British Comic Sales Figures, Winners and Losers (January – June 2018): Beano on the rise, Peppa Pig continues to party to high sales

WHSmith Lancaster - 17th August 2018 - Junior Titles

Primary boys and girls titles on sale in high street newsagents, August 2017 (WHSmith Lancaster)

Report by John Freeman and Jeremy Briggs

The latest sales figures for some comics and children’s magazines available on the UK news stand for the first half of 2018 have been published by the Audit Bureau of Circulations (ABC).

There are winners and losers as ever, as consumer magazines in general continue to battle for readers, and it should be noted that there has been a marked drop off in comic-related titles actually registered for ABC reporting.

We’ve updated our spreadsheet of sales figures we think will most interest downthetubes readers here. These figures, which we’ve been compiling since 2006, combine print circulation with digital edition and subscription sales.

WHSmith - Lancaster -17th August 2018 - Teens

Panini and Titan Comics superhero reprints rub shoulders with Rebellion’s new The Vigilant

WHSmith - Lancaster -17th August 2018 - Teens

As usual, no sales and subscription figures for 2000AD (or Judge Dredd Megazine), Commando or The Phoenix are in the public domain. Not every comic or children’s magazine is ABC listed but we try to include all current titles in this busy sector in our list, even those with no audited sales.

full list of titles listed as currently on sale this week or available to order in newsagents, some more comics-related rather than comics, is included below, which hopefully also serves to indicate how competitive the Youth Magazine sector is in the UK.

2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine - sadly fighting for space in WHSmith in the specialist magazine section of the store

2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine – sadly fighting for space in WHSmith in the specialist magazine section of the store

Sadly, even though there are over twenty superhero titles from Panini and Titan Comics available in newsagents, none are ABC listed.Through its last reporting period (June – December 2017), the last registered superhero-related title, Panini’s Ultimate Spider-Man, had an average sale of just over 24,000 copies per issue. It’s now rebranded as, simply, Spider-Man.

Publishers don’t list all their titles in part because you have to pay to be on the ABCs, and some publishers don’t consider it very worthwhile, particularly if a title isn’t chasing advertising revenue. (Panini didn’t list Doctor Who Magazine until 2010, for example, even though Marvel UK did when they published it).

Sainsbury's Lancaster 17th August 2018 - Picks

Sainsbury’s “Top PIcks” comic tiles – strangely positioned at top shelf height

Good news for Beano

It’s interesting to see that the Beano has reverted to six monthly reporting from yearly, the first time this has happened since the last half of 2011, and the headline ABC figures show a sales increase of 783 or 2.1 per cent for the first six months of 2018 over all twelve months of 2017.

However, it has to be said that Beano’s biggest sales are regularly in the summer months of July and August and in December, with the Christmas issue. Stripping out July to December sales from the 2017 figures gives us a direct comparison of the first six months of 2017 with the first six months of 2018. The average sales for January to June of 2017 was 36171 and so January to June 2018’s average sales of 38325 is an increase of 2154 or almost six per cent over the same time last year.

It is also notable that the percentage of subscriber sales, which are of course pre-paid, has increased from an average of 54.1% in all of 2017 to 56.8 per cent in the first six months of 2018.

This is all very heathy position for the Beano to be in.

Winners and Losers

Redan’s Peppa Pig titles continue to dominate, although it’s interesting to see that despite a drop in sales for the regular title, figures for the CBeebies Special are up. Go Jetters continues to do well, as does Paw Patrol and PJ Masks, but Lego Friends seems to have taken a bit of hit, down from 43,837 to 31,256 average sales.

Still, Disney’s Star Wars Lego has held its ground and the lack of new Doctor Who on TV may have dented Doctor Who Magazine‘s sales but not too badly. Here’s hoping the arrival of the Thirteenth Doctor will give it a shot in the arm, however.

Boy’s titles Mega and TOXIC have also held fairly steady, but DC Thomson’s EPIC title (its last sales detailed at just over 16,000 in 2017) is no longer registered, so we can’t compare the three. Perhaps the latter’s decline has helped the former.

It’s also good to see Pokemon has increased its sales – an evergreen brand – and in the girls sector, titles such as Frozen continue to deliver respectable figures, albeit lower than when the Disney film helped maintain its profile. Disney Princess continues to prove a great seller for Egmont.

Publisher reaction the latest sales features below. As you can see from our pictures of two different outlets, some titles battle for sales is harder than others when they are racked so poorly, particularly, it has to be said, in WHSmith.

These reported figures reflect changes to the way the way ABC reports on consumer magazines and regional publications, in a bid to make it easier for media buyers and owners to use its data. Aiming to make it easier for media buyers and owners to use the reports for trading changes highlight key ABC census metrics, the reports incorporate graphs and charts for easy comparison and simplify reporting processes.

Larger supermarkets give their comics much more space, with "covers out" compared with WHSmth cramping of magazines on their shelves

Larger supermarkets give their comics much more space, with “covers out” compared with WHSmth cramping of magazines on their shelves

Publisher Reaction and Statements

DC Thomson and Beano Studios are clearly delighted by the reported figures for Beano, which has undergone some major changes over the past year, all of which have not only raised the title’s profile but helped boost sales too.

Beano comic has posted an 7.9% year-on-year increase in the recent ABC release, recording weekly sales figures of 37,542 copies.

Beano 3945 - Cover

“Celebrating its 80th anniversary in July, Beano has long been a hugely important part of DC Thomson Media portfolio, and loved by hundreds of thousands of readers,” the publishers note. “This latest ABC release shows that the comic hasn’t lost its shine, selling 1.86 million copies in 2017.

“This increase in sales shows consistent long term growth for the title with three successive yearly increases posted. A copy of Beano is sold every 17 seconds in the UK!”

Maria Welch, Head of Publishing for Magazines at DC Thomson Media, said, “To see a publication perform so well in an extremely challenged market is hugely positive. The children’s magazine sector is characterised by frequent launches and closures and it is testament to the enduring appeal of Beano that today’s readers are still being entertained every week by the nation’s favourite comic.”

Within this figure Beano has seen remarkable growth with subscriptions, exceeding 20,000 for the first time, doubling subscriber numbers over the last five years.

Mike Watson, Managing Director of DC Thomson Media, said, “We’re thrilled with the performance of Beano. To see a title grow in this sector, which is on average down – 7.8% year on year, is great, but Beano’s increase of nearly eight per cent is exceptional. We’re thrilled to be able to continue to provide readers with a weekly dose of mischief, mayhem and fun!”

Dennis Publishing

Dennis notes The Week Junior, the publisher’s current affairs magazine aimed at curious and smart 8-14 year olds, continues to go from strength to strength with a marketing leading ABC increase . This new headline figure of 59,266 contains 51,937 subscribers. The magazine also saw a period-on-period increase of 13,006 paid newsstand and subscriber copies – up 30.75%.

Since its November 2015 launch the title has grown every audit period, and it is now one of the largest children’s magazines in the UK. Anna Bassi, Editor-in-Chief of The Week Junior, said, “This fantastic result shows a real appetite for high quality, factual and informative content for young people. It is a great testament to the hard work, commitment and talent of the team that produce it and we are absolutely delighted.”

Egmont Publishing

Egmont Publishing, the UK’s biggest children’s specialist publisher, continues to grow its market-leading magazines and attract new readers every month.

Disney Princess, a top 10 title at retail since its launch 20 years ago, has proved its evergreen status once more by showing incredible year on year growth of 27.5% and pop growth of 18.4%.

Egmont continues to lead the way in Own Brand publishing, with Go Girl delivering impressive year on year and pop growth of 24.9% and 11.1% respectively. TOXIC remains the first choice magazine for pre-teen boys, showing that Egmont’s focus on quality content, exclusive brand partnerships and value-for-money packages is still meeting the needs of its consumers.

Paw Patrol continues to be a phenomenal success. The latest ABC results show pop and year on year growth of 9.3% and 6.8% respectively. Now in its third year of publishing, and still delivering growth, Paw Patrol is set to become an evergreen title of the future.

Thomas & Friends continues to delight young fans three decades since its launch, delivering pop growth of 3%. The release of the latest Thomas & Friends movie, ‘Big World, Big Adventures’, is sure to attract even more young fans to the magazine this summer.

Of the ABC results, Siobhan Galvin, Commercial Director of Magazines at Egmont said, “We are delighted with the performance across our portfolio. The success of our market-leading magazines is a result of our collaborative, creative and innovative relationship with our partners. Our leading Own Brand titles – Toxic and Go Girl – demonstrate our publishing expertise and ability to adapt to changing consumer trends. We know from our research that parents value the physicality and the overall package printed magazines provide – they appreciate how they offer time away from screens and enable them to spend time doing activities and reading together with their children. Magazines are an affordable ‘treat with benefits’.”



Immediate Media Co

Immediate Media Co, the special interest content and platform company, has posted a combined ABC audited print and digital circulation of 1,592,137 for titles reporting in the period January-June 2018.

Tom Bureau, CEO of Immediate Media, says: “This is another strong set of results from Immediate, which has seen our portfolio of brands continue to outperform the market. Radio Times and BBC Gardeners’ World magazine have the largest reach of any weekly and general interest monthly magazines in the UK and our market-leading Youth & Children portfolio continues to perform strongly demonstrating the enduring power of print.

We’re also continuing to invest in our digital and ecommerce propositions as our brands further grow their reach across all platforms, Immediate’s brands now reach 22million consumers a month.”

Highlights for the ABC period Jan-June 2018 in the Youth and Children confirm, the publisher says, that Immediate remains the number one publisher in the Children’s market, with a total ABC audited circulation of 780,194. Immediate’s pre-school titles reported a growth of 8.3% on the year.

CBeebies Special is up 12.2% year-on-year, reporting an ABC of 51,035; Hey Duggee audited circulation rose by 9.4% year-on-year to 16,601;  and Toybox reported a 13.6% increase year-on-year to 28,134

Other Immediate Youth & Children’s highlights include its Lego Special Series, up 4.5% year on year reporting an ABC of 60,295; Girl Talk and Girl Talk Art have both recorded year-on-year growth, up 5.15% and 0.65% respectively, to 42,376 and 28,326; Pokémon magazine is up 13% year-on-year with a circulation of 46,154; and Top of the Pops Magazine recorded a 7.5% increase year-on-year to 48,398.

Fun To Learn Peppa Pig Magazine 268Redan Publishing

Redan Publishing is delighted to report that in the ever competitive pre-school sector Fun To Learn Peppa Pig Bag-O-Fun has seen an impressive year on year increase of 10.93%. A total average sale of 85,455 that makes it not only the number one best-selling magazine in the Pre-school sector, but in the whole of the children’s sector.

Sister title Fun To Learn Peppa Pig has also reported a year on year increase of 3.44%, retaining its second place position in the Pre-school charts with an ABC of 66,314.

Elsewhere in the pre-school specialist’s portfolio, FTL Friends and FTL Favourites magazines hold firm in the Pre-school top 10. With FTL Friends seeing a slight period on period increase to 48,277 and Favourites up slightly from this time last year to 35,674.

Sparkle World continues to be the best-selling multi-character magazine in the Primary Girls sector posting an ABC of 44,386.

Web Links

• The Audit Bureau of Circulations is the industry body for media measurement. The organisation brings the newspaper and magazine industry together to agree measurement and process Reporting Standards, a process that is constantly evolving to keep pace with industry developments.

• View our spreadsheet of ABC figures here (2006 – 2018)

• Having trouble finding your favourite title? offers over 4000 UK titles:

Sainsbury's Lancaster 17th August 2018

Children’s Magazines – Titles On Sale August 2018

Headings are those allocated by the National File Title


321 Go
Andy’s Amazing Adventures
Beautiful Ballerina
Bob the Builder
Busy Time
Cbeebies Art
Charlie & Lola
DC Team Up
Disney Art
Disney Stars
Early Learning Play Pack
Fairy Ballerina
Fantastic Funworld
Fun To Learn Bag Of Fun
Fun To Learn Favourites
Fun To Learn Friends
Fun To Learn Friends Art
Fun To Learn Peppa Pig
Fun With…
Get Busy Special
Glitter Princess Goody Bag

Go Jetters 28, with free gift

Go Jetters 28, with free gift

Go Jetters
Hey Duggee
In The Night Garden
Let’s Play
Lucky Dip
Lucky Dip England Footy Ball
Marvel Play Time
Mister Maker
Mr Men Little Miss
Mr Tumble Something Special
My Favourite Fairytales
Party Princess Megapack
Paw Patrol
Peppa Pig Bag O Fun
Peter Rabbit
PJ Masks
Rescue Bots
Shimmer Shine
Stories And Fun
Summer Playpack
Tellytime Favourites
Thomas Friends
Toy Box
Wild Wheels

Sainsbury's Lancaster 17th August 2018


Activity Fun
Activity Series
Amazing Animation Series
Awesome Guides
Batman – Superman
Batman Rebirth
Eco Kids Planet
First News
Futurama Specials
Go Girl
Kick Extra
Lego Specials
Minecraft World
MLP Equestrian Girls
National Geographic Kids
Phoenix Weekly
This Is…
Top of the Pops
WWF Magazine

Sainsbury's Lancaster 17th August 2018

Primary Girls

Animal Friends
Animals and You
Beautiful Mermaid
Build A Bear Workshop
Cuddles Baby Animals
Cute Special
Disney Presents
Disney Princess
Disney Waitrose Pack
Dream Princess
Fairy Princess
Favourite Friends

Frozen 62 - with free gift

Frozen 62 – with free gift

Girl Talk
Girl Talk Art
Hello Kitty Magazine
Holiday Goodie Pack Girls
Jacqueline Wilson
Lego Friends
Littlest Pet Shop
LOL Surprise
LOL Surprise Special
Love From
Lovely Princess
Magical Unicorns
Magical World Holiday Special
Mia And Me
My Beautiful Princess
My Favourite Princess Story
My Little Pony
My Little Pony Bumper Pack
My Little Pony Special
My Princess And Pony Magazine
Num Noms
Pets 2 Collect
Pony Friends
Pretty Mermaid
Pretty Princess Playpack
Princess Colouring Time”
Princess Friends”
Princess Secrets
Princess Storytime
Princess World
Princess World Special
Rainbow Magic
Rainbow Princess Colouring
So Magical
Sparkle World
Star Girl
Summer Girl
We Love…

Primary Boys

110% Gaming
Action Combat
Action GTX
Ben 10
Dino Friends
Dinosaur Action
Dinosaur Attack
Epic Magazine
Get Busy
Gunge Magazine
Horrible Histories
It’s Time For…
Lego Comic Specials
Lego Nexo Knights
Lego Ninjago
Lego Star Wars
Marvel Heroes 129Marvel Heroes
Monster Megapack
Simpsons Comic Magagax=Zine
Spider-Man Magazine
Star Wars Adventures
Strike It
Wwe Kids

Teenage Life Style Magazines

Good Universities Guide
Teen Vogue
Tiger Beat
We Love Pop
Young And Mindful

Teenage Entertainment

Cosplay (Word Up)
Doctor Who Magazine
Pokemon Mania

2000AD 2094 - CoverTeenage Magazines

Adventure Time
All Star Batman
Astonishing Spider-Man
Avengers Universe
Comic Scene
Commando (sold in as four separate strands – Action Adventure, Gold Collection, Home Of Heroes and Silver Collection)
DC Spotlight
DC Superheroes (UK)
DC Team Up
DC Universe Presents
Deadpool Unleashed
Doctor Who Tales From TARDIS
Essential X-Men
DC Superheroes Volume 3 #11Flash (UK)
I Love
Judge Dredd Megazine
Marvel Legends
Mighty World of Marvel
Pony World
Rick & Morty Magazine
Sniper Elite
Spinner Force
Star Wars Junior Graphic Novels
Top Model
Walking Dead
Wolverine and Deadpool

Current Part Works: Titles Of Interest To Comics And Fantasy Media Fans

2000AD Ultimate Collection
Assassins Creed
Build Back To Future Delorean
Build Your Own R2 D2
Classic Dinky Toy Collection
DC Comic Graphic Novel Special
DC Comics Graphic Novel Complete
DC Comics Legend Of Batman
Deadpool Graphic Novel
Doctor Who Complete History
Doctor Who Figure Collection
Draw The Marvel Way
Game of Thrones Official Collection
Judge Dredd
Marvel Movie Collection
Marvel Universe Figure Collection
Marvel’s Mightiest Heroes
Star Trek Graphic Novels
Star Trek Ships
Star Wars Helmet Collection
Transformers G1
Ultimate Graphic Novel Collection
Warhammer Conquest

• The Audit Bureau of Circulations is the industry body for media measurement. The organisation brings the newspaper and magazine industry together to agree measurement and process Reporting Standards, a process that is constantly evolving to keep pace with industry developments.

• View our spreadsheet of ABC figures here (2006 – 2018)

• Having trouble finding your favourite title? offers over 4000 UK titles:


Categories: 2000AD, British Comics, downthetubes Comics News, downthetubes News

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