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Thursday, August 1, 2013

The 2013 Forbes Fictional 15 08-01

The 2013 Forbes Fictional 15

You’re not imagining it: The rich do keep getting richer. Even the fictionally rich.
Each year Forbes calculates the net worth of the wealthiest characters from novels, movies, television and games, constructing portfolios based on those stories, and valuing them using real-world commodity and share prices. This time around, the aggregate net worth of the Fictional 15 climbed 3% to $215.8 billion. That’s more than the gross domestic product of Ireland.

On the top of the list this year: Scrooge McDuck, the billionaire bird who keeps most of his $65.4 billion fortune in gold coins, piled high inside a Duckburg money bin. The world’s richest duck started out in business when he was “just a wee nipper,” polishing boots on the streets of his native Glasgow; today he owns some of the world’s largest mining concerns. Famously penny-pinching, Scrooge still has the first dime he ever earned.

Other rich list perennials include the billionaire playboy Tony Stark. 
An engineering genius who earned two master’s degrees by age 19, Stark’s remarkable inventions (including the “Iron Man” combat armor) are often outshined by his ability to create controversy. His latest foible: publicly threatening the terrorist known as The Mandarin, who responded by destroying Stark’s Malibu mansion. Still, the billionaire playboy’s net worth is actually up year over year to $12.4 billion, thanks in large part to the stewardship of Stark 
Industries CEO (and subject of a recent Forbes cover story) Pepper Potts.Fiction’s second richest character, the reclusive red-gold dragon Smaug, spent eons holed up in his Lonely Mountain lair on top of a horde of valuables worth $54.1 billion. But “Smaug the Tremendous” has been pushed into the limelight of late, after agreeing to appear in Peter Jackson’s trilogy of Hobbit films; now he spends his days in Hollywood’s exclusive Chateau Marmont.
Full Coverage: 2013 Forbes Fictional 15
Several new faces appear on this year’s list, including Christian Grey, with an estimated net worth of $2.5 billion. The enfant terrible of the business world attributes his success to hard-work, lack of personal distractions and extensive use of binding employment contracts: “I like to tie down my best employees.” A demanding task-master, he’s known for buying under-performing companies and whipping them into shape.
High tech hotshot Walden Schmidt also makes his first appearance, with an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion. Schmidt flipped a startup into a billion-dollar check from Microsoft , nearly lost everything after a break-up with his high-school sweetheart turned wife, and then disappeared from the Silicon Valley scene. Now reportedly living in a Malibu mansion with persnickety best friend and his teenage son; attempting comeback with new business selling power-grid management software.
And a few familiar faces return to the list after falling from its ranks in previous years. “Tomb Raider” Lara Croft, the Countess of Abbingdon, inherited her $1.3 billion fortune from staid British ancestors, but gentle birth didn’t make her mild mannered: After earning a degree in archaeology, Croft made a name for herself discovering the long lost kingdom of Yamatai on an island off the coast of Japan. Celebrated New York party host Jay Gatsby also makes a return appearance: Long Island’s most eligible bachelor is renowned for hosting wild, all-night “flapper” soirees fueled by caviar, champagne and the Charleston.
To qualify for the Fictional 15, we require that candidates be an authored fictional creation, a rule which excludes mythological and folkloric characters. They must star in a specific narrative work or series of works. And they must be known, both within their fictional universe and by their audience, for being rich.
Net worth estimates are based on an analysis of the fictional character’s source material, and where possible, valued against known real-world commodity and share price movements. In the case of privately held fictional concerns, we seek to identify comparable fictional public companies. All figures are as of market close, April 1, 2012.
Final valuations are calculated with a grain of salt, and a willingness to break our own rules.

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