The contest winner of a recent Pokemon t-shirt design contest has been disqualified, after it had been discovered he violated the contest’s terms and conditions.
We previously reported on how Uniqlo hosted a competition to design a t-shirt themed around Pokemon. As well as top-winners having their designs sold in the company’s Spring/Summer 2019 collection. The grand prize included $10,000 (USD), a special trophy, an invitation to an award ceremony in Tokyo and an invitation to the 2019 Pokemon World Championships.
When the winner was declared, it was revealed that the shirt would also appear in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield for the main character to wear. This was a Gyarados and Magikarp themed shirt available in black or white.
However, doubts began to swirl as it was revealed the winner- Li Wen Pei- had previously sold the design on smartphone cases. As part of the contests terms, and design submitted would have to be wholly original. Li Wen Pei had stated he “explained the situation to Uniqlo”.
Now, the Uniqlo Japanese website has updated, removing his shirt from the website, and issuing this statement:
“As a result of the violation of the rules of entry for one of the designs, the contestant will not receive the prize for their design. The grand prize is cancelled, and the sale of those two shirts have been withdrawn and suspended.
We deeply apologize to all the grand prize winner and entrants, and to all of our customers and stakeholders who have been looking forward to the sale of our products. In the future, we will make every effort to ensure that no similar incidents occur.”
With the grand-prize cancelled, second place still remains in second and so fourth. At this time of writing the shirts can still be seen on the US Uniqlo website, but the sale has not yet begun and pre-orders are not available for any of the shirts.
In addition, the image previously on that webpage showing off the offending shirts in Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield has been removed. This likely indicates the shirts will not be in the game, so Game Freak can distance themselves from the controversy. While Uniqlo did not adjust other entrant’s prizes, it is unknown if Game Freak will put any of the other designs into the game.
This is not the only Pokemon themed contest right now. Japanese fans have been asked to write in to name “the strongest Steel-Type move“.
In other news, the next issue of Japanese magazine “Corocoro Ichiban” will contain more info on Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield. The magazine releases June 21st. We will keep you updated as we learn more.
Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield will launch sometime this year, for Nintendo Switch.