25 April 2011

Hilariously Terrible Bootleg Pokémon Stickers

Gotta catch 'em...wait, what?
About a year ago, I bought a giant box of random "vintage" (i.e. mostly stuff from Generation 1) Pokémon stuff on eBay. For around $25 I got a giant Meowth plushie, some books and manga, a talking Lucario figure (MIB) and some miscellaneous loose figures and cards. Obviously I was mainly in it to score the Meowth, and pretty much disregarded the rest of the stuff after a brief glance.

The other day I was organizing my bookshelf and I started leafing through one of the random Pokémon books (a "book" of cut-out papercrafts) and noticed some sheets sticking out of it. Unbeknownst to me (and possibly even to the seller), this lot contained an amazing gem: two bootleg sticker sheets from Taiwan, showcasing the absolute worst Generation 1 Pokémon clip art ever created.

The funny thing is, I actually remember buying these exact same stickers from the local comic/anime shop when Pokémon first came out. I'm pretty sure I knew they were bootleg at the time, and the images made no sense, but despite this I was still willing to shell out $5 (each) of my hard-earned money, simply because it was POKéMON, and god I really had to have any Pokéthing I could get my hands on. (Note: this sounds ridiculous now that Pokémon merchandise is so ungodly plentiful, but at the time, the only mass-produced American Pokémon goods were those crappy KFC Zubat plushies.)

I don't really want to open them because the paper is such shite quality I'm pretty sure they will disintegrate immediately upon exposure to oxygen, so I've scanned and archived the sheets, highlighting my favorite ones.

(click for larger image)

My favorite stickers:

Dratini, Dragonair, Dragonite, and random Chinese dragon that is not even remotely a Pokémon.

Fire Pokemon badly pasted over an MS paint drawing of "fire". (See also the "water" version of this, complete with random seaweed. Makes me wonder where the "grass" version is.)

Magmar and Mewtwo, jus' chillin' on the same sticker...for some reason. (This sticker is on the sheet opposite a similarly designed one of Shellder and Starmie. At least those ones are semi-related in that they are both purple-hued water Pokémon. Why are Magmar, a crappy filler Pokémon, and Mewtwo, an ultra-powerful legendary that was the central plot to the movie, lumped together? Because they're both bipeds?)

This one is pictured twice because it's on both sheets: the full image on one, and a cropped image on the other. Sweet, right? A bunch of Pokémon have put their differences aside to hang out together in a pile of flowers. All of them look relatively normal and happy, except for Meowth, who looks deranged and evil, presumably about to pounce on Pikachu and tear him to shreds.

Make sure to view the sheets full-sized, and comment with your favorite sticker!

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