Our final 2002 Top Ten Cool survey of the sell-through of pop culture products in December serves as a fitting capstone, since the major trends that we have been noticing are evident in abundance. Since this survey is concerned with total dollar sales, high-ticket items continue to dominate many of our categories including comics, anime, toys, and movies/tv. In our lone remaining category Yu-Gi-Oh!, which has been trending stronger all year as supplies in the hobby market have increased, displayed the dominance that TV ratings and Internet searches would indicate that it has in the mass market. Let's take a look at our categories one-by-one.
This month's sales figures point to the sales potential of classic anime titles now being issued in the DVD format, with series titles in box sets that offer consumers a better per-disk cost despite high retail prices. Robotech, Carl Macek's adaptation of three Macross-related series for the American market, took the top two spots. First broadcast in the U.S. in the 1980s, Robotech was a key property in boosting the popularity of anime here. The Transformers, another vintage anime series that received major exposure on U.S. TV, came in at number six with its DVD box set, not bad at all considering that this was the lone holdover from last month's anime list. Doomed Megalopolis, a key anime OAV production of the 1980s directed by Rintaro and animated by Otomo, made its DVD debut at #4. Not every title on this month's list comes from deep in the twentieth century, Inu-Yasha, which is currently running on Adult Swim, actually sold the most units, coming in at #3 with the second volume in the series. Another new series, the vampire anime Hellsing, came in at #7, and the video-game-based Wild Arms was #10. For the complete list of the Top 10 Cool Anime in pop culture stores in December, click here.
The number one slot goes to the $24.95 original graphic novel that teams up two classic DC super-groups -- JLA and JSA. Jim Lee's Batman is still selling gangbusters, while Alan Moore's The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen at the #3 spot shows that it is a very potent title (when it appears -- a more regular schedule would help this book) and demonstrates why retailers should try to capitalize on the release of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen movie this summer. Marvel's Ultimate War books came in at #4 and #5 followed by two Spider-Man and two X-Men titles. DC's Aquaman #1 debuted strongly at #10. For the complete list of the Top 10 Cool Comics in pop culture stores in December, click here.
In a perfomance that can only be called dominating, Yu-Gi-Oh! took half the spots on the list including the first three. Magic's Onslaught releases fared well with two spots, while WizKids Marvel Hero Clix: Clobberin' Time expansion and MechWarrior: Dark Ages came in at #5 and #7 respectively. Score's DBZ CCG took the other spot, maintaining its longtime presence on our top 10. For the complete list of the Top 10 Cool Games in pop culture stores in December, click here.
This category has been dominated more and more by DVDs, especially as the number of releases has grown to include season-long compilations of favorite science fiction TV series. Star Trek: The Next Generation Sixth Season DVD Box Set came in at #1, while Babylon 5 (#4), Twilight Zone (#5, #6), and Farscape (#8) also grabbed slots. But note that even with the prevalence of these box sets, two trading card releases came in right near the top. Inkworks' Alias Season One (#2) has performed very well, and may get an additional boost from star Jennifer Garner's appearance in the new Daredevil film. Meanwhile a new Xena series, Beauty and Brawn, grabbed the #3 spot. The performance of trading cards on our list is especially impressive because many of the stores that send in reports don't carry them. The ones that do obviously have substantial sales -- something to think about if you've given up on, or never carried non-sports cards. For the complete list of the Top 10 Cool Movie/TV Products in pop culture stores in December, click here.
ToysTypical of the trends we've seen in the past, the first nine slots go to products designed specifically for the collector's market. DC Direct grabs the first three spots, while Diamond Select placed two items in the top 10 (the Iron Man and Dawn statues), while the first figure in Tokyo Mint's line of Love Hina statues debuted strongly at number six. The lone 'mass-market' entry in this month's list was McFarlane Toys Movie Maniacs Series 5, which featured Alien vs. Predator. For the complete list of the Top 10 Cool Toys in pop culture stores in December, click here.