A closer look at the MLP comic sales numbers

In our post announcing the advance order numbers the first issue of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic comic, I added a link after the fact to give a little comparison to the market at large. I think it deserves a little more focus, though.

The magic number for MLP #1 was 90,100.
This includes all variant editions of the book. We have to remember that there are 6 different covers, plus a collector’s edition that bundles all 6 covers together. Once we get further into the series with fewer variants, expect significant reductions in sales. The first issue of a series always spikes much higher than the rest of the series eventually averages.

Join us after the jump for the full comparison!

The most recent month’s sales data (September 2012) from Comic Chronicles gives a good idea of the volume that MLP #1 managed to move.

Avengers vs X-Men #11 167,327
Batman #0 156,561
Justice League #0 125,868
Green Lantern #0 89,909
Detective Comics #0 84,063
Action Comics #0 78,626
Batman The Dark Knight #0 72,919
Batman and Robin #0 69,146
Earth 2 #0 69,111
Batman Incorporated #0 66,112

Putting MLP #1 on center stage and removing all comparison barriers, the book managed to outshine all but the top 3 selling books of September 2012. That is the only book in IDW’s stable that even comes close to cracking the top 10, nevermind the top 5.

Lets look at the top 10 comics from September 2011. This is the month that DC Comics relaunched most of its titles and caused a surge in comic sales. Even in this month with much higher than normal sales, MLP #1 still would have claimed a top 10 spot landing at #9.

Batman #1 188,420
Action Comics #1 182,748
Green Lantern #1 141,682
Flash #1 129,260
Superman #1 118,376
Detective Comics #1 103,392
Batman The Dark Knight #1 98,389
Fear Itself #6 93,32
Ultimate Comics Spider-Man #1 87,237
Batman and Robin #1 85,242

X-Men Vol.2 #1 holds the record for most issues sold of a comic ever. It sold in excess of 8 million copies. This record is likely to never be broken due to its timing in the speculation boom of the 90’s, it’s 5 different variant covers and its co-launch with Uncanny X-Men #281, where the X-Men were split in two teams and each essentially got their own book. This was further boosted by a suprising success in the launch of X-Force #1 only a few months prior, which came in around 4 million copies. I have heard the comparison before and I think its worth repeating. The early 90’s were a time in the industry when people were buying comics like they were shares in a company. So many shares were issued, though, that they essentially became worthless. Unless, of course, you were just reading it for the pictures. 😉

Let us know what you think about the surprising number in the comments! Would you like to see more articles like this? Let us know!

Data from The Comic Chronicles.

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2 Responses to A closer look at the MLP comic sales numbers

  1. Note that the publisher-cited figure is larger than the number you will see in the sales charts. The sales charts do not include copies it ships overseas (about 10% of the total) and any copies that don’t ship in the calendar month, which comes into play if reorders are a big part of it. The publisher’s figure and the figure in the sales charts will both be correct — they just measure different things.

    • Crazy says:

      Thanks for the clarification! We’ll probably do a follow up once the stats start showing up (on your site) after the series actually goes on sale. :)

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