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A short while ago, apparel retailer UNIQLO held a special contest that allowed artists to submit their Pokémon themed t-shirt designs. One grand winner would get $10,000 and their t-shirt featured in the upcoming Pokémon Sword and Shield games.
However, the grand winner of the contest, Chinese artist Li Wen Pei, has been disqualified.
The terms and conditions stated that the designs submitted to the contest must not have been previously published or put up for sale elsewhere, and they mean elsewhere. No selling your design on Redbubble, not even posting it on your tumblr blog – nothing.
It turns out that Wen Pei had been previously selling his design as a phone case on Chinese website TaoBao. Accusations of plagiarism also started to fly.
NintendoSoup reported that Wen Pei made a post on his Weibo account, which they translated:
Hello everyone. I sold a small number of smartphone cases with the same artwork (before I submitted it for Pokemon UTGP 2019). Unfortunately there are pirates who have pirated my artwork. Therefore please do not share the pirated goods.
Even if this is true, Wen Pei still violated the rules of the contest. NintendoSoup report that he deleted the message and replaced it with a statement that he’s ‘explained the situation to Uniqlo’.
That’s not all, though! It turns out that another contestant was also disqualified. The contestant, and their Mewtwo shirt design, were both removed from the contest.
On May 22nd, UNIQLO put up a notice that their grand prize will not be re-allocated to another entrant and that they will not be producing or selling merchandise with the disqualified designs.
We’ll report back if anything else develops. For now, you can browse and shop the rest of the winning designs on the official UNIQLO site.