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Pokémon: ???? Pokémon, although frequently mispronounced Poh-Kee-MAN, is a video game franchise, created by Satoshi Tajiri and published by Nintendo for several of their systems, most importantly the Game Boy. It has been merchandised into anime, manga, trading cards, toys, and much more. The name Pokémon is a portmanteau of the words Pocket Monsters (????????? Poketto Monsuta), which is its Japanese name.

Pokémon is also the collective name for the fictional creatures within the Pokémon games. The franchise has 386 unique monsters that lie at the heart of the Pokémon series (391 including currently known Pokémon from future games and 393 including glitches). These figures have grown from the 151 monsters - including the almost unobtainable Mew - from the original games.

The logo with the "Gotta catch 'em all" slogan.The Pokémon games are strategy games with a small RPG element which allow players to catch, collect, and train pets with various abilities, and battle them against each other to build their strength and evolve them into more powerful Pokémon. Pokémon battles are based on the non-lethal Eastern sport of fighting insects, but the Pokémon never bleed or die, only faint. The game's catchphrase used to be "Gotta catch 'em all!", although now it is no longer officially used. The games have sold over 100 million copies to date, not counting the ones released for home consoles (such as the Nintendo 64 and the Nintendo GameCube). This makes it the second biggest-selling games franchise ever (after Nintendo's Mario series).

Pikachu, numbered 25 in the Pokédex, is probably the most well-known Pokémon species.The Pokémon characters have become pop-culture icons, with a Pikachu balloon in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, thousands of merchandise items, and in 2005, a theme park in Nagoya, Japan. The prone to offend cartoon South Park spoofed Pokémon in Episode 310, entitled "Chinpokomon" ("chinpoko" is Japanese slang for penis), in which the executives behind it were revealed to be Japanese ultranationalists bent on avenging Japan's admitted defeat in World War II. Shows such as the Simpsons have made mild references to Pokémon and other anime in their cartoons.

Because of the unprecedented popularity of the franchise, Nintendo formed a subsidiary company called The Pokémon Company to handle the franchise. The subsidiary handles everything from publishing the games in Japan to running the official merchandise stores, the Pokémon Centers. The Pokémon Company in turn has a U.S. based subsidiary called Pokémon USA, of which a minority owner is 4Kids Entertainment, the international distributors (outside Japan) of the popular Pokémon anime series.

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