Super Trainer Showdown Report, Long Beach, California

My wife, two boys, and I visited the Super Trainer Showdown aboard the Queen Mary.  Remember the Pokemon episode “Battle Aboard the St. Anne?”  The turn-out was excellent and the crowds were well-managed on each of the three floor-levels of activities.  Our day went as follows:

10:00 am we stopped at our neighborhood TCG League and picked-up our Ancient Mew play mats and then played a couple hands using Brocks Challenge format (You play with at least 5 Level 2 evolutions in your deck).  We left the four league members in attendance and headed out to Long Beach by 1:30 pm where parking was the only expense of the entire free event. 

The excitement began as we approached the historic ship which was decorated with a two-story high poster from the Pokemon 2000 Movie.  Banners were everywhere and the Pika-mobile was out front for photo opportunities.  Most of all, a life-size, helium filled Meowth-head balloon with basket attached was there for more picture taking.  Cameras and a press reporter was seen giving live coverage on this unprecedented moment.  People were constantly on the move with their free giveaway bags which came with playmats, trainer folder covers, and tournament rules.  We boarded the mid-deck and received appointment cards for free photo opportunities in front of a 7 foot Dark Raichu card and Lt.  Surge’s King of the Hill battle (ages 10 and under). 

Nearly, all activities were rewarded for participation by trainers stamping each persons league hand-out.  Two league stamps = a free booster pack from any Base, Jungle, Fossil, Base 2, or Rocket theme.  We missed the 8:00 am to 11:00 am registration for the main tournament, but participants could still take advantage of a huge amount activitities that abound.  I looked down to the bottom level at the main tournament and I saw a thick crowd of serious-faced players waiting in line for a chair to open at any of the several, already occupied tables. 

I thought we were lucky to be in the 10 and under group, but even most kids at this level had built-up their decks.  Our boys were hammered for 6 losses each using their Team Rocket decks in defense.  However, smiles abounded when a master trainer came over to lighten our frustrations by playing our boys only to lose and give them each a Clefable Holograph card!  An area for Pokemon Stadium N64 was available for those who wish to go head to head on a console.  Also, Gameboy tournaments were underway with the familiar different cup levels. 

Large, blank Pokemon cards were given to those who wish to make their own trading card in exchange for a booster pack.  A big screen stage was set-up for Pokemon episodes and Deck building lessons.  Correctly answered Pokemon trivia questions were awarded with small prizes.   Life-size Pikachu was present for hugs and snapshots, and a woman dressed head-to-toe as Jessie from Team Rocket could be seen in the ongoing crowds.  Little ones relaxed in Misty’s Fun Zone with pokemon pillows and on the hour storytime.  Several displays gave sneak-peeks at various pokemon cards in different languages including the latest Gym Hero decks Misty, Brock, Lt. Surge, and Erika (the trainer foils looked awesome).  The free Dark Raichu photo was taken with an instant Polaroid or 3 ˝” floppy computer image disk. 

Five hours later we left the event with 10 booster packs containing 3 foils, filled giveaway bags, and two happy boys who now know what it takes to be in the big leagues (even though they’ve earned 7 of 8 league badges). Of all the Pokemon events I’ve been, I must say this was the most complete and professionally covered gatherings to handle the many facets of pokemon competition.  We ate dinner at nearby Shoreline Village and watched the 9:00 pm fireworks against the beautiful Queen Mary background.  Thank you Wizards Of The Coast for a well-done event and Pojo for sharing up-to-the-minute news!