40k Buying Guide: The Top 28 GW Products of 2015

Warning

40k Buying Guide is rated empty your pockets. These articles are meant to help you continue complaining about GW pricing schemes at the same time you are buying used models on Ebay

Towards the end of the year Games Workshop did something remarkable, it pulled back the veil on what models have been selling the best over the last 12 months. The list they compiled included 28 different kits, containing a very surprising number one for highest grossing model. If you have the Warhammer App you have been well aware of the list, here though is a complete look at each model and what it tells us about GW.

  1. Smaug
  2. Knight Warden
  3. Skitarii Rangers/Vanguard
  4. Space Marines Tactical Squad
  5. Tyranid Swarm
  6. Blood Angels Tactical Squad
  7. Bloodthirster
  8. Cadian Defense Force
  9. Ironstrider/Dragoon
  10. Onager Dunecrawler
  11. Drop Pod
  12. Necron Battleforce
  13. Harlequin Troupe
  14. Sicarians/Infiltrators
  15. Toxicrene/Maleceptor
  16. Zoanthropes/Venomthropes
  17. Tyrannocyte
  18. Chaos Space Marines
  19. Harlequin Starweaver/Voidweaver
  20. Mortarchs
  21. Nagash
  22. Space Marine Devastator Squad
  23. Tau Stormsurge
  24. Militarum Tempestus Scions
  25. Land Raider Crusader
  26. Glottkin
  27. Baneblade
  28. Blight Kings

There you have it, the Top 28 selling kits.

If you look closely you will notice a few things. It the list seems calculated less on units sold and more on gross generated. The list shows sales from December 2014 – November 2015. GW purposely excludes any box with rules attached to it, so no Betrayal At Calth or Age of Sigmar starter box makes the list. It is also highly likely the sales reflect items sold through the GW website and maybe the brand shops. Under these restrictions you can easily see how they would come up with the list, without “fudging the numbers”.

Now to breaking down the list.

We only see four kits coming from the Fantasy/Age of Sigmar lines all ranked in the 20-30 range and are all End Times releases. The rest are Warhammer 40k releases among those only three are bundle boxes of multiple units. This is followed by one kit from the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings range.

What does the list look like if we broke it down into (leaving out Fantasy models) codexes?

  • Space Marines (4)
  • Ad-Mech (4)
  • Harlequins (2)
  • Tyranids (4)
  • Tau (1)
  • Chaos Space Marines (1)
  • Daemons (1)
  • Imperial Guard (3)
  • Blood Angels (1)
  • Necrons (1)
  • Imperial Knight (1)

Other interesting notes…

  • Only four kits on the list are coming from sculpts older than 3 years.
  • Seven Kits are large scale models.
  • Time period from Dec 2014 – June 2015 dominate the list with 15 kits represented.
  • No Terrain or Finecast kits.
  • Only the Bloodthirster can be played in two systems.
  • No Craftworld Eldar or Dark Eldar on the list.
  • Absolutely no post Age of Sigmar release specific models made the list.

What this entire list tells me is GW on one hand can continue to think collectors are the sales drivers, but it doesn’t explain all the really poor selling items, or kits like the Drop Pod selling a ton. New models are what drives sales, regardless if it is something completely new or just an update. Within the new models, the largest kits dominate, they are what separates GW from the rest of the competition, expect GW to double down on that trend. Xenos if done right do sell, especially long awaited/surprise releases like Harlequins and Ad-Mech. Smaug is the real surprise here, but it does remind us the power of the Lord of the Rings brand when combined with dragons lovers.

I can see next year list being quite different, the Stormsurge making the list with only one month of sales should tell you something about the cash cow Tau have become. If GW can get us a real Chaos Space Marine release with retooled kits you are looking at another selling bonanza. Of course, we don’t know what shocking new armies will also be released either, think of Genestealer Cult sales for instance if it is based off a Tyranid/Imperial Guard combo ascetic.

I hope GW continues to update us on what sells and what doesn’t, because it cuts through the Internet on what is perceived to be selling or not.