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Gotta Catch 'Em All: Pokemon Fans Go Crazy Over New Oreos

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

There's been big fun for people who like sandwich cookies and fierce, little pocket monsters. I'm talking, of course, about Pokemon Oreos.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: New Pokemon-themed Oreo cookies. Bulbasaur, Charmander...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: Squirtle.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #3: No, you...

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Because I got Mew in the first pack ever.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #1: Update on that - I was having a midnight snack. And in the same package, there was another freaking Mew.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Another freaking Mew, dude? No way. Those were some very excited Pokemon fans sharing their reactions to the new limited-edition Oreo cookies that hit shelves about two weeks ago. Instead of the usual Oreo design, these sport 16 beloved Pokemon characters. And they are a hit despite the request from striking Nabisco workers that the public avoid buying the company's products until their labor dispute is resolved.

DENNIS LEE: Workers were striking against overtime rules and work conditions, and they weren't getting paid enough.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's Dennis Lee, food writer at The Takeout. The strike ended last week. It did not appear to have affected consumer enthusiasm for snackable Pikachus, Jigglypuffs and Charmanders.

LEE: I just looked, as in a few minutes ago, and found out that some of the cookies are being sold for a thousand bucks. And this is an individual cookie.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: That's right - a thousand bucks for just one perishable cookie. It's Mew. Mew is one of a kind. Pokemon fans know that. But if you don't know Pokemon, it's a massive global franchise that originated in Japan back in the 1990s. There are collectible cards, TV shows, movies, video games. The list goes on and on.

LEE: The thing about Pokemon is that it was designed for people to just go collector crazy. So you've got some characters that are really hard to capture, and the scarcity is what really drives up the prices.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: But Dennis Lee points out that collecting Oreos isn't exactly the same thing as collecting, let's say, old baseball cards.

LEE: You got all these packages going out. And if you hang on to it as a collector, hopefully, your investment goes up. But after 20 years, 30 years or however long you're planning on holding these cookies, they're still cookies. So in my mind, they're probably going to get all nasty inside the package.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: How long do Oreos last? Some say two weeks past their best buy date. Some others say longer, depending on how you store them. Pop them in the freezer. Maybe you can get eight months. But years?

LEE: I don't know how you would store an Oreo for that long. That's the thing about edible collectibles. Who knows? Your cat can go and start chewing on it because our cats probably would.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: So if you do choose to join the masses in your hunt for these limited-edition Pokemon cookies, just remember you got to catch them all.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "POKEMON THEME")

JASON PAIGE: (Singing) Pokemon. Got to catch them all. Got to catch them all... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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