A top 10 of fictional characters, including Mickey Mouse and SpongeBob SquarePants, made more than $25 billion dollars (£13.7m) in 2003.
Mickey Mouse was created in 1928
The list, by finance magazine Forbes, of top-earning fictional characters puts Disney's Mickey Mouse at the top of the pile, grossing $5.8bn (£3.17bn).
Winnie the Pooh and friends are close behind with $5.6bn (£3bn).
Spider-Man, the X-Men's Wolverine, Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings' Frodo Baggins also made the top 10.
TOP-EARNING FICTIONAL CHARACTERS
1. Mickey Mouse and Friends
2. Winnie the Pooh and Friends
3. Frodo Baggins, Lord of the Rings
4. Harry Potter
5. Nemo, Finding Nemo
7. SpongeBob SquarePants
9. Wolverine, X-Men
10. Pikachu, Pokemon
Source: Forbes magazine
Box office takings increased the chances of characters making the list - fictional faces from films such as Star Wars and Monsters Inc made the list for 2002 but dropped off without a film release to back them in 2003.
In order to qualify for the Forbes list, characters must have debuted in a narrative story on screen, in print or in a videogame.
Japanese comic-book star Yu-Gi-Oh! made $1.6bn ($87m) with the help of trading cards and videogames. Pikachu from Pokemon, who was created in 1996 and has a TV show, made $825m (£450m).