Magazine publisher H& S Media has cancelled its monthly 'unofficial' Pokemon magazine, Pojo's Pokemon, which was selling 500,000 copies per month, primarily via newsstand distribution, at the height of the Pocket Monsters craze. H&S has indicated to ICv2 that sales of Pojo's Pokemon had declined to less than a third of what they had been at their high point. This is further evidence of the decline of the Pokemon boom, though our Top Ten Cool reports indicate that the latest Pokemon CCG release from Wizards of the Coast is still selling briskly in pop culture stores (see 'Top Ten Games'). But retailers have told ICV2 that sales of previous Pokemon CCG releases and other Pokemon-related merchandise have dropped off dramatically. The cancellation of the once robust Pojo's Pokemon indicates that Pikachu, Ash, and the rest of the Pokemon gang are having a hard time competing on the mass market newsstand.
Unless H&S decides to do an occasional one-shot, it appears that the April issue of Pojo's Pokemon will be the last. The magazine typically included articles about various kinds of Pokemon-related merchandise along with a price guide for the WOTC Pokemon cards, and tips for assembling strong decks and playing the game. Recently the magazine changed format, using a flip cover and second non-Pokemon section to cover anime, Harry Potter, Magic, and Mage Knight -- topics of interest to Pojo's audience of young gamers. During the past few months H&S has tried one-shot magazines on Dragonball and Gundam, but these properties, though they are huge in the specialty market, may not have the mass appeal necessary to make it in the highly competitive newsstand environment. The demise of Pojo's Pokemon, while indicating that Pokemon continues to decline in the mass market, doesn't mean that Pokemon cards won't continue to sell in hobby and specialty stores, where more of the purchasers are playing the game, rather than just accumulating the cards.