|The 2007 Doctor Who Annual has done something no other annual can claim: it's gone to the head of its class. Easily surpassing the almost-never-broken £1 million mark, the title dethroned the traditional Christmastime winner, The Beano Annual.
This failure has prompted Beano publishers, DC Thomson, to start a new version of The Beano—called The BeanoMAX—which will feature the Daleks appearing alongside traditional Beano characters in its inaugural issue.
This new version of the classic British comic will appeal to a slightly older crowd of kids, offering longer stories, deeper characterization, and (like the BBC's other 2006 smash hit, Doctor Who Adventures) giveaway toys with every issue.
The sales figures for the 2007 Doctor Who Annual weren't simply down to a higher price point, but an absolute victory in terms of units sold. According to a report in The Guardian, the annual sold 271,551 units versus The Beano's 187,172. Other also-rans included the Disney/Pixar Annual at 80,703, the Star Wars Annual at 63,053 and the Manchester United Annual at 50,851.
The 2007 Annual was the first time that the Doctor Who Christmas staple had been offered by a branch of the BBC itself. Coupled with the runaway success of Doctor Who Adventures—which itself has been the top weekly seller in the UK comics charts—BBC Children's Books have already had the best single year of marketing Doctor Who tie-in kids' publications in the history of Doctor Who merchandising.