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- Detective Pikachu
With the theatrical release of Detective Pikachu less than a month away, merchandise tie-ins have begun in earnest for the first live-action Pokemon movie. Chief among them is the film’s partnership with convenience store chain 7-Eleven. The 7-Eleven Detective Pikachu tie-in has an appropriately themed augmented reality app where users can hunt for missing Pokemon and earn free food along the way.
The app has been available for a few days now, currently you can earn a free slice of 7-Eleven pizza through the game. Starting April 17, the free food on offer is a 4-pack of mini tacos, after which a free cup of coffee takes over on April 24, with a free pack of bone-in chicken wings rounding out the deals on May 1. You can unlock pre-existing deals as well as whichever deal is presently available, but all free food coupons expire on May 31. The app is also sponsored by Mountain Dew Game Fuel, but it’s unclear if players will be able to earn free Mountain Dew at any point.
7-Eleven also has plenty of other Detective Pikachu-themed merchandise and deals on offer, including a reusable Slurpee cup, a special Detective Pikachu-themed Pokemon Trading Card Game pack, and an admittedly slick Detective Pikachu baseball cap — in addition to a series of branded tchotchkes like Detective Pikachu wallets and Detective Pikachu travel mugs.
Both the app’s general construction, and arguably the very existence of the Detective Pikachu movie, can be attributed to the massive success of 2016’s Pokemon Go AR game, which arguably brought Pokemon back into mainstream popular culture in a way reminiscent of the brand’s original surge when it first hit American shores in the late 1990s.
Nintendo’s equally successful home console, the Nintendo Switch, will also be getting its first full-fledged Pokemon experience later this year with Pokemon Sword and Shield, the first console Pokemon RPG since Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness in 2005 for the Nintendo GameCube.