In 2018 and 2017 we reported on the best selling ship models for those years. In 2017 the focus was on warships. 2018 had mix that featured mostly lower priced models with two Atlas ocean liners included. What about 2019?
As with previous years I have limited the list to ship models and the results reflect only what was sold by 1250Ships.com.
With that in mind here are the top six sellers of 2019:
#6. American ammunition ship Mount Hood by Spider Navy
I extended out to #6 this year because there was a tie for the fourth spot. Also because this was an interesting subject. We don't normally see auxiliary ships reaching the tops of the sales charts. This ill-fated ship demonstrates that interesting histories can sell models.
#4. (Tied) British aircraft carrier Illustrious by DeAgostini
In a dead even tie for 4th we find the sole British carrier issued in the DeAgostini series of warships. It is not the last carrier from DeAgostini we are going to see on this list. In fact every single one of the four carriers from DeAgostini sold enough copies to be in the top 15.
#4 (Tied) American battleship Utah by Spider Navy
Another gem from Johann Ottmann and Spider Navy. Like her sister USS Florida which dominated the sales charts in 2017 Utah proved very popular. I suspect that only the fact that many collectors picked up Florida two years ago kept Utah from getting to #1 this year.
#3. American aircraft carrier Essex/Yorktown by DeAgostini
Coming in at #3 is the sole US Navy carrier in the budget DeAgostini series. Confusingly it is labeled as USS Essex on the stand but sports the deck number 10 which would mean it is actually USS Yorktown. This minor flub did not stop the model from selling in great numbers.
#1. (Tied) British hospital ship Britannic by Atlas
We also had a tie at the number one spot this year. One of the two co-#1's was another ill-fated ship, the third of the Olympic class liners that never saw a day of civilian service and went down during the First World War while serving as a hospital ship. It sold so well that I'm now completely sold out, something true of the other ship tied at #1.
#1. (Tied) Japanese carrier Soryu by Eaglemoss
This was the final release in the 1:1100 Eaglemoss series to arrive. The American distributor offered me the entire batch they received and I took them all. This proved to be a wise decision as they sold consistently well. In fact we sold the final example earlier today (January 5, 2020). These were supplied only in their plastic clamshell packaging which in the Eaglemoss series is a sign of the stock being completely gone.
As with previous years if aircraft had not been excluded an aircraft model would have been in the top five. This year the Neptun SOC-4 Seagull aircraft would have been #3.
Extending the list out to the top ten models would look like this:
#8. DeAgostini's Graf Zeppelin (the third carrier in the series to feature)
#9-#14- a big tie between the RJN 118 USCG Marine Protector, Atlas RMS Lusitania, Neptun's NE 1389A LST 2, DeAgostini's battleship SMS Westfalen and Japanese carrier Akagi and the Triang USS Boone frigate.
Clearly in 2019 we continued to see excellent sales on the more budget friendly models but unlike 2018 there were several more high end models in the top 6. That is a very healthy mix. Inexpensive models to attract new collectors combine with the exquisite but pricey models sought by veteran collectors.
Thanks to the arrival of the DeAgostini warship series the bargain list was not dominated by the Atlas liners this year. I still have healthy stock levels of all of these lines and they are a great way to introduce folks to the hobby.
If you excluded the Triang, Atlas, Eaglemoss and DeAgostini models and limited to only ships the top 10 list would look like this:
8-16 (tie) between HAI 194N Texas, HAI 430 Chicago, ALK 302 Daring, ALK 318N Queen Elizabeth, ALK 610 Canberra, NE 1260 Matsu, NE 1364A Blue, NE 1561 Maestrale and SN 3-17 Mispillion
6- (tie) Rhenania Junior L. Y. Spear submarine tender and Neptun PT 103
4- (tie) Neptun LST 2 and Rhenania Junior Marine Protector
3- Navis S-49
2- Spider Navy Mount Hood
1- Spider Navy Utah
Note the large number of older models on this list. That again is a sign of more recent collectors who did not get those models on initial release.
For several unrelated reasons this was also a year somewhat lighter in new releases than normal. Lack of new stuff helps push the older stuff higher up the rankings. I'm expecting to see a lot more new stuff come out in 2020.
This is also the first year where US Navy subjects did not have the majority of the top five. In 2017 all of the top five sellers were US Navy. In 2018 three out of five were US Navy or USCG. This year USN took two of the top five spots (and three out of the top six). However based on what I believe will be out in 2020 I'm predicting a return of US Navy to the top of the sales charts.
Finally I should note that as you might expect in a hobby with tens of thousands of models produced the best sellers represent only a small fraction of what 1250Ships.com sold in 2018. We had over 800 individual models that sold two or more copies in 2018 and many, many more that sold one copy each.
Thanks to everyone for their continued support of 1250Ships.com!