SpongeBob SquarePants has reached cartoon character superstardom. Annual retail sales of SpongeBob-related merchandise have reached $1 billion according to this Baltimore Sun article by Andrea Walker. Walker tries to divine the source of this interest but can only get testimony from academics and executives who use words like "amazing" and "amazingly" to describe his appeal.
But has the little yella fella peaked? Hot Topic, the trendy retailer responsible for those charming t-shirts seen on teens at your local mall food court, once carried 250 SpongeBob products; now, it has none. Only time will tell if SpongeBob can stay in the game like Mickey and Pooh ($5 billion annually each) or will have to wait for the future's version of ebay to make him a hot vintage collectible. Hmmm, maybe I should save that SpongeBob toothpaste my kids won't use anymore.