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September Sales and DC Toy Sell-Outs

Interview with Bob Wayne

Published: 10/08/2012 02:51am
We spoke to DC Senior Vice President Sales Bob Wayne on September sales (see "Comics Dip in September") and recent DC Direct sell-outs. 
It seems the #0’s held up well vs. the surrounding issues.  You had such a great month a year ago September.  What is DC’s percentage change vs. September one year ago?
We didn’t actually finish running all those numbers yet.  The market has held to pretty much the same size it had for September of last year with a strong pickup on the book format side, which we think we’re driving in part now with the collections of the "New 52" titles and Batman: Earth One, and folks like Image and Skybound are doing with The Walking Dead books.
We’re pleased to have nine of the top 10 periodical comics with our #0’s and we think a year in, it does validate that there was continuing interest in the "New 52" concept from DC so we’re pretty happy.
Do you know if you were up or down vs. a year ago?
Overall because of the book format stuff, I believe we’re up. 
Comics may be down a little?
We tend look at comics, books and magazines as one category.  That way we remind ourselves that Mad is part of our three brands-wide--DC, Vertigo and Mad.  We can’t parse all that out completely until we get farther along in the cycle because Mad being so newsstand-centric.
We’ve been hearing that the "New 52" toys and the videogame based toys (the Batman: Arkham City product) have been selling great, but that reorders are not as available as they had been.  Is that because velocity is increasing or are you cutting your overages?
The lead time for toys are definitely a lot different from our print products.  We’ve had a couple of bumpy spots trying to right-size our manufacturing runs with the demand on stuff.  That should be starting to come through that we are able to do a bit more on filling reorders.  We are sensitive to that.  We’re working with the DC collectibles team and the folks that we deal with at Diamond and Diamond Select on that.  I think the product flow as far as reorders should be improving.  On the other hand, we’re always willing to allow people to place larger initial orders.
Sounds like help is on the way.  No one new how well the "New 52" toys would do and everyone’s been pleasantly surprised, and that’s a good thing overall. 
Everyone’s been placing their bets.  We’re placing bets really early, and retailers are placing bets really early.  It’s not the worst thing in the world that there’s a little bit of demand out in the market.  There’s a bit more demand than we’re comfortable with and retailers are comfortable with as far as frustrations so we’re doing additional runs on a bunch of those.  They’ll be coming online; we’re changing the quantities we’re running and I think we’re seeing some pickup in ordering as well.  I think this will blip through the system.
 
 
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