The Pokémon Company International announced today that Pokémon has achieved record-breaking sales figures at retail in the UK throughout 2016, for its Trading Card Game (TCG) and toys from master toy partner TOMY, as reported by the NPD Group.
According to figures recorded by the NPD Group Toys retail tracking service, the Pokémon property recorded a 285% increase in sales throughout 2016 against market growth of 6% in the whole UK toy market. In the last three months, October to December, Pokémon increased sales by 512% versus the 7.7% market growth.
Also, in the Christmas week, Pokémon TCG smashed through the one million pounds sterling barrier, achieving retail sales of £1.29m in a seven-day period, a 733.7% increase on the previous year.
Mathieu Galante, Senior Market Development Manager for The Pokémon Company International, said: “Thanks to the activities celebrating Pokémon’s 20th year, plus the huge impact of our video game releases, interest in the brand has escalated, ensuring figures for TCG and toy sales have been incredible. We fully expect that demand for the product will remain high throughout 2017 as new expansions are introduced to tie in with our new Nintendo 3DS games Pokémon Sun and Pokémon Moon.”
Steve Buckmaster Managing Director of Esdevium Games – UK distributor of the Pokémon TCG – said: “We are delighted to announce these sensational figures just ahead of Toy Fair and look forward to talking to our retail partners at the show about ways that we can keep the phenomenal demand going. We are very excited about our first Pokémon TCG: Sun & Moon expansion, which will be released in February.”
Camilla MacQueen, UK Brand Manager at TOMY Europe said: “We’re excited to be part of Pokémon’s fantastic achievement. We’re expecting 2017 to be another huge year for Pokémon and we’re looking forward to unveiling two new product lines at Toy Fair London that will appeal to collectors of all ages.”
The global phenomenon of Pokémon was first launched in Japan in 1996 as a role-playing game for Nintendo’s Game Boy system and reached the United States and Europe in 1998–99. The first generation of Pokémon games introduced the original 151 Pokémon. Today the Pokémon universe includes more than 800 Pokémon that players can catch, trade, and battle against their opponents in the quest to become the best Pokémon Trainer.
Pokémon has since grown into one of the most popular entertainment properties in the world. It is one of the most successful video game franchises of all time, with more than 279 million video games sold worldwide. In addition, 21.5 billion TCG cards have been shipped to 74 countries in 11 languages, and over 450,000 players take part in Pokémon events every year. There are also more than 900 episodes of the animated TV series, now starting its 20th season.