Pokemon 15+ Rant
December 6, 2001 - by Ness (Jason Klaczynski)

From: schweppe [schweppe@mcics.com]
Sent: Friday, December 07, 2001 4:18 PM
To: custserv@wizards.com
Subject: From David Schweppe

Hi. My name is David Schweppe and I am the parent of "RaNd0m," Jonathan Schweppe (age almost 14). Jonathan was the winner in the Indianapolis qualifier this fall. I thank you VERY much for the trip to San Diego. We ended up coming as a family. My daughter (age 12) played as well as Jon. Jacob, my youngest age 5, wants to learn to play like big brother and sister.

First, here's a "heads up" for you, your company, and your marketing division: http://www.pojo.com/Features/index.html

The reason for writing you this email is because of the rumor my son has heard online: Wizards plans to drop the STS and/or the 15+ division. There is the belief that the youth will venture into Magic if they are denied playing in the 15+ division. I will let you know as the parent of Jonathan, that this will not happen, or, if it does, it will end up being a trickle.

I have several recommendations for you... speaking as a parent... and virtually an investor in Pokemon.

1. Keep the STS. Indeed have three per year - one out East (Virginia perhaps), one out West (close to Wizards would be cool), and one here in the Midwest (Chicago, Minneapolis, Indianaplois, Louisville?). If you need to, have a entrance fee to help with the expenses. Make it $5.00 or $10.00 for the day for participants. During the STS make sure YOU provide a store. Keep the price of packs at around $2.00 per pack and make sure there are plenty of packs to purchase. As a parent I KNOW the packs will be sold. Have collectibles available as well. And other stuff should be available for sale - t-shirts, sweatshirts, pokeballs, albums, sleeves, anything "Pokemon." Also include cards for your other series (Harry Potter, and yes, Magic, etc.). If you want kids to move from Pokemon to Magic, you need to do
it subtly and overtly. Also, during the STS make sure that the concessioners don't PRICE GOUGE the parents. Keep prices down.... Parents will BUY MORE!!!!

2. Keep the 15+ division. I strongly disagree with you marketing division on this call to eliminate the 15+ group. When I went to San Diego, my son tried to get me to play. "There'll be other dads, dad, who will be playing." My son was right. A bunch of adults and teens played. I'd recommend that you let the individual choose which of your card games they want to play. Indeed, there should be a Pokemon revival (I'll explain how to do that in a bit). I recommend that you change your divisions a bit: 11 and under; 12-15; 16 and older. You might want to include a 6 and under and have people there (parent volunteers?) to teach the game to the younger ones.

3. As to the free trips: Keep them. But one per division per qualifier. And have an ultimate trip available to the STS winners - Tropical Mega Battle perhaps?

4. Pokemon Revival: Your marketing division may think Pokemon is dead in America; it is not. It's only entered a different stage in its development. YOU are the ones who will decide the fate of this cash crop of yours. In order to create a revival, you could....

As I write this, my son just said, "Dad, don't you want them to "bite"?" You know? He's right. If you are interested in rejuvenating this cash crop of yours, give me a call. I've given enough ideas that, AS A PARENT, I know will work, that I think you will probably call. If not, your loss. And not only because you won't respond to my ideas, but because Pokemon could well continue ... for years. Your choice.

Don't get rid of the STS.

Don't get rid of the 15+ division; instead, PROMOTE IT!

Bring your own store to the STS.

Listen to what the youth are saying... and their parents.

Don't listen to the naysayers - they are not "tuned in" to these youth.


David W. Schweppe
Pastor, Messiah Lutheran Church, Aledo, IL
Father of Jonathan "RaNd0m" Schweppe
Purchaser of $1000s of Pokemon cards (I should be a shareholder in Wizards!)