Fifty years ago, the first edition of Lustiges Taschenbuch was published in Germany. It has sold more than one million copies, and in Germany Egmont Ehapa has double cause for celebration: the 50th anniversary and the publication of edition no. 500.
The Germans have a unique relationship with Lustiges Taschenbuch (Donald Duck Pocket Book in English). Since 1967, they have loved the little book with its tales about life in Duckburg. So strong is this bond that this autumn, Lustiges Taschenbuch will be able to celebrate its 50th anniversary with the publication of a splendid edition no. 500.
Seasoned Pocket Book enthusiasts make Egmont’s work to market the books that much easier, as one generation of readers passes their passion on to the next.
‘Germans – as well as Austrians and the Swiss – really love Pocket Books because of all the amazing Duckburg stories this unique format presents. Readers start at seven or eight years of age and continue as adults. More than half our readers are over 19, and yes, they pass on this fine tradition to their children,’ says Peter Höpfner, Editorial Director at Egmont Ehapa Media.
He also stresses the planning of the books, the professional distribution system and effective marketing campaigns as reasons for the success:
‘You really can find Lustiges Taschenbuch everywhere. Check for yourself next time you’re in Germany. You’ll see them in special displays at the airport, at railway stations and, naturally, in kiosks.’
When the series was first launched in 1967, many readers had misgivings about the quality of the cartoon strips. Adults fretted about poor language and short sentences. Nowadays, parents and teachers give the books to children because they know the stories give them valuable reading experience, Peter Höpfner explains.
Since the series launch, Egmont Ehapa has published well over 1,000 titles and sold more than 200 million copies of Lustiges Taschenbuch. Annual sales currently stand at around five million books, and the first edition, whose cover features Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck, is still matchless:
‘It’s sold more than one million copies to date – it’s a true bestseller!’ says Peter Höpfner.
Pop-up store in Berlin
In October the anniversary was celebrated in Germany with a wealth of activities and special publications for Jumbo fans.
‘In the first week of November we’ll be celebrating edition no. 500. We will publish a Retro-Box of the first 10 books. We’re also producing an exclusive coffee table book featuring all the front covers and lots of information – a fun way of looking back. We’re opening a special Pocket Pop-up Store in Berlin in November, with no shortage of activities. And we’re publishing a single, special boxed Fan Edition of five books, custom-selected according to readers’ wishes. They’ll be able to choose their favourite tales from among 50 years of storytelling. From fans to fans!’ says Peter Höpfner.
German – Lustiges Taschenbuch
Danish - Jumbobog
Swedish – Kalle Ankas Pocket
Norwegian – Donald Pocket
English – Donald Duck Pocket Book