January is a transition month in the pop culture products business, with the first week or two typically showing strong post-Christmas sales, followed by slowing traffic as the winter doldrums set in. But there was a lot of activity in pop culture stores this January, with especially strong releases in the comic category. The Top 10 Cool products tell us what actually sold through in pop culture stores. Click here for all the lists, or use the links in the blue bar to the right of this article to look at individual categories.
Four months after the 9-11 attacks, comics commentary on the events made a strong showing in the January bestseller lists, with four of the top ten slots and three out of the top five going to 9-11 books. The DC volume of the September 11 set was the best seller of those, with the Dark Horse/Chaos volume following, Alternative Comics' 9-11 Emergency Relief behind that, and Marvel's Moment of Silence bringing up the rear, perhaps due to cover price and perhaps due to the 'silent' stories. The #1 best selling comic was Dark Knight Strikes Again for a second straight month. Marvel's Ultimates #1 and the usual suspects, along with a DC Archives book made up the rest of the list.
DC Direct holds the top two positions for January with its Green Arrow and Metal Men products. Number three is the anatomically correct Playboy Collectors Doll, giving male collectors what they want. Bowen's Marvel products took FIVE out of the top ten slots, a very impressive showing. Toy Vault's very fun Killer Rabbit plush from Monty Python was #6, and the latest Simpsons toys from Playmates rounded out the Top 10 Cool Toys for January.
Gundam products were 'bookends' for the Top 10 Cool anime in January, holding the #1 and #10 slots; we might have stretched the anime definition a bit by including the live action Gundam G-Saviour from Bandai as the #10 product. Battle of the Planets made a strong showing, with both the #2 and #3 positions. Also of note was Pilot Candidate, which is getting a lot more interest now that it's on the Adult Swim block on the Cartoon Network (see 'New Anime Series on Cartoon Network'), at #5.
The venerable Simpsons were the winning property in this category this month, with Inkworks' Simpson Mania Trading Cards at the top of the list and the Simspons First Season DVD Set holding onto a top 10 slot for the fourth consecutive month. The Buffy First Season DVD Set came in at #2, and DVDs took all but three of the ten positions. But the DVDs ranged from old movies like Tron to retro TV sets based on The Saint and M*A*S*H. The Clerks Tin Lunch Box and the Xena Season 6 Trading Cards were the other non-DVD products. The Xena cards appeared for the second month, an unusual circumstance for a trading card product. For the first time in a while, there was only one product based on an SF Channel series this month -- the Lexx DVD.
GamesThe momentum from the hit Lord of the Rings movie carried Decipher's LOTR CCG to the #1 and #3 positions this month, with the Boosters at #1 again, and its new Deluxe Starter Set at #3. Score's reliable DBZ CCG held two positions this month as usual, as did MTG: Odyssey and the newly released Mage Knight Dungeons products from WizKids. Supply problems on Dungeons may have kept it from placing higher. A Decipher Star Wars CCG product and the ever-present Pokemon CCG rounded out the Top 10 Cool Games for January.