Hannah Fawcett hoped to break the stereotype that all Pokémon fans are young boys. Now, she’s taking a break.
On Feb. 8, the supply chain management senior said farewell to her YouTube channel, Laughing Pikachu, where she unboxed Pokémon cards. Fawcett told her 183,000 subscribers that she is leaving to pursue her passion for business full time. She also left her fans a memento to commemorate her time on YouTube: The Laughing Pikachu Pack, a customized card pack created by Fawcett.
Fawcett started her YouTube channel in 2015, her junior year of high school, after discovering Pokémon card unpackings online. What started as a hobby soon brought Fawcett internet attention.
“I didn’t tell anyone about the channel or that I was making videos,” Fawcett said. “I went back like a month later, and there (were) like 100 subscribers out of nowhere.”
As her popularity skyrocketed, she said she found her platform to be a great way to inspire others.
“I was inspired by other people who like collecting Pokémon cards, and I just wanted to encourage people to start collections of their own or continue to build off of their existing collections,” Fawcett said.
Although she no longer makes videos, she hopes to continue to impact the Pokémon community, which is why she made the Laughing Pikachu Packs.
Laughing Pikachu Packs are a special project Fawcett created for her fans. The unique packs are $50 and come with 10 cards: three real cards from her personal collection and seven other assorted customized cards, including a signature Golden Laughing Pikachu card.
The card packs are not affiliated with Pokémon or Nintendo, and the custom cards are not tournament legal. Instead, Fawcett said she created these packs to be a special addition to her fan’s collections.
“I had this idea of taking some of the cards from my collection and putting them into packs and making them available to my viewers so that my collection could live on through others,” Fawcett said.
Fawcett collaborated with custom-card creator Hunter Angell, better known as ZabaTV on YouTube, to create the packs. Angell said the creation of the Laughing Pikachu Packs was no small feat. He and a small team worked to design, package and distribute customized cards for the project.
They created 250 packs and have sold almost half of them to fans all over the world.
“The furthest I think we’ve sent one is Malta,” Angell said. “Other than that, we’ve sent packages to Sri Lanka, South Africa, Brazil, pretty much everywhere.”
Alison Wilkes, arts and entertainment technologies senior, came across Fawcett’s YouTube channel two years ago during the winter break of her sophomore year and was one of the first to purchase a Laughing Pikachu Pack.
“I’m not even going to open (the package),” Wilkes said. “It’s just going to be like her last legacy of that channel. Her impact is substantial and her leaving is also substantial.”
Fawcett said when she first started her videos, she was embarrassed because she was one of few female PokéTubers. Now, she said she wants others to embrace their unique quirks and interests.
Fawcett’s videos always ended on the same words that are printed at the bottom of her Laughing Pikachu Packs, and serve as a reminder of the legacy she left behind: “Don’t ever be ashamed to be you, because you are your own type of beautiful.”