Who Is Your Starter? Introducing Shawnigan's Take on Pokémon
“Gotta catch ’em all!”
The slogan of the Pokémon international media franchise was appropriate in more ways than one as Shawnimon cards hit the commissary shelves this week — and sold out almost immediately, leaving many hopeful collectors empty handed.
If you’ve been a kid or had a kid — or both — any time in the last 25 years, you’re almost certainly familiar with the phenomenon of Pokémon. The global sensation has now received a Shawnigan-flavoured reboot that proved more popular than anyone could have envisioned.
Shawnimon trading feature all your favourite current and former Shawnigan staff members, suitable for collecting, trading and gameplay. What started as a discussion in summer 2021 about how to honour staff members who were retiring or had already retired evolved into an exciting collaboration between English, graphic arts and entrepreneurship classes.
Work on the project began during the 2021-22 academic year. English classes under Mrs. Kimberly Edgson wrote the text for the cards after interviewing staff members and compiling fun facts. Ms. Maite Urzua’s graphic arts class designed the cards, basing them on the familiar Pokémon aesthetic. And Ms. Mariel Solsberg’s entrepreneurship class handled logistics and marketing, with an assist from Mr. Aren Goodman’s film class, who made commercials for the cards.
The decisions about which staff members to feature on the cards were made entirely by the students. Students also decided which cards would be more common and which would be harder to come by. There were 35 total cards to collect in the first set, but the creators didn’t print equal numbers of all the cards.
“It was interesting to see which ones students chose to make as the rare ones,” Ms. Solsberg commented.
In an address to his fellow students at Wednesday’s Chapel gathering, Entrepreneurship 10 student Findlay H. suggested that there may be a grand prize for any student who collects all 35 cards.
He hyped the cards, saying, “These cards offer students the opportunity to satiate their desire to collect things, while also learning facts about our heroic teachers and staff.” Clearly, the sales pitch worked, as the first run of 79 packs of five cards apiece sold out almost instantly. Disappointed students reached out to Ms. Solsberg, “demanding” a restock. Rumour has it that there are more cards on the way, including extremely rare “legend” variations.
We acknowledge with respect the Coast Salish Peoples on whose traditional lands and waterways we live, learn and play. We are grateful for the opportunity to share in this beautiful region, and we aspire to healthy and respectful relationships with those who have lived on and cared for these lands for millennia.
Shawnigan Lake School is an independent co-educational boarding school for ages 13 –18 on Canada’s beautiful West Coast. Our diverse, interdisciplinary and innovative programming helps shape the next generation of global leaders.