Friday, September 7, 2018

#0094: THINKChip Pokemon Battle Stadium

I try to strike a balance on this blog as I send yesteryear's paraphernalia into the ether; the major impetus, obviously, is to select things that may be of some interest to the wider toy-collecting demographic. Folks out there tend to get a kick out of items related to popular '90s fads like Street Sharks. Less so when it's a pig I made from a sock. Go figure.

The other side of the coin, I must confess, is how much benefit I will receive from jettisoning these toys. Not fiscally, mind you, because I've made no more than a $4 return for Madden NFL 2005 on the DS (I legitimately had to argue with the staff member over trading in SmackDown: Just Bring It, as if it was carrying an ancient curse). Nay, the benefit I receive is slightly less clutter, hence why I've been trying to up the ante lately by turning my attention towards more unwieldy items.

It From the Pit no longer haunts the laundry room. Rock & Roll Elmo has ceased from tumbling out of the closet. And hey fuck you, those Gashapon figurines took up more space than you'd think.

So today, we shed the THINKChip Pokemon Battle Stadium. Now, the only battles we shall enjoy are the ones of our mind.

Two men enter. One will be blessed with immortality. The other, ripped piecemeal by the gnashing of a thousand bloodied fangs. Gotta catch 'em all!

Based on principle, this was one of the more relevant pieces of Pokemerchandise. You pitted your beasts against one another in the form of detailed figurines with a microchip lodged up their rectum. You could choose between a standard or a special attack depending on the type matchup, then press the button to stop a light on the floor as close to the middle as you could to maximise damage.

That made very little sense in hindsight, and I'm the one who wrote the goddamn sentence. It's all a bit much to explain it, so let me just refer to YouTube for further information. It's win/win, really. They get the extra two and a half clicks that come with my blog, and I cut approximately 800 words off my total. That gives me more room to say 'fuck', and that's very important.

Well, that sure was fun! Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeb!

There were a couple of issues holding it back from being a rollicking success, however. If you've recently read my entry on the B.I.O-Bugs, you can probably guess one of those issues already (if you haven't, well fuck you you're not invited to my slumber party). For you see, it's all well and good to have these fancy electronic devices where you could trade data and battle your friends and rellies, but the odds are, nobody else is going to own a single figure to justify it.

So what was I going to do? Invite people over to play with my battle toy thing? How do we decide who gets which Pokemon? They're mine, after all, I earned them through hard work/wise investment/pleading with mommy and daddy. So to be perfectly honest with you, I don't think I ever actually engaged in mortal combat with anyone other than myself, and remarkably, all of those matches were gerrymandered to ensure that Bulbasaur would always win, because he's my boi.

These were all of the Pocket Monsters I managed to collect. As you can see, it's a fairly conservative figure (pun? Maybe?). Squirtle and Geodude came with the stadium, and near as I can recall, tracking down the others was an absolute nightmare. Bulby and Charmander were must-haves, because damn those Kanto starters make me moist, but I never got around to amassing anymore. Either I reasoned that I had plenty of time to find the others, or I saw the writing on the wall and knew that I would hardly ever use them. I kinda doubt the foresight on the latter.

Only during my current investigation have I discovered that they actually went as far as releasing a few gen 2 critters like Cyndaquil and Totodile, but had the audacity to deprive the world of Venusaur. Clearly, they reasoned that Ivysaur was already too overpowered, and they would have to suppress its potential before it overthrew the Indonesian government.

As you can see, the figures look really damn good. You can even move Geodude's arms around to help boost his street cred. The actual functionality of this is probably to make him a lot less fragile as you haphazardly yank him to and fro. Even if you ended up snapping off a limb, that would be fine - because let's be honest, nobody was using Geodude to begin with.

Once again, any intention I had of taking my THINKChip posse for a spin was put on indefinite hold once I opened up the battery compartment. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times; take your fucking batteries out of your fucking toys. They're mean old pricks who demand your constant attention, and if you leave them to their own devices (or more accurately, your devices), they will leak aggressively.

Is it irreparable? Probably not. Is Tony going to repair it? Oh hell no. He's got more important things to do! He hasn't worked out what they are yet, but he's well aware that he's got to do them eventually.

In any event, you'll just have to venture over to YouTube for any battle fixin's you were craving. There's a fair few. Some of them are fairly cringey, I must confess, whereas I'm fairly confident that mine would have only proven to be mildly cringey (and rigged as fuck, because you know that everyone is jobbing to Bulbasaur).

So thank you, THINKChip Battle Stadium, for being there through thick and thin, during some of the greatest times of my life, and some of the worst. I'm not suggesting that it was super supportive, I just mean that it was literally there, sitting around. Doing jack shit. A bit like its owner, actually.

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