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For the last 25 years, Pokémon fans around the world have been completely unable to agree on which of the series' monsters is the very best. That's not entirely surprising. After all, there were 151 of the blighters to choose from back in 1996, and Nintendo and Game Freak have added hundreds more over last two and a half decades.
But while there might not be one universally beloved Pokémon that everyone can get behind, there are those that come out on top far more frequently than others. In an impressively comprehensive new study, The Toy Zone has analysed Google search data to ascertain the most popular of the original 151 Pokémon by country.
To start with, check out the awesome map below that breaks it all down. Unsurprisingly, series mascot Pikachu still accounts for around one in every 10 Pokémon-related searches around the world - but other monsters get their moment to shine too.
What's interesting is the way that numerous clusters of unexpected Pokémon appear in various regions. Golem, for example, is the most popular monster around Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovakia. What do you suppose that's about? Meanwhile, Onix rules Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, and Colombia, while Eevee comes out on top across Denmark, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania.
Breaking it down by continent gets even weirder. According to The Toy Zone's data, the meek psychic-type Abra is Europe's most popular Pokémon, followed by Golem. North America is a little easier to predict, with Gengar and Charizard coming out on top.
As for South America? It's your boy Onix showing up for the crown, while Pikachu and Mew have the Middle East and Central Asia wrapped up, as well as Asia & Oceania. Finally, Africa sees Pikachu once again in the top spot, with Gloom in second place, oddly enough.
The Toy Zone has compiled some really fascinating data, and I'd urge you to check their full report out when you get a chance. For now, I'll leave you with the top ten most popular Pokémon according to Google search data, in descending order.
Ready? They are: Gyarados, Lapras, Snorlax, Mew, Gengar, Eevee, Mewtwo, Onix, Charizard, and Pikachu. That's not actually a million miles away from my own ranking of the original 151, which you can find and disagree with right here.
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