The global phenomenon of Pokémon was first launched in Japan in 1996 as a video game for Nintendo’s Game Boy family system and reached the United States and Europe in 1998–99.
Lindesay Rudd-Clarke, founder of Gemma International, fondly remembers the company’s success with the brand the first time around and in 2001 Gemma celebrated the incredible milestone of selling one million Pokémon greeting cards! The publisher will soon be launching a new range of cards via a direct licensing deal with The Pokémon Company International.
The first generation of Pokémon games introduced 150 Pokémon characters, while today there are over 700 characters that players can catch, trade, and battle against their opponents in the quest to become the best Pokémon Trainer. Now in this the 20th year of Pokemon, the brand is appealing to another generation, with the upcoming launch of Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon.
Tim Rudd-Clarke, Licensing Director at Gemma said of the deal: “Pokémon was huge the first time round, and we are so pleased to be given a second bite of the apple! With more characters, more games and, most importantly, the addition of handheld gaming and interactivity, combined with a massive social media following, we are expecting big things! As leaders and innovators of the licensed greetings world, we’ve enjoyed recent success with number of ‘digital’ brands and have no doubt that Pokémon will follow suit.”