Kentucky Fried ... Pikachu?!

   You better watch what you order next time you head over to your local Kentucky Fried Chicken store, because you might just end up with a juicy piece of Pokémon merchandise.

   Nintendo of America has signed a $17 million dollar deal with Kentucky Fried Chicken for a whole slew of product endorsement pushing the upcoming RPG / monster-rearing game, due out on the Game Boy. Between November 9 and December 20, you can pick up the four most popular Pokémon characters in miniature beanbags. The fun doesn't end there, however, because between November 15 and January 9, 1999, children who order the KFC kids' meal will received a packaged Pokémon toy, such as stick-on tatooes, coin pouches, puzzle blocks, and other assorted goodies.

   The Pokémon craze in Japan, already a $4 billion dollar industry over there, will be heading over to North America this fall. For now, corporate executives feel the game will carry over the popularity to our shores. "Anyone doing business or who has visited Japan realizes how immense the Pokémon craze is there," explained Cathy Snow, a marketing director for KFC. "We can't think of a better place for Pokémon to start their American invasion than at KFC." The logic may not seem right, but you're likely to hear about the game in the coming months. KFC is planning a series of 15 and 30 second television ads, as well as advertising in magazines like Sports Illustrated For Kids.

   The staff of RPGamer is very scared, yet excited about the impending Pokémon madness. Only time will tell just how the American audience will receive the game, and the spinoff merchandise. One word of advice, though: make sure you're absolutely positive that you know what you're eating when you go out, from now on.

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