In a summer which is shaping up to be a bumper one for the box office, the eagerly awaited Star Trek is the first out of the blocks on May 8th.
While die-hard Trekkies may have initially been nervous of the prequel, the early signs from reviewers have been encouraging.
CPLG has represented CBS Consumer Products for over ten years, establishing a strong licensing programme for the original series. Now it's using its experience on the new film version, and boss Vickie O'Malley is confident that it will satisfy both the core Star Trek and sci-fi fans, as well as the new generation.
"Star Trek spans across all ages and genders," she explains to Licensing.biz. "It's a multi-faceted brand, full of action, humour, adventure and believable character relationships that doesn't just appeal to sci-fans fans but engages all audiences.
"It's a brand that continues to reinvent itself while remaining true to its roots."
There are over 27 licensees signed up across the classic Star Trek and the new movie. Key categories include David Halsall (wheeled toys and inflatables), Famous Forever (t-shirts), GB Eye (posters), Haynes Publishing (Haynes Manual, Enterprise), Simon & Schuster (publishing), Trademark (apparel) and Vivid Imaginations (master toy distribution).
The Vivid toy line is available now and includes action figures, play-sets and role play items - such as the Starfleet Communicator, phaser and Tricorder. Discussions are also underway with potential partners in the gifting, promotions and FMCG categories.
CBS in the US and Paramount Pictures in the UK are closely involved with the drive to ensure that the licensing and theatrical marketing activities complement each other and to ensure the biggest possible consumer coverage for the brand.
Looking at the marketing promotions planned for Star Trek, making sure consumers are aware doesn't seem like it will be a problem.
Paramount Pictures has put together a multi-platform campaign covering TV, print, outdoor, online and in-store. Key activities include a free poster giveaway in The Mirror and CD giveaway in The Telegraph and Sci-Fi Now Magazine. Premiere tickets have been given away through Play.com and HMV, while eBay will be hosting a Star Trek microsite and Hamleys' flagship window will be branded as Star Trek for six weeks from the movie release.
Meanwhile, Vivid will be TV advertising its toy line until June 8th with over 300 TVRs, with further advertising scheduled for autumn/winter. In-store presence for the range has also been secured in all key retailers.
Toshiba is lining up direct mail and an in-store presence in the form of leaflets to promote Star Trek branded laptops, while Nokia is launching a special Star Trek edition of its 5800 mobile phone. This will feature animated screensavers, wallpapers, ringtones and a special Phazer application.
And retail is getting behind the property, too. Toys R Us, for example, is featuring seasonal space and will be playing the trailer on TV screens in-store, while Play.com will have a special Star Trek section on the site listing movie and classic merchandise. In fact, all major retailers will have some form of Star Trek presence on-shelf, with many supporting it in-store through end caps, POS and FSDUs.
CPLG's O'Malley is confident that the classic programme will continue to go from strength to strength as new partners come on board and she believes there are great indications that the movie is the beginning of a new Star Trek franchise.
"Consumer loyalty among the hardcore fan base is extremely high, with huge potential for repeat purchasing and the re-marketing of existing material in new formats driving long-term profitability and growth," she concludes.