Nintendo plans Pokémon merchandise stores

Computer games giant Nintendo is expected to roll out Pokémon Centre stores in London within a year, selling merchandise related to the blockbuster kids’ TV and movie cartoon.

Computer games giant Nintendo is expected to roll out Pokémon Centre stores in London within a year, selling merchandise related to the blockbuster kids’ TV and movie cartoon.

The move is designed to build the Pokémon animated characters into a major brand which can challenge Walt Disney characters. There are also plans to develop similar stores in New York.

Nintendo has already opened a similar store in Japan, which sells everything from Pokémon console games to coffee mugs and chocolate-making machines.

A company spokeswoman says: “There are plans to open Pokémon stores in London and New York but it is unclear exactly when that will happen.”

The Pokémon trading cards game, a craze among school children, is owned by Hasbro, which bought card game maker Wizards of the Coast in 1999.

The characters were launched, initially as a computer game, in 1996. It spawned a craze which has led to a feature film, a TV series and countless spin-off products.

Jeremy Dale, commercial and marketing director at Nintendo’s UK distributor, THE Games, left in May this year. Dale was responsible for the roll-out of Pokémon games in the UK.

Early this year, Nintendo rationalised the global management of merchandising copyrights related to Pokémon, in order to control use and promotion of the characters.

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