Over $90 billion worth of revenue and a quarter of a century later, Pokémon has solidified itself as the world’s biggest games franchise. But after 25 whole years of resounding success and nearly 1,000 Pokédex entries, which pocket monster enjoys the biggest popularity in Malta?
A recent study by online retailer The Toy Zone took on the immense challenge of finding the most popular Pokémon in every country of the world, and the results are an interesting smorgasbord of OG faves.
To make the behemoth task a bit easier, the study only looked at the first 150 base-set Pokémon and used very specific parameters to find the worldwide winners. “We dug into Google search data to identify the Pokémon that each country has a unique interest in,” The Toy Zone explained, quickly discovering regional favourites and interesting patterns.
While the adorable yellow mascot Pikachu ended up accounting for nearly 10% of all Pokémon-related searches around the globe, Malta’s favourite ended up being… Charizard.
And sure; it’s quite understandable for Pikachu to reign supreme in a number of countries, but it’s interesting to see certain left-field answers coming from massive regions.
One of the largest surprises was the United States, where the Ghost-type Gengar came out on top. Australia had the four-armed Power-type Machamp as its favourite, while Russia prefers the mysterious Mew.
Meanwhile, in Japan – the birthplace of Pokémon and a fierce stronghold of Pikachu – it was the Normal-type Eevee which ended up supreme.
Other results reflected a more geographical pattern; a number of South American countries and volcanic regions are dominated by Charmander, but a large number of islands around the world went for Water-types like Lapras, Squirtle and Gyarados.
And while Charizard is a pretty badass answer, Malta is by no means an outlier; many European countries have the fiery evolution of the Fire-type starter as their favourite.
But hey; considering Charizard has become the game’s most valuable card with another original 1999 shiny card selling for over $300,000 just last week, maybe Malta’s got an eye for quality after all.
Click here to check out an enlarged version of the map below.