Pokemon was created by Satoshi Tajiri in 1996 and published by Japanese video game company Nintendo. It was originally released as a pair of interlinkable Game Boy RPG games called Pocket Monsters Red and Pocket Monsters Green and later renamed Pokemon Red and Pokemon Blue when they were released in the United States.
Having six generations of Pokemon games, the franchise is as successful as ever, Pokemon X and Pokemon Y being the latest installments released in 2013 for the Nintendo 3DS. Since 1996 Pokemon has been merchandised into anime, manga, trading cards, toys, books and video games that have become the second-most succesful video game-based franchise in the world, behind Nintendo’s own Mario franchise. At its 10th aniversary in 2006 the cumulative sales of the video games have reached more than 200 million copies.
Here are some fun facts that you might have not known about Pokemon:
- Pokémon Red & Blue were the first Pokémon games released in the U.S.; in Japan, the first games were Pokémon Red & Green.
- In the Pokémon anime, the main character is named Satoshi after Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokémon, while his rival is named Shigeru in tribute to Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and Satoshi’s mentor.
- Pokémon was originally supposed to be named “Capsule Monsters,” but Satoshi Tajiri had trouble trademarking it, leading to the series eventually being called Pokémon.
- Pikachu is a combination of pikapika, a Japanese onomatopoeia for sparkle, and chuchu, a squeaking sound.
- The Pokémon Koffing and Weezing were originally named “NY” and “LA” in homage to the pollution found in the two respective cities.
- Japanese researchers discovered a protein that helps carry electrical impulses from the eyes to the brain and named it Pikachurin after Pokémon’s iconic Pikachu.
- Rhydon was the first Pokémon ever created.
- Pokémon Gold & Silver, released in 1999 in Japan and 2000 in the U.S., were originally supposed to be the last Pokémon games. (Thankfully, they weren’t.)
- Satoshi Tajiri’s inspiration for Pokémon stems from his childhood passion for collecting bugs.
- Pokémon X & Y will be the first Pokémon games released simultaneously worldwide.
Now are ready to catch’em all? Or better said, wear’em all. We’ve got enough Pokemon t-shirts to keep you busy for awhile and we’re adding more each day!