The Trading Card Craze
Yes, we've spoken about merchandise already on this list – but Pokémon cards are more than deserving of a spot of their own. In many respects, the Pokémon trading card game was just as popular as the video game itself, and captured the concepts of trading and battling perfectly. Pokémon cards were a playground craze all on their own, and undoubtedly helped Nintendo shift more copies of the game.
Japanese Culture and Cosplaying
Pokémon might be big in the West, but in Japan it's huge. Tokyo has a Pokémon Centre – a shop in a similar vein to the Disney Stores over here. Then there's the cosplayers; fans that dress up as their favourite Pokémon for events, expos and parties. In short, the Japanese go mad for Pokémon, and their enthusiasm for the franchise makes it even more popular over here.