A mixture of new and old products make up our Top 10 Cool lists for September, 2001, both in the sense of new and retro properties and creative material, and in the sense of products new to the list and those that have previously appeared. Retro properties were big in anime, where Robotech took three of the top ten; in comics, where DC Archives took two of the top ten, and in movie/TV, where re-issues of animated Lord of the Rings products and the Batman pilot from the sixties took four slots. Repeat products were big in games, where only one new game appeared, and also showed up in toys and movie/TV products.
Bowen, DC Direct, and McFarlane took nine of the Top 10 Cool Toy slots in September, with Marvel products from Bowen winning the top three positions, and McFarlane getting the largest number of wins, with four of the top 10. McFarlane's Tortured Souls continued to perform strong, appearing for the second month in a list dominated by high-priced collector items. McFarlane also finally shipped its second anime collection, months too late to take maximum advantage of the two Akira figures, but still putting McFarlane in the position of being one of the few U.S. manufacturers of anime-based products with distribution clout into mass merchant and specialty chain channels. See Top 10 Cool Toys.
Robotech rules in anime videos this month, with Robotech DVDs taking three of the top 10 slots. Gundam placed two. Two properties that will probably appear repeatedly in coming months premiered this month -- Oh (or Ah, depending on who's doing the translation) My Goddess and Saint Tail. Media Blasters showed strength as a company, placing two products in the Top 10. See Top 10 Cool Anime.
Only one new product appeared in the Top 10 Cool Games this month -- Legend of the Five Rings: A Perfect Cut boosters. And as was the case last month, a D&D product was the only RPG in the Top 10 -- the rest are CCGs. Wizards of the Coast (with D&D, Magic, Pokemon, and Harry Potter). and Score's DBZ CCG hold nine of the Top 10 positions -- two-company dominance similar to what's seen in comics. See Top 10 Cool Games.
As is the case with games, two companies -- Marvel and DC -- take nine of the Top 10 Cool comic positions. Dark Horse has the only exception with its best-selling Akira series. As a property, the X-men franchise is the strongest, with three of the Top 10 positions. Archives continue to hold top slots on our lists this month, reflecting not only strong initial performance, but strong reorder activity as well. See Top 10 Cool Comics.
Movies/TVInkworks' latest Buffy release holds two slots this month, with the cards taking #1 and the binder taking #8. Inkworks binders are not only strong sellers in themselves, they also make it easier to motivate collectors to complete sets -- the #1 driver of movie/TV trading card pack sales. Animated Lord of the Rings DVD releases take three positions, showing the strength of this property in the run-up to the release of the first live-action movie this winter. The Simpsons Duff Beer Tin and Playing Cards are the only non-DVD, non-card product this month, and it's worth a look for retailers that haven't carried it before. Lexx is strong again this month, with two of the Top 10, and Star Wars Evolution cards from Topps appear for the second month in a row -- a rarity in the fickle world of movie/TV-driven products. See Top 10 Cool Movie/TV Products.