And the answer: Rhydon.
Despite being entry #112 in the Pokémon universe's "Pokédex," Rhydon was the first Pokémon created when the franchise was just finding its footing. Originally, all Pokémon were intended to be modeled after dinosaurs, which is why Rhydon's appearance has such a prehistoric vibe.
With 925 Pokémon characters across 122 games and a number of different franchises, it’s safe to say that it seems pretty hard to catch ‘em all. Yet, Pokémon continues to take its spot in leaderboards as one of the most well-loved games in the world. In 1996, Satoshi Tajiri drew from his childhood interest in insects and created an early version of Pokémon called Pocket Monsters—and it immediately took off.
Originally produced on the Game Boy console for its small size and easy use, the early Pokémon games came in two versions, Red and Green, and were so popular that the franchise had expanded to the United States by 1998. Soon, video games and trading cards followed. The culture of collecting and trading Pokémon cards took off to new heights, and over 30 billion cards worldwide have been sold since their release in 1998.
Did you know?
Two Pokémon were actually named in honor of famous martial artists, Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan! The Pokémon are considered to be “prizefighting types”—a league above the regular classification of “fighting types”—and are named Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan, respectively. Personally, I wouldn’t want to find myself in a battle with them.
Learn more about the history of Pokémon here.