(In no particular order) 1. PlayStation
Eat your heart out, Xbox. When Sony first released the PlayStation to the world in 1995, its 32-bit processor was the most powerful processor the console market had seen. It’s more recent incarnations – the Playstation 2, 3, and 4 – have all been popular too, albeit up against fiercer competition. When totaling up all the different models, 344 million units of Playstations had been sold in 2015. To put that in perspective, that’s 86 times New Zealand’s population.
2. The humble Toyota Corolla
There’s no doubt at least one member of your family has driven one of these bad boys in their teens. When it comes to cars, Corollas are that perfect middleground between flashy and trashy. They also never seem to truly die. Corollas were introduced to the world in 1966, and have since gone on to top over 40.7 million individual vehicles sold. To this day, Toyota is still bringing out new versions of the Corolla and sold 1.3 million of them in 2015, earning it the title of the world’s best selling car.
3. The Star Wars movies
Driven by possibly the biggest fandom on earth, Star Wars has always been a guaranteed money maker. The original Star Wars trilogy raked in US$2.4 billion alone, accounting for inflation. In total, all of the Star Wars movies, including special editions and re-releases (excluding the latest movie) grossed $4.6 billion. Disney set its sights on the franchise’s success and bought it for US$4 billion in 2012, which led to Star Wars: The Force Awakens being released in 2015. The film went on to gross over US$2 billion at the box office.
4. The iPad and the iPhone
First off, lets all spare a thought for Ron Wayne, one of the original founders of Apple. He sold his shares in Apple for US$800 in 1976, which today would be worth around US$35 billion. Such is the power of the products Apple has created. The iPhone was launched in 2007 and has gone on to sell over 773 million units, while over 300 million iPads have been sold since being introduced in 2010, but iPad sales are falling each year. Unlike the iPhone, people tend to hold onto their iPads for longer rather than upgrading to the latest model. While 75 million iPhones were sold in the last fiscal quarter, only 16 million iPads were sold.
5. The Mario Bros. Franchise
Mario Brothers’ placement on this list will come as no surprise to kids of the ‘80s and ‘90s who grew up with Mario and Luigi. Since debuting in 1981, the Marios Bro arcade game has pumped out 115 different titles of games. As of 2011, the company reported more than 262 million units of ‘core’ Mario Bros. games had been sold worldwide. Fun fact: Mario was originally known as Jumpman in a Japanese arcade game before being made into a plumber in the US for the game.
6. Michael Jackson’s Thriller
Would the king of pop have danced around like a zombie had he known the song would be part of the biggest selling album of all time? Whatever the case, it earned him the title, with over 100 million copies sold to date since its release in 1982. The album featured hits that have since gone to become imbedded in the public consciousness, such as Beat It, Billie Jean, and Thriller. When Jackson died in 2009, The Thriller album’s sales spiked, selling 101,000 copies in one week, while downloads of Jackson’s songs hit 2.3 million.
7. The Harry Potter books
The real-life muggle world was enamoured with the wizarding world when it was first introduced to them in 1997 in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The entire series has gone on to sell 450 million books in 73 different languages worldwide, as of 2013. This makes Harry Potter the best selling book series of all time, and author J.K. Rowling a very, very rich lady. When the final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, was released in 2007, 8.3 million copies of the book were sold in the first 24 hours.
8. The Rubik’s cube
The frustration-inducing puzzle toy from the 1980s puts modern, electronic toys to shame: a whopping 350 million Rubik’s cubes have been sold over the last 35 years. This makes it the best-selling single toy of all time. Speedcubing events still occur in different parts of the globe, while someone recently created an iPhone application detailing how to solve the puzzle in 20 moves. The toy was never actually intended to be a toy. Its inventor, Hungarian architecture professor Erno Rubik, created the Rubik’s cube in 1974 as a way to educate his students on three-dimensional geometry.