Appropriate Gift-Giving: The Case of Pokémon

Have you stopped to consider that parents in certain countries or in certain groups are sensitive to the gifts their children receive? Did you stop to think twice before buying a gift for a child or do you just ask the store clerk for the latest fad in children’s toys?

Sensitivity to the parent’s wishes would not only show that you care but would also show you have put a lot of thought into your choice of a gift. The parent of the child will be thankful at your attempt in understanding their customs. As innocent and harmless a toy may seem to you, some cultures and countries may be offended by it.

One such toy is Pokémon. If you are among the few who aren’t familiar with this children’s craze, Pokémon would seem the perfect gift for a child. After all, everyone is buying them. A short trip to the local toy store would produce more Pokémon buying options than a person could fathom. The product line includes Nintendo games, handheld Game Boys, backpacks, lunchboxes, stuffed animals, keychains, clothes and the list goes on and on.

Children and parents all over the globe are buying Pokémon products in droves. In Japan, where Pokémon was created, the Pokémon industry has been going strong for 5 years. Worldwide sales figures are in the billions. The new Gold and Silver Game Boy version of Pokémon sold 1.4 million copies the first week after being released in the United States.

Pokémon tokens are popular in South Africa where the tokens come in packets of potato chips. Sydney, Australia held a Pokémon championship tournament in the year 2000 in which children from Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain, Britain, and the U.S. played to be “The Pokémon Master.” Children obviously love these little monsters and parents are buying them.

Pokémon, which is short for “pocket monster,” was marketed to the new e-generation. The television show and the movie are literally just advertisements for the Nintendo games and the Game Boys, which help to sell the trading cards. Initially there were 150 types of Pokémon monsters, each of which possesses a particular power. Additional monsters have been added with the Gold and Silver games.

The goal of the games and the trading cards is to capture, train and fight the monsters until every one of them is caught, earning the title of Pokémon Master. No surprise the slogan of Pokémon is “GOTTA CATCH ‘EM ALL”. For a more detailed explanation of Pokémon games, please refer to .

As sales grow, so does the controversy surrounding the Pokémon craze.