until he was 8. (Incidentally, as of this birthday, we’ve managed to replace those episodes. He now has them all again.)
In Pokemon, the premise is that on his 10th birthday, a child goes to chose his first Pokemon and begins his Pokemon Journey. So, last September, when Orville turned 9, we got the idea of doing a Pokemon party this summer.
I started preparing in October. Every few weeks I would buy a few more little plushy Pokemon from Wal-Mart. (They are about $5 each.) I found Pokemon plates and a Pokemon tablecloth online. (A disaster in shopping. I ordered three things from Amazon. They shipped from the same store, but since it went through Amazon, they shipped each item separately and charged $5 shipping on each one! And this after I contacted them, explained, asked them to ship it as one item, and they said they would.) And I began making up games.
Yesterday, Orville turned ten and the party actually happened!
In the end we had "Choose your Pokemon" where each child got to chose one of the plushy dolls. I had wrapped them in red and white tissue paper with black tape, so as to make them look like Pokeballs. Each child decided which Pokemon they wanted, sight unseen, as in the show — though, as in the show, they all knew the Pokemon by name — and received a tissue paper Pokeball, which they then all opened together.
Then, we played Pin-The-Tail-On-Pikachu. John drew the Pikachu and tails. I cut them out and colored them. We did not have a blindfold, (a lot of things are currently packed up in our house,) so we used a pillow case. The children had great fun with this, and everyone got a Pokemon card as a prize.
Then there was a ‘toss the Pokeball’. We had a few Pokemon toys from Japan, hand me downs from older part-Japanese cousins, that turned inside out to make soft Pokeballs. We used these to throw, and part of the fun was that, at the end, they got to unzip them and see what creatures were inside.
In later seasons of Pokemon, there are Pokeberries that Pokemon can eat. For Pokeberries, we had strawberries and blueberries that could be dunked in chocolate. There were pretzel nuggets, too, (though I only realized just now that I did not tell the kids they could dunk those also) and watermelon.
Then came the Pokecake. This was my grand creation for the party. It was an ice cream cake decorated like a Pokeball. I bought a round bowl at the dollar store and two containers of Briars Tripple Chocolate. When the ice cream was slightly melted, I shoved it into the bowl, forcing it down with a plate. Two days later, I let it melt slightly, slid it out of the bowl, and onto a large round brownie. Then I covered it with Magic Shell sauce that hardens into a chocolate shell. Then, I iced it half white/half red. Finally, at the last minute, I put a chocolate strip down the middle and a round area with a white dot on top.
It looked sooo cool!
All this was done, I should add in the midst of a sudden upset regarding my novel. So I was icing the cake and making the tissue Pokeballs, while talking on the phone to my editor and agent. First one would call and then the other, and they were not in agreement, and they wanted me to make decisions. I’ve seldom spoken to either of these men on the phone, especially not my agent, who is a quite a powerful man in publishing and doesn’t take time to chat. He only calls if it’s really serious.
By the end of the day, the novel was sorted out (both my agent and editor seemed satisfied,) and everything was ready for the party — but I didn’t get much sleep.
After cake, we played the Pokemon card came. There were too many people, and too many newcomers, to play seriously, but we introduced the kids to the game. I had spent HOURS preparing packs. (Pokemon packs, to be worth playing need 60 cards with a proper mix of energy cards, appropriate Pokemon types, and a few extras cards.) We had cards all over the house, so I had to hunt them down, sort them…there were at least 300, maybe significantly more…form decks, and put the rest of the cards back into our Pokemon Binder that holds them sorted by type. (Juss had yanked them all out a few months ago.) So, I was glad we had a chance to use them. Everyone seemed to have fun, but it was too hectic to do it correctly. I had meant to bring them upstairs to watch the "How to Play" video online, but forgot. (It can be seen here: http://www.go-pokemon.com/howtoplay/)
The party concluded successfully with present opening and goody-bags that consisted of a bit of candy and a few Pokemon cards that the children could stick their plushy Pokemon into.
It was a great day!