In 1998, something called Pokemon washed up on American shores and changed the face of marketing and merchandising as we know it. Toy shelves were packed full of them, satellite tv channels offered the shows and movies – kids just couldn’t get enough.
Pokemon has become somewhat of an icon since its creation but, if for some reason you’re scratching your head, here is a brief introduction. Pokemon is short for “pocket monsters” and it originally started as a Japanese video game franchise before making the jump to television, action figures and even movies.
In the world of Pokemon, trainers leave home to prove their worth by competing in Pokemon championships. They capture Pokemon, wild animals with incredible powers, and use them to fight and defeat other trainers and their Pokemon.
It’s all pretty crazy and stupid but that didn’t stop big toymakers from latching onto that trend and milking it for all it’s worth. The question remains that, more than 12 years later, is it still relevant?
The truth is that while the initial impact of the franchise has long since softened over time, Pokemon has made the transition from being a nuance to a staple. The television series is still ongoing in both Japan and the United States with more than 750 episodes and new video games and toys are being made every day.
Pokemon is relevant, yes…and it’s not leaving anytime soon.