Pokemon Fans In Japan Are Catching 'Em All At McDonald's

The power of Pokemon truly knows no bounds.

As much as I’d like to say that this news is shocking, if I’m being honest: it isn’t. Not at all.

How many times in the past two weeks have I been walking down the street, only to spot large gaggles of people standing in the middle of my path, frantically trying to catch the first non-Pidgy Pokemon in their path? Too many times, folks.

Ash Ketchum, we have a problem.

Now Japan is getting a sample taste of what it’s going to be like when Pokemon Go finally launches. Bloomberg reports the launch has been delayed, by the way, due to fears that Japan’s server capacity won’t be powerful enough to keep up with the expected demand, which is massive. As a result, some McDonald's locations in Japan are offering Pokemon toys.

As expected, the promotion is a huge success. Per Bloomberg, McDonald’s Holdings Co. (Japan) reports a share jump of as much as 23 percent, which is the largest daily gain since it started giving away Pokemon character figurines with sales of Happy Meals one Friday in July 2001. 

“Investors are flocking to Pokemon-related stocks and McDonald’s Japan is one of those benefiting from the boom,” said Mitsushige Akino, a Tokyo-based executive officer at Ichiyoshi Asset Management Co. “The boom came at a time when McDonald’s business has already started recovering and there’s expectation that the Pokemon toy offering will further increase customer traffic to their shops.”

I’ve got to hand it to them — if anything was going to help the hamburger chain recover from a series of food safety scandals, Pokemon is it.

According to Bloomberg, shares in the Japan unit of McDonalds Corp. have risen 9.9 percent as of 11 a.m. in Tokyo trading July 19, which helped make the benchmark Topix index rise .2 percent.