Retailers can expect more partworks to arrive in store throughout 2020, according to Marketforce.

As the latest TV-advertised title – Warhammer Age Of Sigmar: Mortal Realms – arrived in stores, the distributor said Hachette Partworks and other publishers were all planning big launches across 2020.

Hachette’s January launch was officially launched with TV support on 8 January.

The Warhammer title is the latest offshoot from the table-top-fantasy-gaming giant.

Published weekly and spread across 80 parts, it enables fans – predominantly men aged 16 and older – to build, paint and collect miniature characters from the game.

The first issue retails at £2.99, and the second at £5.99, before settling at the price of £7.99.

It follows on the heels of another Hachette collection, Warhammer 40,000: Conquest, which has delivered a retail sales value (RSV) of more than £1.7m since its launch in 2018.

Partworks started slowly in 2019, with no major new launches in January. Titles arrived in the spring, rather than at the start of the year, which is traditionally the biggest time for partwork launches.

Marketforce, which looks after more than 70% of the partwork market, said more will follow.

Partworks publishers accused of ‘uneven playing field’

Group circulation director Rob Humphrey said: “We think we will see an increased level of activity versus 2019 across our partwork publishers, and we expect the volume of launches to increase on last year, too.

“We already have one more launch in January/February confirmed than last year.

“These specialist launches are great for independent retailers as they have a high RSV yield, and will encourage customers to keep coming back to stores.”

Marketforce said there would be another launch from Hachette Partworks in mid-February, while Panini’s partworks arm will have its own high-profile launch this month.

NFRN head of news operations Brian Murphy said that while many of the supply chain issues with partworks had been solved, it was now down to publishers to supply good products.

“We need publishers to bring fantastic products to the market to help reinvigorate it,” he said.

“Good retailers understand that this can be a buoyant marketplace, but there needs to be a plan and publishers need to let retailers know what’s going on.”

Current bestsellers in the partworks arena include the Peter Rabbit Patchwork Quilt Collection, Disney’s Cakes & Sweets and three Build Your Own titles, taking in Star Wars’ X-wing, the Terminator and the Battleship Bismarck.

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