You could be forgiven for thinking that the Pokemon phenomenon was manufactured in a marketing boardroom by ruthless executives scheming the separation of children from their pocket money.
But Pokemon actually began as a game. And it was the game's popularity that led to the animated cartoon, movies, collectible cards and countless other merchandise.
Pokemon was created by Japanese designer Satoshi Tajiri who combined his two childhood passions: monster movies and insects. The first game, released in Japan in 1995, took Tajiri five years to make.
Nintendo did not expect it to be successful because Game Boy sales were declining. But Pokemon revived the hand-held and became a monster hit. More than 128 million games have sold worldwide, much to the dismay of Nintendo's competitors and the bafflement of parents.