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About Pokémon

Pokémon - still a global favorite at 20 years old

Pokémon - still a global favorite at 20 years old', ' Pokémon is a world-famous media franchise spanning multiple genres, from toys and games to anime. The name is a shortening of "Pocket Monsters" - the original Japanese title, derived from the fact that a captured Pokémon would fit in your pocket. The first Pokémon property was Pokémon Red and Green for the original Game Boy. The Pokémon anime premiered on April 1, 1997, and the game and anime together soon gathered a global following, igniting a worldwide Pokémon craze. To date, the Pokémon games have seen global sales of over 280 million units, the anime has been broadcast in 95 countries and regions, and over 21.5 billion Pokémon trading cards have been shipped worldwide, leading to a global Pokémon market valued in excess of 4 trillion yen. Pokémon sparked renewed interest with the 2016 release of mobile game Pokémon Go, which broke multiple download and revenue records and became a much-discussed topic around the world.



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In the world of Pokémon, Pokémon Trainers find and capture the eponymous creatures, making them their partner in battling other Pokémon for sport. In the games, the player initially receives their first Pokémon from a Pokémon researcher, and then battles and captures the various Pokémon found in the region. Although the story also captures imaginations, a key part of the appeal of Pokémon games is playing with friends, exchanging Pokémon or battling each other directly. The Pokémon anime tells the story of Ash Ketchum and his journey towards becoming a Pokémon Master, aided by his partner Pikachu. During initial production, the anime producers wanted to make sure the title would appeal to boys and girls alike and reportedly chose to make Pikachu the featured Pokémon to further this aim.

From the first generation of 151 Pokémon, over the years the list has expanded significantly, with a total of over 800 Pokémon making an appearance to date. Riding the wave of popularity caused by both the game and the anime, a wide selection of tie-in toys and other items were released. Over 200 companies hold licenses to produce Pokémon-related goods, including Bandai, Takara Tomy and more. Pokémon plushies have proven especially popular, with limited-edition Pokémon Center Original plushies frequently becoming rare items sought after by collectors. The Pokémon Trading Card Game has also proved a lasting hit worldwide, with rare cards fetching premium prices.

Pokémon celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2016, and shows no signs of slowing down. The internet now allows Pokémon fans across the world to connect with each other and trade Pokémon or do battle anywhere, at any time. It''s safe to say that the hit combination of appealing characters and freedom to enjoy the series how you want is the key to the enduring global popularity of the franchise.