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Pikachu Wasn’t The Original Pokemon Mascot

Pikachu Wasn’t The Original Pokemon Mascot

    Last Updated on June 10, 2023

Nowadays, it’s normal to think about Pikachu as the original Pokemon mascot when we mention the Pokemon games or anime. After all, Pikachu is still the mascot after over 25 years and counting. However, it might surprise you to know that the old yellow furball wasn’t always the original mascot.

During the creation of Pokemon, a lot of things did not involve Pikachu. Did you know that the first ever Pokemon designed also isn’t Pikachu? After all, the design direction for Pokemon supposedly got its inspiration from dinosaurs. It would also make sense that the original mascot would be one of the first designs. So, what Pokemon is the original mascot?

The Original Pokemon Mascot is Poliwhirl

The Original Pokemon Mascot: Poliwhirl

Yes, it came as a shocker for me too when I learned it was Poliwhirl. Poliwhirl is the tadpole Pokemon and was present on the logo for the first Pokemon Center store in Tokyo. The blue critter also made it on the cover of TIME magazine way back before Pikachu. Yet, there is a reason why they wanted Poliwhirl to be the original Pokemon mascot.

It was one of Satoshi Tajiri’s favorite Pokemon. Tajiri is the creator of the Pokemon franchise as well as one of the founders of Game Freak. Since the creator himself loved Poliwhirl, it would make sense that everyone else would agree. However, Pikachu’s popularity was more than anyone expected.

However, it is worth noting that Clefairy was another challenger to become the original Pokemon mascot. Clefairy was the first Pokemon for the main character in the manga series after Pokemon Red and Blue. However, they only released the manga in Japan and had a reputation for being not safe for work. It might also be the reason why the pink Pokemon did not make it to being the face of the franchise. Yet, it does make sense since Game Freak thought that it would appeal more to girl gamers.

However, Pikachu appealed to every gamer. Pikachu’s popularity skyrocketed as well after the release of Pokemon Red and Blue. It became clear to Game Freak and Nintendo that Pikachu was the best option to become the original Pokemon mascot. After all, Pikachu’s role in the 1997 anime made the yellow critter a fan favorite. Ever since then, Pikachu became the most recognizable Pokemon in the world.

What Happened to Clefairy?

Despite being replaced as the original mascot, Clefairy remained a popular Pokemon. The pink Pokemon appeared in all of the games, as well as in the anime, manga, and trading card games. Clefairy is also a popular choice for fan art because the pink Pokemon was easier to draw.

Although the development team was in favor of Clefairy, the community chose Pikachu. Game Freak and Nintendo saw it as a clear sign to go with the community’s decision. After all, Pikachu was simply more marketable than Clefairy. Since the appearance in the anime, it was easier to create merchandise based on Pikachu.

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Written By
Dan Reyes

With five years of experience in the writing industry, he takes readers by storm. He aims to provide catchy and informational articles that will capture the hearts and minds of his readers.

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