Nowadays it's hard to imagine anyone except Pikachu as the main mascot of the Pokémon franchise, but that wasn't always the case. Originally, Clefairy was going to be the "main" mascot of the show, but it was later changed to Pikachu after some last-minute changes put Pikachu into the anime as Ash's starting Pokémon and the popularity of the anime led to Pikachu gaining its top mascot status. Now, Pikachu is likely the most-known of all the Pokémon and is a widely recognized mascot even by people who don't know Pokémon (or even play video games in general). Within the franchise itself, Pikachu has 78 different non-reprint cards in TCG and has been a staple in almost all of the games (including spin-offs) and manga, not to mention remaining the single most used Pokémon in the anime. I can't help but wonder how the Pokémon franchise might be different today if Pikachu didn't end up as the mascot. The change from Clefairy was apparently made to appeal more to girls and mothers (since Pikachu looks more like a normal "pet" than Clefairy), and also because the bright yellow of Pikachu makes him stand out strongly and be easily recognizable. But how could another Pokémon have changed the popularity and shape of Pokémon? The first Pokémon I thought of immediately was Charizard. After all, it makes a certain amount of sense to see Charizard as a potential mascot; he was already a box mascot for the original Pokémon Red game and has always been popular among the fan base, especially back in those early days. However, with such a large and violent-looking Pokémon as the main mascot, I could see parents complaining more about the game. When Pokémon originally came out, there were already many parents (at least in America) who weren't sure what they thought of a video game that was mostly about fighting animals, and having a fire-breathing (non) dragon as the mascot could have heightened their apprehension, and pushed the game series towards an older playerbase. Yet, it's the smaller and/or sillier Pokémon that I have fun theorizing about. If Pokémon had kept Clefairy as the mascot after all, I can't help but feel that it would have turned a lot of boys off the series and Pokémon would have become a more girl-based game. On the other hand, with the whole "Clefairy coming from space" deal, that opens up a lot of possibilities for exploration, which could have been cool to see as a larger focus. Eevee could have made a cute mascot, what with its ever changing forms. With Eevee as a mascot, we probably would have seen a larger variety of branching evolutionary forms for many different Pokémon (and also more Eevee-like "clones" the same way we have cute Electrc-type Pikachu "clones" every generation), and maybe even have an Eeveelution for every single type by now, too. What about Rattata? Sure, he's kind of boring, but then we could have a Youngster Joey talking about his top percentage Pikachu! I personally would love to have seen the Dratini line as a mascot; as a cool, rare Pokémon it would have gotten more focus, and Dragonite is equal measures of cute and dragon that could have had a wide appeal. And, so.... (tl;dr) What first generation Pokémon would you like to have seen as the main Pokémon mascot? How do you think different mascot Pokémon might have changed the focus and future of the franchise?