Young Russian audiences "go crazy" for Warner Bros. brands

Company shows off properties like Man of Steel and The Hobbit at Russia Licensing Forum.
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Young Russian audiences are "going crazy" for Warner Bros. brands, says the company.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products showcased a portfolio of powerhouse entertainment brands at Russia Licensing Forum this week, in partnership with its Russian licensing agent the European Licensing Company (ELC).

Man of Steel and The Hobbit Trilogy were shown off, as well as well as classic brands Tom and Jerry, Scooby-Doo and Looney Tunes.

Properties for younger audiences are doing well due to consistent free-to-air TV support, universal comedy values and, in the case of Tom and Jerry, the second most popular show on Russia’s leading entertainment channel CTC, the classic property’s absence of dialogue, which eliminates the need for translation and dubbing.

“Russia and Eastern Europe present enormous growth opportunities for our brands,” said Bruno Schwobthaler, Senior Vice President Sales & Business Development, Warner Bros. Consumer Products EMEA. 

“Russia alone has a population of 142 million people and 21 million are under the age of 15 – a massive customer base to which our brand portfolio appeals.” 

Tom and Jerry’s high profile broadcast platform is resulting in strong demand for officially licensed products. In the toy category, Grand Toys has been signed to distribute Giochi Preziosi’s master toy collection, CP Distribution is on board to produce plush, while Egmont Russia will develop books and a Tom and Jerry Magazine. 

Looney Tunes is achieving notable success in the apparel category in Russia. Clothing retailer Incity will launch a Looney Tunes apparel collection in more than 330 stores across Russia, while Looney Tunes-branded clothing will be sold in 130 Befree stores nationwide. 

Scooby-Doo is a top rated show on the CTC channel in Russia, which contributed to the success of the DeAgostini Partworks magazine.

In addition to classic brands, Warner Bros.’ 2013 tentpole releases also form part of ELC’s presentation slate at Russia Licensing Forum. The new Superman action adventure feature Man of Steel opens in Russia in June 2013, supported by Mattel’s master toy line which will be distributed by Simbat.

Additional partners include Rubie’s Costume Co. for dress-up, Proburo for aback-to-school line, Chupa-Chups with chocolate confectionary, and Russkaya Kosmetica for a male personal care range. Additionally the Lasunka Company will roll out a range of ice creams this summer in the Ukraine. 

Co-master toy partners for The Hobbit, The Bridge Direct and Vivid Group, will bring an assortment of highly detailed products to the Russian retail market distributed by Toysunion.

Additional licensees include LEGO for construction sets, CP Digital for gift products, and Rubie's Costume Co. for dress-up. At retail, Auchan is planning a large promotion in stores around the country for the second film in the Trilogy, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, opening in Russia in December 2013.

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