2011 to be blockbuster year for Pokémon - Licensing.biz

2011 to be blockbuster year for Pokémon

New video games sales reach three million in first two weeks on sale; TV ratings remain strong.
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The Pokémon Company International is predicting that 2011 will be a blockbuster year for the brand - with strong video games sales and high TV ratings ensuring it's got off to a flyer in the first four months.

Sales of Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version for the Nintendo DS have reached three million copies in the first two weeks on sale in the US and Europe.

Meanwhile, the February launch of the Pokémon: Black & White animation in the US - along with a sneak preview of the season in European markets the same month - achieved high ratings in all territories.

During the airing of the sneak preview, Gulli led all networks in France among kids aged four to ten, attracting more than 600,000 viewers. In Italy, K2's audience broadcast to 257,113 aged four and above, while in the Netherlands, on Disney XD, audience figures reached 123,420 six to 12 year olds.

The full season of Pokémon: Black & White premieres later this year across all European territories.

On top of this, a new feature film - Pokémon - Zoroark: Master of Illusions, also debuted in Europe and the US back in February.

Universal Pictures will distribute the DVD in the UK, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the Nordics and Spain in late spring. Other distributors are also on board for other territories.

Building further on the success of the video games, a new Pokémon Trading Card Game expansion will see the launch of three theme decks on April 6th and four booster packs on April 25th. In France, Italy, Germany and Spain, the expansion is set to launch on May 25th.

Bandai Europe is also due to launch a new toy range in September to tie in with the animated series.

"The global buzz created by Pokémon's record breaking video games - Pokémon Black Version and Pokémon White Version, and brand new animation inspired by the new Unova region is truly remarkable," said JC Smith, director of consumer marketing for The Pokémon Company International.

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