The venerable Simpsons top two categories in our Top 10 Cool lists for October, compiled from reports submitted by retailers across the country. With two of the top ten toys (including #1) and the top DVD, Simpsons continues to demonstrate sizable staying power in pop culture stores as it enters its thirteenth television season. Three shojo titles placed in the top ten anime this month, showing the increasing importance of products for female consumers in this traditionally male dominated retail venue. Lots of new games hit the list new month (mostly from well-known systems) and a quick-book comic topped that list for the first time ever.
Simpsons products showed just how strong this property is in pop culture stores by taking both the #1 and #4 slots this month. With its sly references to all kinds of pop culture, including film, comics, and music, and its wry commentary on family life, work, and childhood, it's no surprise that 'The Simpsons' continues to get solid ratings and to sell the associated products. A recent rave article in the New York Times Magazine was effusive in its praise for the show. '...Nothing has summed up the promise and confusion of American life in the post-cold-war era better than 'The Simpsons.' Nothing else has harnessed the accumulated energies and memory traces of the civilization with so much intelligence and originality.' The usual suspects made up the rest of the list -- four DC Direct products, two Bowen Marvel creations, and two McFarlance figure assortments. See 'Top 10 Cool Toys.'
Robotech came out on top again this month, but perhaps the most significant development was the presence of three shojo products among the top ten anime products in pop culture stores -- two Sailor Moon products (including the DVD set of the feature-length movies from Pioneer) and Revolutionary Girl Utena -- the Movie DVD. The first two Battle of the Planets DVDs made our list this month, and with the coming toys and comics to accompany the videos (see 'G-Force Back with a Vengeance'), this promises to be a strong property in the coming months. See 'Top 10 Cool Anime.'
There was unusually heavy turnover in the games list this month, which is usually dominated by perennial best-sellers -- six of the products were on the list for the first time. Magic: The Gathering Odyssey was the strongest launch, with three of the top four slots. The previous Magic product -- Apocalypse -- held on at #10. Oriental Adventures, the newest D&D sourcebook, debuted high at #2. Wizards of the Coast's dominance of the top 10 was made more complete with two more products -- Pokemon New Revelation and NFL Showdown -- bringing the total number of WotC's products to seven out of the top ten. The reliable Mage Knight and DBZ games held the three non-WotC slots. Mage Knight Rebellion has been in our Top 10 Games list for an amazing ten consecutive months! See 'Top 10 Cool Games.'
For the first time ever on our lists, a product that was conceived, produced and released in only a few weeks made our list. Heroes, Marvel's September 11 tribute/benefit book was the best-selling comic product in pop culture stores this month. Since Marvel has decided to reprint this title, it is continuing to sell steadily behind a massive marvel PR push. Origin holds #2 with its second issue. Eight out of the top ten products are Marvels. See 'Top Ten Cool Comics.'
Movies/TVThe first season of Simpsons was released on DVD, and it's at the top of our list this month in a great package with strong content and lots of extras (see 'Simpsons Season 1 DVD Box Set'). It beat Star Wars Episode I in pop culture stores, probably because of the massive presence and heavy discounting in all other types of retail stores. Non-genre products--The Godfather three-movie DVD and I Love Lucy trading cards--took two positions this month, an unusually high number. Also of note, the Masters of the Universe re-launch is presaged by the DVD release of the 1987 live-action film on DVD. See 'Top 10 Cool Movie/TV Products.'