pokemon toronto

People in Toronto turned a car into a giant Pokemon and drove it through the city

Over the past 25 years, just about every kid has dreamed of travelling alongside their favourite Pokemon. Toronto-based YouTubers Antonio Mantia and Taylor Banks recently decided to turn that dream into a reality.

In February, the pair got inspired while watching Pokemon card unboxing videos on YouTube and decided to make some themed content of their own to celebrate the legendary franchise's 25th anniversary, which took place on February 27th, 2021.

After some discussion, transforming a car into the iconic fire-breathing Pokemon Charizard became the mission at hand — though with the anniversary approaching quickly at the time, they knew there wasn't much time to act.

"Time wasn't really on our side at this point," Mantia told blogTO. "We had to rush out, find a car, find a way that we could actually put wings and a head on it, so we had to figure all that out."

After some searching, the pair was able to find an old Toyota with over half-a-million miles on sale for only $450. They purchased the beat up vehicle and got right to work making sure it evolved despite having no prior experience modding cars.

Hundreds of hours spent playing Pokemon games and a desire to inspire others to follow their dreams helped motivate the two to complete their project and design the Pokecar they envisioned.

Once the design was complete, they fired up the cameras and drove the vehicle right through the heart of downtown Toronto much to the delight of onlookers.

"It was all positive, everyone was a fan," Mantia explained. "Even the police that pulled us over were like, 'We just kind of wanted to see what was going on here.'"

While there's no definite plans of what's next for the pair, Mantia admits that he would love to do more nostalgic content including opening up a 90s themed pop-up shop that sells everything from skateboards to Pokemon cards at their original prices.

"We just want to make weird dreams come true in a weird way," said Mantia.

In what has been an unprecedentedly weird year for all the wrong reasons, seeing some positive strangeness is a refreshing sight.

Lead photo by

Antonio Mantia


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in City

City of Toronto nabs dozens of cyclists for speeding in blitz that some say is unfair

Doug Ford says he'll hop into a school bus and drive kids to class this fall if he has to

People have started installing anti-City of Toronto signs in parks

Special weather alert issued for Toronto due to some of the worst air quality in the world

Vote for your favourites in 30 new best of categories

Toronto neighbourhood still shaken by long lockdown in Ontario

People upset after Shoppers Drug Mart in Toronto replaces cashiers with self-checkouts

Toronto loses out to Winnipeg on latest ranking of world's greatest places