Is Pokemon Coming to Target? (Updated)
It appears that Pokemon and Target may be partnering up for a new promotion of some kind. Several photos have emerged of unfinished PokeBalls mysteriously appearing in front of several Target locations, hinting that the popular American retail chain was gearing up for some sort of promotion. The PokeBalls are actually repainted versions of the large concrete "red balls" that sit in front of the store's entrances. Here's one of the PokeBalls, courtesy of vlogger Chris Pirillo:
Target must be doing a deal with Pokémon? pic.twitter.com/6qIrdiTSDq— Chris Pirillo (@ChrisPirillo) August 16, 2016
Per a Target representative, 400 Target locations will have one of their red balls painted like a Poke Ball. The Poke Ball's iconic button/clasp will be added to the ball once painting is complete. The representative declined to give any details about what the balls were for.
If this isn't just a cute way to capitalize on the Pokemon Go craze, there are several possibilities for what exactly a Pokemon/Target partnership could entail. Target could be Pokemon Go's first Americansponsor, similar to McDonald's sponsorship of the popular mobile app in Japan. This would explain why 400 of the over 1,700 locations in the United States were chosen to have the Poke Ball display. This might also be a clever way to market Pokemon Sun and Moon's upcoming release, which is only a few months away. Target also is a major retailer of Pokemon trading cards, so the Pokemon Company and Target could be teaming up for a special giveaway or exclusive promotion.
The Pokemon Company declined comment for this story. Stay tuned to ComicBook.com for more details as we get them.
UPDATE: Target reached out to ComicBook.com to confirm that in addition to the stores getting specially painted PokeBalls, the specially selected Target stores would also have a display of Pokemon merchandise set up at the front of the store. So, it's not the big partnership we were hoping for, but it's still fun to see PokeBalls in front of Target!