Sales to Astonish #6 - February 2023

Activity in February was much quieter than January on all fronts - is this the month where people really count the cost of Christmas combined with the ever present reminder of our current Cost of Living Crisis?  Website traffic decreased week on week throughout the month as did the number of sales on a weekly basis but that’s not to say there weren’t any highlights to the month, there were 😃

Mid-month we dropped a batch of Dark Horse Aliens, Predator and Terminator comics. These always seem to sell well especially the Aliens and Predator titles as the popularity of the films has in turn created an established fan base for the comics.  Lots of issues were sold on the morning of their Thursday release including a Predator #1 in VFN for £50

The final release in February was a collection of mainly recent Image titles from the last 2-3 years, although there were a few classic sub-#50 Spawn’s in the mix. The back issue market for Image titles is a strange one - there are definitely a handful of titles that move well such as the aforementioned Spawn, Walking Dead and Saga, but the majority of their historic catalogue sells very sporadically with either people picking up single issues to fill in gaps or taking long runs of a title whenever we run a half price sale.

As sales of comics dipped during February, roleplaying games and White Dwarf magazines accounted for over 25% of our takings in the month. We sold a number of Dungeons & Dragons Forgotten Realms supplements, a stack of Shadowrun adventures and supplements and lots of White Dwarf issues between #100-200. We also picked up a large collection of White Dwarf magazines as well as over 400 fantasy and SF paperback last during the month so keep a look out for those as we steadily release them into stock during March

On the last Sunday of February we attended Northampton Comic Con & Toy Fair. It’s only 15 mins down the road from The Unreality Store HQ and we’d heard good things about the attendance at the first Con back in August 2022.

Second time round it was apparent that the number of attendees had far surpassed those attending last year and there were people queuing to get in for the first 2-3 hours.

In terms of comic dealers we were one of three dedicated sellers but there were a couple of other dealers who had some comics along with toys and other memorabilia as their offering. Despite the numbers through the door the show started off very quietly although the table next to us selling Pokémon cards was mobbed (pretty much all day).  Things picked up after the first hour and trading was steady until the end of the show at 4pm. It’s fair to say that although the word Comic features first in the event title the audience was very much made up of people buying Funkos and other toys and Pokémon cards. Nevertheless, we sold a number of Batman comics, Star Wars variants, X-Men issues and the highlight of the show was the sale of a New Mutants #98 in VFN+ for £170.  We’re booked in again for August and will also be attending Striking Events Conventions at Bedford, Hemel Hempstead and Coventry so if you are planning on dropping into any of these stop by and say hello!

As we draw the curtain on another month it’s fair to say that February was tough for vintage comic sales. Nevertheless with March on the horizon and some great launches planned we are still striving to make The Unreality Store your first port of call online for all your back issue requirements! 😎