Pokémon evolved into an international cultural phenomenon shortly after the release of the original Game Boy games in the mid-1990s. It should hardly come as a surprise that the success was followed by truckloads of officially licensed Pokémon merchandise. Nintendo certainly didn't take long to realize that people couldn't get enough of anything emblazoned with the Pokémon logo.
As more games were released the number of Pokémon ballooned, and the opportunities for Pokémon-themed merch continued to expand in kind. To this day, the Pokémon brand continues to offer apparently inexhaustible marketing appeal, and even more new products continue to be released on a regular basis.
Judging by the Pokémon products we've dug up for this list, it seems that sometimes we don't gotta catch them all - or at least we probably shouldn't.
19 Reversible Plush
It's easy to see the appeal of a cute Pokémon busting out of its Pokéball - just like it does in the cartoons. However, there are two flaws with the design of the reversible Pokémon. First of all, the shape of the ball is lumpy and hollow in certain places. Second, the same uneven and misshaped issue would happen to the Pokémon, making it look like Quasimodo.
A Pikachu duck seems obvious, but apparently, Nintendo didn't see the value in it and refused to sign a license for that. That clearly didn't stop the diehard duck fan who decided to modify an existing rubber duck and turn it into this creation - the Pikaduck. We won't be adding this abomination to our prized rubber duck collection anytime soon!
17 Squishy Misty
There's very little focus on turning the Pokémon trainers into toys. Unluckily for us, the bootleg market loves to throw Ash and Misty all over their knockoff toys. Here's some kind of scary-looking squishy Misty toy. We don't know why her mouth and eyes look like she's been crying in the shower while wearing makeup.
16 Pokémom Go Knockoff Lego
Lego holds the license for several popular movie and tv-show franchises, such as Star Wars, Harry Potter, as well as both the DC and Marvel comics universes. However, they don't have the Pokémon license, as that's held by Mega Construx. That hasn't stopped some Chinese manufacturers from making their own unofficial Pokémon sets though... or rather Pokémom.
15 Variety Pack
Here's a bootleg variety pack made to capitalize on the success of Pokémon Go. We gotta give them props for actually including some recognizable faces in this kit, including Pikachu, Ash, and Misty, but something is not right here. We're pretty sure that bunny isn't a Pokémon! It's probably some leftover Easter bunny figure they just threw in there.
14 Pokémon 3
This fake set is called "Pokémon 3." We have no idea what happened to Pokémon 2!?! The numbering can't mean that it's Generation 3, because we can't recognize any of these "Pokémon" - most likely because they aren't actually Pokémon at all. And even if they were, they're not the ones pictured on the box.
13 Pika Boy 2
We suppose it's only natural that there would be some knockoff video games that would worm their way into the market as well. Here we have the Pika Boy 2, endorsed by Pikachu himself. Unfortunately, there's not a lot of information about what types of games are on the Pika Boy 2, but we seriously doubt there's anything of value on there.
Pokémon might be a global phenomenon, but we've never heard of this Jamaican Pokyman before. It seems the text on its belly also refers to the copyright infringement. Bringing it with you through customs will probably cause them to search for more than just counterfeit goods, so it's best to stay away.
11 Pocket Monica
For those kids who want to play Pokémon games but can't afford any of the electronic devices they're playable on, we introduce "Pocket Monica: Jump-Jupm Chess," with everyone's favorite Pokémon, Monica. It doesn't look like any chess game we've ever seen though, so who knows what you get. We're definitely not buying this!
10 Fake Rayquaza
Few fake toys manage to capture the spirit of the bootleg market more than this grinning Rayquaza figure. At least we think it's Rayquaza - the face is completely different, it's the wrong shade of green, and it has minimal detailing. We don't know who's got the biggest smile, this figure or the people who sold it.
9 Burger King Pokeballs
During the 1990s Pokemon craze, Burger King started putting Pokemon toys in their kiddie meals. Great idea! What wasn’t so great was to stick the figure in a little Pokeball container - it was determined they presented a suffocation hazard. 25 million of these little fun balls of death were recalled, making it one of the largest and most expensive recalls in history as they were redeemed for free fries.
8 Pokemon Pokedex
Ash relied on his trusty Pokédex to help identify the Pokémon he encounters. But the first generation of the Pokédex toy left something to be desired. It was plastered with large stickers adorned with the Pokémon logo, and the central feature was a small LCD screen that would display crude images and sentence fragments - assuming the user could manage to enter the correct commands into the calculator-like keyboard.
7 Pokemon Nanoblocks
The Nanoblocks weren't all bad and we get that they were supposed to look pixelated, and there were some Pokémon that did come out looking relatively cute. Unfortunately, that didn't apply to all of them. Some, like Snorlax, end up looking misshapen. Clearly, some Pokémon were just not meant to be Nanoblock figures.
6 Battle Coins
Clearly, Pokémon had no restraint when it came to any kind of battling toy; even if it wasn’t all that good. We’d actually prefer a Pokémon coin collection compared to this. The packaging said “holographic” coins, which were not at all the case. The coins also looked cheap compared to the card game.
5 Bouncy Ball
Why would anyone buy the Pokémon bouncy balls? There’s a small Pokémon inside the ball, so we guess it's supposed to revolve around how the monsters are usually kept in Pokéballs - but the Pokémon inside looks scared. Wouldn’t it be better to just have a Pokéball design on a regular bouncy ball instead of using a clear one?
These were small versions of the Pokémon, but with “rolling action,” which sounds pretty awful. Their function was solely to slide around on a surface and, hopefully, knock over an opponent. These days, the only ones who'd be interested in them would probably be those who are really into collecting Pokémon toys.
3 Mini Skateboards
These little toys were like early versions of the fidget spinner, tet, we don't really get why anyone would ever want a Pokémon version of this. Sure, the designs are cool and to collect Pokémon artwork would definitely make sense... but then it would make more sense to get full-size versions. There were definitely more entertaining toys around than these.
2 Battle Spinners
There are plenty of different toys that allow kids to spin a character around and throw them into battle, such as Beyblade... and apparently this Pokémon toy. It seems a bit strange though, seeing as the toy doesn’t make sense when it comes to how Pokémon are used in battle. And to add insult to injury, it's expensive as well!
1 Bootleg Pokémon Go Plus
This bootleg "Pokémon Go Plus" toy set doesn't include the Pokémon that are named on the top of the box. It also says Meowth and Pikachu are "new arrivals," even though they're probably the most famous Pokémon and would've been part of any first lineup. We're guessing the thing in the middle is supposed to be a Pokéball, but neither one can fit inside.