A group of bar workers have taken their love of Pokémon to a whole new – and very permanent – level.
Five staff members at the Trocaderos nightspot, in South Shields, have had tattoos of the colourful characters inked onto their skin forever.
Gavin Mann and Kimberley ‘Nemi’ Wilkinson, who run the bar, in Prince Georg Square, opted for a Ghastly and Snorlax, respectively.
Jamie ‘Rabbit’ Harvey was inked with a Haunter, Robert Smith went with a Koffing and Craig Burt has a Squirtle etched onto his skin.
They had their tributes inked at Gentleman Jim’s Tattoo Club, in Newton Aycliffe, Durham, where tattoo artist Jamie Hawkes is on a mission to ink all 150 characters onto people to raise cash for an animal shelter.
Gavin and his staff were inspired to get the tattoos through their love of Pokémon Go, a new game where fans can catch the characters by finding them in real-life locations.
The 37-year-old said: “All the staff absolutely love Pokémon Go. There’s a Pokéstop right outside of the bar and we have theme nights for it. Everyone plays it.
“This came about because we were giving away a tattoo session as a prize at the bar because that sort of thing is very fitting with our customers, and when we were liaising with the tattoo artist we noticed he was doing this charity challenge.
“He wants to tattoo all 150 Pokémon characters onto 150 different people to raise money for the animal shelter he got his dog from and we wanted to get involved – it was a gimmick, something novel and current.
“We’re really embracing the whole Pokémon thing at the bar and we’re all so pleased with our tattoos. We love them and loads of other staff members and customers have said they want one as well.”
Gavin says he’s sick of the negativity surrounding the game.
He added: “I’m sick of hearing the naysayers out there saying the game is unsafe for kids because they’ll be walking out into the road and over cliffs. If the parents have educated their kids properly that won’t happen.
“People complain that kids just sit around in front of the telly, but this app gets them out of the house, walking around and being social.
“People interact with each other and get exercise, I think it’s the most special thing that’s come out in a long time and it’s just beautiful. We love being a part of it at Trocs.”