Pikachu and his cute Pokemon counterparts currently hold the top spot in a list of highest-grossing media franchises.
According to a heavily sourced list on Wikipedia which has been making the rounds on the Internet lately, the Pokemon franchise is currently the highest-grossing media franchise in the world, beating out popular franchises like Star Wars and Hello Kitty. The list notes that the Pokemon franchise has had gross sales of over $59 billion since it began as a humble set of games in Japan back in 1996.
The Pokemon franchise has made nearly $10 billion more than the Hello Kitty franchise, which places second on the list with just over $50 billion.
While it might seem like a surprise that the Pokemon franchise is bigger than things than Star Wars or the Marvel Cinematic Universe, remember that Pokemon has some sort of representation in just about every form of media. Not only are its games perennial best-sellers, but it also has a hugely popular trading card game (which has made over $10 billion on its own), countless lines of merchandise, and an anime and manga series.
The Star Wars franchise places third on the list, followed by Mickey Mouse and Friends. Mario is fifth on the list, driven almost entirely by video game sales.
Other popular franchises appearing in the top ten include the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Harry Potter, Spider-Man, and Batman. The Dragon Ball franchise rounds out the top ten.
Pokemon's place at the top is helped by the list makers considering Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Hulk, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe different "franchises" instead of part of the overall Marvel brand. If all of the Marvel properties on the list were combined under one entity, they'd beat the Pokemon franchise by about $2 billion. Of course, the movie and media rights to those franchises are complicated, while the Pokemon Company directly profits from any money made by any merchandise, game, or card sales.
Are you surprised that Pokemon is more popular than Star Wars and superheroes? Or do you accept Pikachu as the secret ruler of the universe. Let us know in the comment section below!