Ah, Mew. The original unobtainable that at one time was the single hurdle to fully completing one's Pokédex. We now know that there is a legitimate method of obtaining Mew in the Generation I games but that wasn't present in the remakes so it doesn't help towards the National Dex in Generations III and IV. This month, Toys 'R' Us is making Mew available throughout the United Kingdom. Anxious to fill the space to the left of Chikorita in my box, today I went to Derby to get one of my own.
Actually getting to the event can always be an issue for people. I wasn't able to get to the limited Deoxys event in 2005 because it wasn't anywhere near me. In this case, I was luckier as Derby is fairly close to my home. The only issue I had was the slow traffic reaching the event. No, Mew isn't that popular. Most of it was headed towards the nearby football ground for the first match of the season. It was just a bit of unfortunate timing.
With that said, there were still a lot of people at the event, including a surprisingly wide age range. I was expecting most of the attendees to be kids with their parents but at least half the people I saw were around my age or older. Of the under 12s, I only saw one dressed up for the costume competition. He was Ash, complete with Pikachu toy. My canon-detector immediately picked up flaws but you can hardly expect perfection with that age group. The event went on all day so I assume that enough kids arrived in costume when I wasn't there for all three prizes to be given out.
Finding the way to the Mew giveaway from the car park was easy enough. It was the giant line leading out from the tent with images of Generation IV Pokémon. I immediately joined the end and had to wait for 55 minutes to reach the front. It didn't help that the sun was glaring down during that time, though the weather could certainly have been worse. After half an hour, an attendant came round asking people to make sure they had a free space in their party, which apparently had been causing a lot of the delays. That necessity certainly hadn't been stated on the website, though it wouldn't have mattered for me since I only keep two Pokémon in my Ruby party these days anyway. Once at the front, I simply gave my GBA to one of the two people there and thirty seconds later that space in the party was filled with a standard level 10 Mew.
One of the benefits of such events is that it is a natural gathering of Pokémon players. I used the Link Searcher on my Pokétch at one point in the line and it told me that 8 people in range were in the Union Room at that time while another was in the Underground. It was possible to trade and battle with the GBA or DS normally but the main attraction for this was next to the Mew line.
There was a room in the tent that had multiple demos of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, though no one seemed to be interested in them. Instead, all attention was directed to the middle where the currently unreleased Pokémon Battle Revolution was set up for multiplayer double battles. An attendant kept the Wii controller but everything during the battle was controlled with our own copies of Diamond or Pearl. This was the first opportunity to see our Sinnoh teams battle in 3D and it went over well. Due to the nature of this, most of the Pokémon seen were those used in the adventure so the Sinnoh starters, Dialga, Palkia and Luxray were used a lot. However, I did get to see some rarities while I was watching, such as a Shiny Mewtwo, an Arceus (that the player had received in a trade) and a Japanese Darkrai. After a wait (that was more enjoyable than the first one), I got my chance to play. I won, despite getting concerened at one point when I was up against Dialga and Palkia together.
Other things of note at the event included a television in the seating area that was showing episodes of Battle Frontier. At the information desk, you could get a trainer card which was stamped somewhere (no one seemed to know where) to receive a goody bag inside the Toys 'R' Us. I didn't bother with it but, from what I saw from other people, it included directions on how to get Manaphy along with some posters and stickers.
When it comes down to it, the main attraction of Mew is being a little closer to owning a living Pokédex. Mew has some benefits, such as the wide moveset - especially as I am currently searching for good contest Pokémon - but that wasn't on my mind when I went. It was the chance to play and see other people's teams on Battle Revolution that made the trip worthwhile by itself.