In 2017, 2018 and 2019 we reported on the best selling models for the year. Last year featured two Spider Navy releases combine with a bunch of budget models from makers like Atlas, DeAgostini and Eaglemoss.
In a year like no other what ruled the sales charts in 2020? Here were the top 10:
#9 (Tied) French Battleship Richelieu by DeAgostini
#9 (Tied) American Battleship Arizona by DeArgostini
#6 (Tied) German Battleship Bismarck by DeArgostini
We start with three of the budget DeAgostini models. The first two represent spots 9 and 10 and Bismarck is part of a three way tie for the 6, 7 and 8 spots.
Pretty to easy to see what all three of these were big sellers. Bismarck and Arizona are "usual suspects" and Richelieu is a model that did not appear in the earlier related Atlas series of budget models.
#6 (Tied) American Hospital Ship Comfort by California Models
The final release of our model of the USNS Comfort finished in the three way tie for the 6-7-8 positions. We might have sold even more but the mold is now completely shot and it is very unlikely a new mold will ever be made.
#6 (Tied) American Coast Guard Patrol Boat Marine Protector Class by Rhenania Junior
A constant seller this USCG model was #2 in sales in 2018 and was close to making the list in 2019. The arrival of a fresh batch ensured it would place on the list this year as well. If it stays available a 2021 appearance is certainly possible.
#5 Italian Battleship Roma by DeAgostini
The ill-fated Italian battleship took the 5th place spot. Easy to understand as it is the sole Italian model in the DeAgostini series and like the French battleship not available as part of the earlier Atlas lineup.
#4 American Naval Ferry Nihoa YFB-17 by Saratoga Model Shipyard
One of three Saratoga releases for 2020 the Pearl Harbor based ferry Nihoa came in at the 4th slot. All the Saratoga releases for 2020 placed high due to the changes in distribution which left 1250Ships as one of only two sources for Saratoga models.
#3 American Oiler Mattole AO-17 by Saratoga Model Shipyard
The second of the three Saratoga 2020 releases this model represented the last wartime USN oiler class that had not been done in 1/1250 scale.
#2 American Naval Ferry Manuwai YFB-16 by Saratoga Model Shpyard
The other Pearl Harbor naval ferry from Saratoga took the #2 spot this year. A bit of a surprise that the all grey ferry outsold the brightly stripped one. Perhaps being cheaper made the difference. In any case the sales of all the 2020 Saratoga releases were very close.
#1 Japanese Aircraft Carrier Akagi by DeAgostini
Our clear winner for 2020 selling almost 50% more copies than the #2 model. When we first received the DeAgostini models Akagi was the only one of 60 models in the series that we could not get. A few weeks later the US distributor contacted us with the news that they had located a few cartons of them. We promptly bought the entire stock which probably explains the high sales ranking- no one else in the US has them.
It goes without saying that this has been a most unusual year. For many months it was impossible to get new models from Germany. When we did begin getting supplies they were infrequent and in much lower quantities than normal. This certainly prevented many German produced models from appearing on the list.
If you excluded the budget models like Triang, Atlas and DeAgostini and limit to only ships the top 10 list would look like this:
#9-13 Tie between- RJN 100 Lewis & Clark, NE 1361 Fletcher, SN 3-05A Robert A. Owens, SOM 19 General William O. Darby
#8 SN 3-05B Carpenter DDE-825 by Spider Navy
#7 TF 12 Paolo Thaon di Revel by 1250 Models
#6 RHE 186 Grimaldi Line RoRo by Rhenania
#4-5 Tie Marine Protector Class Rhenania Junior and California Models Comfort
#3 Nihoa by Saratoga
#2 Mattole by Saratoga
#1 Manuwai by Saratoga
In general to get on the list a model has to either be a new release with wide appeal or a re-issue that hasn't been on the market for many years. Note that this "high-end" top 10 list contains almost exclusively warships or military related models. The sole exception being the Grimaldi Line RoRo ship. No civilian ships made the full top ten.
If we did a top 5 civilian only list it would be:
#5 RMS Queen Mary by Atlas
#3-4 Tie between RMS Queen Elizabeth by Atlas and SS United States by Atlas
#2 Grimaldi Line RoRo by Rhenania
#1 SS Norway by Atlas
Our best selling line by total items sold continues to be Navis-Neptun. This is due to both the depth of their lineup and the popular time periods covered. This is impressive considering they are now not issuing new models and just producing their existing lineup.
Finally in a year where we made a strong push to list a ton of second hand models it should be noted that the best sellers represent only a small fraction of what 1250Ships.com sold in 2020. We had over 800 individual models that sold two or more copies in 2020 and many, many more that sold one copy each.
Thanks to everyone for their continued support of 1250Ships.com!