Friday, May 8, 2009

Top Sellers for April

Here's our top 25 list for April:
  1. MTG - Alara Reborn Booster Display
  2. D&D - Arcane Power
  3. MTG - Duel Decks: Divine vs Demonic
  4. MTG - Alara Reborn Intro Pack
  5. War of the Ring Rulebook
  6. Settlers of Catan Rev.
  7. D&D - Player's Handbook 2
  8. PKM: Platinum Booster
  9. 40k: Assault On Black Reach
  10. Descent: Journeys In the Dark
  11. MTG: Conflux Booster Display
  12. MTG - Alara Reborn - Fat Pack
  13. MTG - Shards of Alara - Intro Pack
  14. MTG - Conflux - Booster Box
  15. MTG - Conflux - Fat Pack
  16. Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's: Crimson Crisis
  17. MTG - Shards of Alara Booster
  18. 40K: IG Shadowsword / Stormlord
  19. 40K: Tyranid Battleforce
  20. WFB: Bretonnian Battalion
  21. Yu Gi Oh Spellcaster's Command SD
  22. White Dwarf # 352
  23. SWM Imperial Entanglements BP
  24. Fields of Fire 9th US Infantry
  25. DDM: Against the Giants

Notice anything? About half the list is Wizards of the Coast. A quarter is Games Workshop. What new games are in that other quarter? One GMT game. It's actually normal for the season, although there are usually a few more "indie" hits.

These top 25 items comprise 25% of our sales. The other 75% consists of over 1,200 items. Anyone can stock the top 25%, the best sellers. That's where you'll see the big box stores picking the low hanging fruit. The real work, the business of a game store, is managing the bottom 75% of sales, the stuff that comprises 98% of your sales by item. The energy, innovation and excitement is usually in that bottom 75%.

Here are the top 25 games, which I think shows a bit more excitement. A few of the up and comers are highlighted:

  1. Magic
  2. Warhammer 40K
  3. Dungeons & Dragons
  4. Warhammer Fantasy
  5. Warmachine
  6. War of the Rings
  7. Fantasy Flight Games
  8. Hordes
  9. Flames of War
  10. Mayfair Games
  11. Rio Grande
  12. Yu-Gi-Oh
  13. Steve Jackson Games
  14. Infinity
  15. Pokemon
  16. Star Wars Miniatures
  17. Uncharted Seas
  18. Days of Wonder
  19. Z-Man Games
  20. Playroom Entertainment
  21. Dark Heresy
  22. Naruto
  23. Asmodee
  24. World of Warcraft CCG
  25. GMT


  1. I am very glad to see War of the Ring up there, I was getting a little worried that the interest was very low.

  2. Unfortunately, it looks like WOTR plastics will get hit hard by the June 1st GW price increase.

    In other words - now is the time to buy LOTR minis.

  3. WOTR is solid. There was an initial surge of sales. Now we'll see a bit of that level off. Then we'll get more new releases soon and it should stabilize and fly straight.

    As a retailer, it's everything I could ask for. A competently designed new game with all the models available (and more coming) that has an installed base of fan support.

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  5. Lol, comment Take Two:

    Hey, are you familiar with the Long Tail retail concept?

    From this post (very enjoyable, as always!) I guess you might be but, if not, it could be an interesting read for you, all about the importance of the stuff outside of the bestseller lists.

    The book, The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, is an expanded form of an essay that first appeared in Wire magazine.

  6. The long tail has a lot of application in the game industry, especially role-playing games. The PDF arguments of late are partially about long tail and partially about satisfying micro-demand for unusual product. For many people, the outrage is not that Wizards of the Coast pulled current 4th edition D&D product, it's that they pulled ALL their product, including lots of out-of-print stuff.

    In role-playing it has been possible to play just about every version of a role-playing game ever created via PDF documents. That's great if you're a player, but if you're a brick and mortar store, the available players for these kinds of games becomes highly fragmented and in ways that don't bring you customers for the most part.

    I wonder if the plethora of RPGs via long tail actually has a negative effect on gaming. How do you find enough players in a dwindling base if everyone insists on grouping up in clumps of 5-6 for every printed over the last 35 years? Sometimes I get the impression that there are a hundred local groups of 3 players who never actually play because they can't hit critical mass. Blame the long tail? Maybe.

  7. It's posts like these that could make me think - hey, I'll open a store that focuses on Magic - it's obviously working for BDG.

  8. Check out the top sellers at Alliance for the same period:

    We're probably fairly typical.