The Pokemon franchise had a pretty good 2016, as it brought in over $3.3 billion in retail sales. License Global reported that the Pokemon Company's 2016 retail sales figures were up over $1.2 billion dollars from 2015, a nearly 57% gain. Those retail sales include both the video games and the massive amount of merchandise featured in stores.
There's a few reasons for Pokemon's massive spike. The franchise celebrated its 20th anniversary in style, with a Super Bowl commercial, two new video games, and a ton of new merchandise. Pokemon Go also brought in a ton of new and lapsed fans to the franchise. While the Pokemon Company didn't see all the revenue from Pokemon Go, (the game is jointly owned by Nintendo, the Pokemon Company, Niantic, and Google) the game still had a massive effect in drawing people into the wider world of the game.
That $3.3 billion figure also included the still-popular Pokemon Trading Card Game. License Global noted that over 21 billion Pokemon cards have been shipped worldwide as of 2016, and that the game is still the most popular strategic card game in the world. Per the magazine, we'll get three more card expansions later this year, including next month's "Guardians Rising" expansion.
According to License Global, the Pokemon Company is the 19th biggest license in the world, ranking just under the NFL. Brands that ranked lower than Pokemon include the NBA, Ferrari, Mattel, Ford, and the WWE.