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Capsule Monsters (Japanese: カプセルモンスター Capsule Monsters) was Satoshi Tajiri's early design concept of Pokémon, first proposed to Nintendo as early as 1990. According to the book Pikachu's Global Adventure, this early concept traces all the way back to Tajiri's childhood years, during which he had enjoyed bug collecting.
Various Pokémon are known or believed to have originated from this early concept work, such as the well known battling foes Nidorino and Gengar. A few others include Lapras, Rhydon, and Slowbro, though many of the concept sketches included generic looking creatures such as simple dragon and apelike figures that may have eventually been developed into many of the existing Pokémon.
The name "Capsule Monsters" is inspired by Japanese gashapon machines. Apparently, Tajiri had trouble trademarking the name "Capsule Monsters" so he changed it first to "CapuMon" and then later "Pocket Monsters".
A game of the same name also appeared in the Yu-Gi-Oh manga and anime series, though with different creatures and concepts.