The Pokémon Company is celebrating a ‘significant increase in sales’ of its Pokémon Trading Card Game and extensive toy range from Jazwares across the European markets, despite all of the challenges that retail has faced at the hands of the Coronavirus.
According to figures recorded by the NPD Group Toys retail tracking service, sales figures increased in the UK, France, Germany, and Benelux during 2020 for the Pokémon TCG and toys from Jazwares. Year-on-year sales for Pokémon continue to outperform the market trend—a regular achievement for the brand in recent years.
Pokémon was the number one NPD toy property in France up to week 49 in 2020, finishing the year in third place overall with a total growth of seven per cent.
Remaining the number one Strategic Trading Card property in Europe, according to NPD, Pokémon sales continued to rise in key territories with YOY growth of 15 per cent in the United Kingdom, six per cent in France, and 28 per cent in Benelux.
According to TPCi’s own EPOS tracking service, which began in Germany four years ago, 2020 registered the best like-for-like retailer sales since tracking began, and Q4 was up a staggering 319 per cent against the same period in 2018.
Meanwhile, Jazwares launched an extended range of new products for 2020 which proved popular among kids and fans, and resulted in a 36 per cent uplift in sales across Europe. Its Advent calendar sold out well before the start of December, and the Pokémon Carry Case Playset sold out in the UK.
Also new for 2020 was the launch of Pokémon TCG Battle Academy, the first board game adaptation of the TCG, combining strategic Pokémon TCG gameplay within a classic family game experience.
Battle Academy won the Best Game category in the 2021 US Toy of the Year Awards.
Mathieu Galante, licensing director EMEA for The Pokémon Company International, said: “In what has been an extremely challenging year for retail, we are delighted that Pokémon has performed so strongly and helped to provide a welcome diversion and entertainment.
“Appetite continues to grow for our innovative range of best-in-class products, reflecting Pokémon’s widespread appeal and innovation which keeps it fresh, relevant and in-demand. 2021 is our 25th anniversary, and we have a whole host of exciting celebratory plans in place for this landmark year.”
Simon Benton, VP Pokémon TCG Sales Europe, added: “Pokémon TCG sales were beyond expectations in 2020, with four significant markets enjoying their best-ever years. Our hugely popular Pokémon TCG: Sword & Shield Series expansions maintained a high profile throughout the year. The launch of the Battle Academy board game brought an added new dimension to Pokémon’s TCG appeal.
“2021 is off to a fast start despite European retail lockdowns, with January EPOS sales figures higher than any we’ve seen before. The recently launched and highly anticipated Shining Fates expansion, featuring 100 all-important Shiny cards, is set to be another big hit; we’ve already had to instigate reprints to keep up with the huge demand at preorder.
“It’s a great start to what’s set to be an exciting year of special promotions and activity to celebrate Pokémon’s 25th anniversary.”
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. It has since grown into one of the most popular entertainment properties in the world, encompassing video games, the Pokémon Trading Card Game, mobile games and apps, animation and movies, Play! Pokémon competitive events, and licensed products.
It is one of the most successful video game franchises of all time with more than 368 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 launch in 2016.
More than 1,000 episodes of the animated TV series span 23 seasons, licensed for broadcast in 176 countries and regions in more than 30 languages.