Pokémon soars at UK and German retail as both toys and trading cards ‘enjoy best year ever’

Sales of both the Pokémon Trading Card Game and toys from Wicked Cool Toys soared at retail across the UK and Germany throughout 2019, according to the latest figures revealed by NPD.

The Pokémon Company has reported year on year sales that ‘continue to be substantially above the market average’ for Pokémon in what has become somewhat of a regular achievement for the brand in recent years.

According to figures recorded by the NPD Group Toys retail tracking service, total UK toy sales for Pokémon in 2019 were up 24.1 per cent against an overall market downturn of 7.1 per cent, while Germany recorded a remarkable 100.6 per cent increase in sales against market growth of just 3.3 per cent.

The Wicked Cool Toys range is distributed in the UK and Ireland by Character Options and in Germany by BOTI.

Meanwhile, in Strategic Card Games (SCG), Pokémon continues to be the category market leader with the number one slot in both the UK and Germany. UK sales were up 30.8 per cent – almost double the total market, which grew by 17 per cent, while in Germany the increase was an impressive 98.8 per cent, which helped the market to achieve total growth of 71.7 per cent.

Pokémon generates over 50 per cent of the total revenue of the top 14 best-performing SCG brands in the UK, and more than triple that of the 14 next best-selling brands combined in Germany. The Pokémon TCG is distributed by Asmodee in the UK and by Amigo in Germany.

“In another fantastic year for Pokémon, we are delighted to see an ever-growing appetite for our product,” said Mathieu Galante, licensing director (EMEA) for The Pokémon Company International.

“Wicked Cool Toys’ innovative and extended toy range is really connecting with fans, coupled with huge demand for tie-in products from the hugely popular Pokémon Detective Pikachu film. We also enjoyed great success from yet another first this year with our new video games Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, when the first partner Pokémon plush were available to buy from selected retailers on the same release date as the VG for the first time ever.

“With an even bigger toy line to showcase at this year’s key top toy shows, which we expect to do just as well, we are very excited for 2020.”

Simon Benton, vice president of Pokémon TCG sales for Europe, added: “We had one of our best-ever years at retail in 2019 with exciting consumer promotions and highly impactful permanent and temporary space solutions that capitalised on the incredible TCG content and elevated Pokémon brand profile throughout the year.

“With the first Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield expansion launching at retail on February 7th, supported by major retail promotions and media campaigns, 2020 will see TCG sales achieve new records. We’re looking forward to a successful year with our distribution and retail partners and thank them for their ongoing support.”

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.

Pokémon has since grown into one of the most popular entertainment properties in the world, encompassing video games, the Pokémon Trading Card Game (TCG), mobile games and apps, animation and movies, Play! Pokémon competitive events and licensed products.

It is recognised as one of the most successful video game franchises of all time with more than 340 million video games sold worldwide. In addition, more than 22 billion TCG cards have been shipped to 77 countries in 13 languages, while the mobile game sensation Pokémon GO has received more than one billion downloads globally since launching in 2016.

More than 1,000 episodes of the animated TV series span 22 seasons, licensed for broadcast in 169 countries and regions in more than 30 languages.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent some six years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@bizmedia.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobHutchins3 if ranting is your thing...

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