If you’re a suburbanite like me, you’re no doubt familiar with the massive red spheres that adorn the front of most Target locations. Just how familiar you are with Target’s balls, I guess, depends on how many diapers you purchase on a monthly or weekly basis.
But I’m here to tell you that those balls are changing in a big way.
A few weeks ago, my 6-year-old daughter came to me here at my desk and said, at a near-ultrasonic frequency that could barely contain her excitement, "Daddy, there’s a Poké Ball at Target!"
I smiled and chuckled. No honey, I said, that can’t possibly be true.
Later, she brought me a picture of Target’s balls, the bottom side painted white and the top side left red.
No honey, that must be some kind of clever vandalism. Nothing more.
But my daughter was right all along. Target has swapped its red balls for Poké Balls at select locations.
In a press release issued today, Target announced a new initiative to put branded balls in front of each of their locations. It's a natural fit as the custom-made traffic-control devices were just sitting around anyway. And, given that Target does a steady business in Pokémon merchandise, it makes sense to court Pokémon Go players looking for a fun photo op on their next Target run.
They also taught me something new. These spheres are actually called "bollards" and they each weigh 1,200 pounds.
That means Target’s Poké Balls are indeed big, weighing in at more than half a ton each.