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The Pokémon Peninsula > History of Pokémon
Pokémon, short for Poketto Monstaa (Pocket Monsters), was invented by a Japanese guy named Satoshi Tajiri - aka "God" to Pokémon fans. (Well, maybe not, but you have to admit he's pretty cool XD.) Officially, according to Nintendo, Pokémon was invented by the Japanese company Game Freak, but it was really Tajiri who did it all XD. He remembered how he loved collecting insects when he was a kid, so he invented the Pokémon video games, first released for the Game Boy console. The first Pokémon copyright dates back to 1995, so it's been around a while now! Satoshi (Ash), the main character in the TV show, is named after Tajiri, and his rival Shigeru (Gary) is named after Tajiri's good friend Shigeru "Shiggy" Miyamoto, most famous for games like Mario and Zelda.
After massive success with the games, the Pokémon universe expanded. The first things to come were the Anime (Japanese animation) TV show, the manga (Japanese Anime-style comics) and the trading card game, for which there are worldwide tournaments with great prizes (kids up to the age of 14 can officially compete). Next were the movies - the first one had a bigger opening weekend take at the box office than Titanic! Plus, you can now get a whole heap of Pokémon merchandise - CDs, videos, figurines, clothing, plushies, and pretty much anything else you can think of. Pokémon has its own retail chain, the Pokémon Center, which has stores throughout Japan and a branch as part of the Nintendo store in New York City.
With years of massive success for Pokémon, the copyright to Pokémon is now partly held by a company started in 2001 - The Pokémon Company. Yep, that's right, Pokémon has its own company! And hopefully, it'll continue to grow. ^^ (I want a Pokémon Center in Melbourne, Australia XD. Hey, that's a hint XD.)
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