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Image by Federico Ghedini from Pixabay

The Pokemon franchise has expanded in several directions, including a very popular card game.

Aldo Suarez, Classes & Election editor

Do you remember collecting Pokémon cards back when you were younger? Playing them with your friends and seeing who has more power to beat the other?

Pokémon is one of the most successful franchises in the world, worth $90 billion. That’s bigger than Marvel, Star Wars and Hello Kitty!

Pokémon was invented by two Japanese men, Satoshi Tajiri and Ken Sugimori back in 1982. Pokémon  according to was originally called “Game Freak” and Tajiri was the writer, Sugimori the illustrator. Both men noticed, as time went on, that the arcade train wasn’t too hot anymore, so they decided to develop other games, little knowing they would be creating a very popular and highly successful franchise.

Tajiri and Sugimori introduced the idea of Pokémon, originally called Pocket Monsters, to Nintendo, but their management had quite a bit of trouble understanding the idea. Still, Tajiri was given the benefit of the doubt due to the success of “Game Freak”. Now, with the green light given, Tajiri spent the next six years developing the games before releasing them to the public.

Pocket Monsters was released on February 27, 1996, in two different versions, red and green. They were playable with the Gameboy console, which was very popular back then. They were also tradeable, allowing the player to switch between the red and green version, although both versions were originally delivered in black and white. What you would do is insert the cartridge in the Gameboy and the screen would like very basic.

Pokémon has since enjoyed massive success, with their games released in many versions..

Media Factory, which was founded December 1, 1986, in Tokyo, decided to create the TCG, better known as the Pokémon Trading Card Game to continue the high success. That meant that people could play the electronic game but also collect the cards from their favorite Pokémon.

The first Pokémon cards were released October.20,1996, and included 102 cards, some with drawings from Sugimori, as well as Mitsuhiro Arita, and Keiji Kinebuchi. The cards were an immediate hit and further developments were made. In 1999 the first edition of Pokémon cards were released with a box titled Wizards of the Coast.

According to, a first edition box recently sold at auction for $432,000. It was in excellent condition, still shrink-wrapped in cellophane with no damage to the box´s edges. These first edition sets included 36 cards, 12 of them being holographic cards. One card, Shadowless Charizard can be worth $200,000 if it is in pristine condition.

Since the development of the original Pocket Monsters, the Pokémon empire has expanded to include movies, adaptations of the series, games and more. Pokémon Go, a mobile version of the game, was first released July 6, 2016, and there will be a Pokémon Go Fest, celebrated for the first time since 2019, that will begin on June 4.

There is no doubt that Pokémon will continue to keep getting more and more popular year after year. Pokémon has turned from childhood nostalgia to a multi-million dollar franchise that just keeps on growing. If you want to learn more about the history of Pokémon check out