Christmas annuals may be being deep discounted across the UK in WH Smiths and supermarkets – some as little as £2 a copy. But sales in the run up to the festive period were strong again, with the Beano Annual taking the Number One sales spot.
The Beano Annual – a yearly tradition that dates back to the 1930s when the comic was first released – has secured the number one spot for 13 out of the last 21 years, and last year it was also one of the best-selling children’s Christmas books of 2014.
The tit;e’s success followed a spectacular 13-week takeover event of London’s St Pancras International and an extensive marketing campaign that DC Thomson reports resulted in over £1 million in retail sales value in the run up to Christmas, selling over 50 per cent more than the number two spot by sales value and beating its rivals such as LEGO, Peppa Pig, Doctor Who and One Direction to the number one position.
Although the comic itself is sadlylong gone, The Dandy Annual reached the Number Nine spot at Christmas, an 18 per cent increase from last year in sales volume.
“Each year, we strive to make each one of our annuals rich in content and with more pages than any other on the market,” said Tim Collins, head of brands, DC Thomson.
“The purchase of a Beano Annual is a classic British tradition that has been shared amongst families for many generations, so it’s vital that we continue to meet the expectations of our loyal fans and a real privilege to have that effort recognised this way.
“We fought off some tough competition this year and with the support of our experiential marketing campaign at St Pancras International, we’re thrilled that The Beano Annual 2015 was a massive success.”
DC Thomson also released a number of ‘legacy’ annuals celebrating past comic titles such as Topper and Bunty.
• The top-selling children’s Annuals on amazon.co.uk now still include The Beano but One Direction and Doctor Who now top the online seller’s chart.
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.