Batman, Harry Potter, Wonder Woman, Looney Tunes and Supergirl will all be key focuses for Warner Bros Consumer Products at the Javits this week.
“The stage is set for a truly momentous year with our strong stable of consistent content presented in enterprising ways,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros Worldwide Consumer Products. “This includes new offerings for Batman such as the highly anticipated film The Dark Knight and the new animated series for 2009, Batman: The Brave and the Bold. We’re expanding our girls business – already successful with Tweety – by increasing our support of Wonder Woman and Supergirl. We are also exploring new positioning for Looney Tunes and supporting several tent pole films, like the sixth Harry Potter film.”
As well as the properties highlighted below, WBCP will be showcasing classic characters and films at the expo including the likes of Scooby-Doo, The Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, Caddyshack and Gremlins, plus holiday favourites like The Polar Express and A Christmas Story. Additionally, it will highlight its efforts in football licensing, at both club and tournament level.
“The depth and breadth of our upcoming initiatives are truly remarkable and will assure that we will put our stamp on entertainment licensing in 2008 and beyond,” Globe added. “We have proven to be a desirable home for our partners and continue to take our commitment to them very seriously.”
With a robust product line, The Dark Knight has created a new level of momentum for Batman that will carry WBCP and its partners into 2009 and beyond. Licensees such as Mattel, Rubie’s, Lot 29, Thinkway Toys, Six Flags and Digital Blue to name just a few will all be producing product.
Meanwhile, additional new content is driving awareness of the Batman brand. The new TV series – Batman: The Brave and the Bold – is due to air on Cartoon Network in the US from 2009 with an international roll out to follow. Set in a more light-hearted, but action-packed environment, the series includes a host of new allies, villains and gadgets, with master toy licensee Mattel leading the consumer products roll out.
A new line of Lego Batman merchandise will be featured at the expo, due to debut in the US this autumn. The line includes fashion separates (C Life), accessories (Berkshire), back to school supplies (Accessory Network), t-shirts (Giant) and sleepwear sets (AME).
New initiatives for the forthcoming Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will be unveiled. Due for release around the world this November, the sixth movie in the series will be supported with product from PopCo Entertainment (formerly Corgi), Noble Collection, NECA, Mattel, Panini, DeAgostini, Giant Merchandising, Tonner Doll, Gentle Giant and Jibbitz.
Where the Wild Things Are
This new movie follows the adventures of Max, a headstrong young boy who leaves home after having a fight with his mother, only to find himself in a thriving forest bordering a vast sea. The film will mix the most dynamic elements of voice performance, live action, puppetry and computer animation. Key licensees already signed up include Junk Food, Jibbitz, Lakai Footwear, Bejeweled, McFarlane Toys and Girl Skateboard Company.
WBCP recently announced Eating Right Kids (HELEN, LINK THIS TO THE STORY FROM MONDAY) with Safeway in the US, a better-for-you line of food products for kids. The product line will include more than 100 items across 30 categories and will feature characters such as Bugs Bunny, Tweety, Taz, Sylvester, Daffy Duck and Roadrunner.
On the international front, WBCP Europe, Middle East and Africa has led the way with a new initiative called Looney Tunes Active, which is designed to promote an active lifestyle for four to ten year-olds. The program already has more than 170 participating licensees worldwide and the multi-territory initiative includes development of new televised content during the autumn; a touring roadshow; and co-marketing with national sports organisations. Some of the first products have already been unveiled by Adidas, which created a limited edition co-branded apparel and footwear collection; Nestle Waters; and Tymbark juices. Further launches across a range of categories will be announced over the next few months.
WBCP, on behalf of DC Comics, recently revealed a partnership with fashion designer Diane von Furstenberg for a Wonder Woman-inspired collection which will be launched later this year and sold in 22 free-standing DVF boutiques and top department stores worldwide. It debuts this October.
The limited edition collection will include a capsule of ready-to-wear, small leather goods and footwear inspired by the motifs and symbols of the super hero. Proceeds from select pieces will be contributed to Vital Voices Global Partnership.
Supergirl, meanwhile, arrived in the US last year through a groundswell of activity for ‘fashionistas’ and ‘actionistas’, and this year will see the arrival of an exclusive fashion collection. On the actionista front, the S3 Supergirl Jam will expand on the inaugural event of last year. This year’s event will include three days of surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding competitions, clinics and demonstrations in Southern California from July 25th to 27th. It is held in conjunction with the Honda US Open of Surfing and is designed to promote and celebrate female strength, independence and empowerment.