Times may be tough for some but apparently the economy’s not affecting those in the realm of fiction.
Each year, Forbes puts together a list of the 15 wealthiest characters. To qualify for the list, one must be both a fictional character and really, really rich. Santa Claus topped the list in the past but, due to the insistence of many of his existence and the physical evidence — toys delivered, milk and cookies devoured — he was removed from consideration this time around.
Happily, several characters from old TV shows made the list. Their series may have ended but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t still prospering:
Scrooge McDuck (DuckTales) – Much of McDuck’s $28.8 billion fortune comes from soaring gold prices. The notoriously penny-pinching miser swims in gold coins for exercise and never gives to charity. He publicly disinherited his hot-headed nephew Donald and now oversees a trio of mischievous grand-nephews who are presumed to be his heirs.
Ming the Merciless (Flash Gordon) – As the dictator of the recently-discovered planet Mongo, Ming’s management style has been described as being that of a “control freak” and a “micro-manager.” Because of the difficulty of separating his wealth from that of the planet, his worth is estimated at $20.9 billion but is likely much higher.
Richie Rich (Richie Rich) – Rich is now worth $16.1 billion as a result of being the majority stockholder in several successful Silicon Valley companies. Though he’s often criticized for his extravagant lifestyle (flying in an iceberg from the North Pole so his friends could go skiing), the self-proclaimed “poor little rich boy” and his mentor, Professor Keenbean, have been responsible for the robot maid and solid gold cellphone.
Mom (Futurama) – With a value of $15.7 billion, Mom continues to be the future’s wealthiest woman. Publicly, she’s know as the matronly head of Momcorp but insiders know her to be a dangerous and ruthless competitor who has plotted to overthrow humanity via rebellious robots.
Jed Clampett (The Beverly Hillbillies) – An Ozark Elementary dropout, Clampett’s net worth has soared to $11 billion as a result of the high price of oil. New CFO Milton Drysdale struggles to bring management up to international standards after a Saudi delegation was served “possum-fried critter” by Clampett’s provocatively-attired daughter, Ellie May.
Bruce Wayne (Batman) – Wayne Industry’s worth rose to $7 billion after “Brother Eye” spy-satellite technologies were sold to the government. Ever the society playboy, Wayne is the subject of an ongoing FBI investigation due to numerous top-secret military prototypes that have gone missing from storage. There’s also continual gossip about his habit of keeping teenage boys as “wards.”
Thurston Howell III (Gilligan’s Island) – Howell Industries’ value skyrocketed to $6.3 billion after charges of tax evasion and money laundering were dropped (following a bumbling grand jury appearance by a whistle-blower known only as “Gilligan”). Despite being exonerated, Howell remains on a remote “tropic island nest” with his wife and a small group of trusted associates.
Tony Stark (Iron Man) – His Stark Industries made much of its $6 billion from Department of Defense contracts, including one for the new line “Hulkbuster” armored suits. Stark recently sold the rights to his life story to Hollywood and a feature film is expected in May.
Gomez Addams (The Addams Family) – As a descendant of Castilian royalty and British aristocrats, his $2 billion fortune comes as a result of his eccentric investing. Addams once purchased swamp property for “scenic value” and later discovered there were significant oil deposits underneath. He reportedly spends over a grand on cigars each week.
Princess Peach (known as Princess Toadstool on 1989’s The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!) – With a net worth of $1.3 billion, the princess doubled her fortune when she divorced plumber Mario and received a fortune in gold coins.