Gotta Merch 'Em All: Japan's Media Franchises Dominate Global Markets
Gotta Merch 'Em All: Japan's Media Franchises Dominate Global Markets
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From Mario to Pokémon, Japanese media franchises continues to reign globally in terms of their all-time revenue. According to a recent report, the highest-grossing media franchise of them all is Pokémon, with estimated revenue of $147 billion. Of that sum, the majority ($103 billion) comes from merchandise sales, followed by video games, trading cards, box office, and manga/comics.

According to the consumer product and licensing research firm's annual Top Global Licensors report, Pokémon as a media franchise generated $11.6 billion in licensing and merchandise profit in 2022 — an increase of 36.5% compared to $8.5 billion made in 2021. The love for this favorite media franchise continues to grow since its first launch over 27 years ago.

Pikachu’s Ultimate Charm

While the latest available data from Fandom, Visual Capitalist ranked the highest-grossing media franchises in the world, the second-biggest franchise after Pokémon is Hello Kitty, whose $89 billion revenue comes almost entirely from merchandise, followed by Winnie the Pooh, whose revenue stands at an estimated $76 billion.

Pokémon’s growing merchandise demand is attributed to the release of the new anime Pokémon Horizons: The Series in Japan and the United States.

It should be noted that media franchises like Dragon Ball ($27 billion) and Transformers ($30 billion), all hail from Japan while its domestic franchises like Anpanman ($56 billion) and Jump Comics ($40 billion) have gained huge revenue numbers despite minimal international exposure.

Disney’s Dominant Journey

According to the data, Disney is another dominant media franchise due to its acquisition of Marvel Entertainment for $4.4 billion in 2009 and Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion in 2012 which added massive media franchises to their portfolio like Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Spider-Man. In 1999, Sony bought the movie rights to Spider-Man for just $7 million from Marvel but Disney continues to own the rights to Spider-Man in all other forms, including merchandising, television, and comics.

Disney Consumer Products, Games, and Publishing works with top brands, including Hasbro, Mattel, Mad Engine, the LEGO Group, Jay Franco, Adidas, H&M, Pandora, Kimberly Clark, Funko, and Procter & Gamble, to create world-class products across multiple categories that appeal to global consumers.

Increase in Brands acquiring licenses

In the recent past, multiple brands in the FMCG to apparel industry in India have increased their collaborations with global licensors. Recently, Dabur Herb'l Charcoal, the premium toothpaste brand, announced an exciting collaboration with Disney's Star Wars franchise.

Abhishek Jugran, Executive Vice President Marketing- Dabur India Ltd, said “This collaboration, first in Adult toothpaste category, stems from the common dark force connection between Star Wars and Dabur Herb'l Activated Charcoal toothpaste's proposition. The objective is to provoke people to #ChooseBlackForWhite teeth which is a highly differentiated proposition in a universe full of white toothpaste products.”

Jugran further said, “By doing this Dabur Herb'l Charcoal aims to connect with diverse demographics, elevate the grooming experience, and provide shiny white teeth as it is clinically proven to deliver 1 Shade Whiter Teeth in 1 Week. We are very happy with the association with Disney as their characters are most watched and loved across GenZ & Millennials which Dabur Herb’l products also cater to.”

Meanwhile, Swiggy Instamart announced that it will be delivering official Star Wars merchandise on its platform. Star Wars enthusiasts can also explore a galaxy of products including lightsabers, posters, mugs, fridge magnets, stickers, bobbleheads, and T-shirts, all conveniently delivered within 10 minutes. In addition, the Q-Commerce platform is also catering to Harry Potter fans with an enchanting selection of merchandise. From books, posters, and notebooks to coffee mugs, magic wands, specs, keychains, bobbleheads, socks, music boxes, and T-shirts, fans can immerse themselves in the magical world of Hogwarts and beyond.

While Paragon joined forces with Disney Consumer Products (India) to debut a new collection of exciting footwear ranges. The footwear inspired by beloved characters from Disney and Marvel that includes a wide assortment of footwear for Kids, Men, and Women.

Sachin Joseph, Executive Vice President at Paragon, said, "We are proud to work with Disney and look forward to infusing new styles and trends in the Indian market. At Paragon, we take pride in leading the way in adopting cutting-edge technologies that redefine comfort for our extensive customer base.”

He further said, “In this ever-evolving lifestyle landscape, consumers are increasingly seeking styles that seamlessly blend comfort and durability. Recognizing the paramount significance of consumer preferences, we are committed to meeting these demands. As a brand, our focus is on delivering the most coveted designs, merging the latest styles with unparalleled comfort."

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