How did the brand perform in 2013?
Fantastically well. Monster High is a bona fide pop culture phenomenon, with a solid standing as the UK’s number two older girls property and climbing from number 11 to number eight total toy property*. The brand now has more than 55,000 UK fans on Facebook and in 2013 there were over 2.5 million UK visitors to MonsterHigh.com.
How many licensees does it have to date, and in which categories?
We currently have 40 licensees representing Monster High across a range of categories including; apparel, health and beauty, dress up, publishing, creative play, electronics, home furnishings and sporting goods.
What are some of the best performing products?
We’ve seen great performance across all of the Monster High consumer product categories with a few star performers. In 2013 Monster High released a new entertainment title, 13 Wishes, which pulled in fantastic audience numbers at Vue cinemas and record breaking DVD sales. Monster High publishing has also had a great year, with the magazine making it into the top five in the preteen segment and now averaging 45,000 readers every month. Parragon and Little Brown also continue to drive the traditional book market. Rubies Masquerade dress-up range and Markwins HBA collection are also performing exceptionally well, as is our Monster High fashion and accessories business, and the Monster High was Ingo’s best performing branded tablet.
Are you looking to sign more licensees this year – if so which categories are you targeting?
2014 sees the launch of a wealth of new licensing partnerships as well as building on existing ones. New category launches include party, social expressions and some fantastic innovative music items. We are also looking at how we can maximise our digital following and are about to launch an online sticker collection with Fantom Publishing which enables us to connect with our core consumer in a different way.
Do you have any special marketing initiatives or promotional activity planned for 2014?
Monster High expands its entertainment portfolio in 2014 with two new titles; Frights, Camera, Action! in the spring and Freaky Fusion in the autumn. Both tent-poles are supported by new online content and brand activities to further engage girls. The timing for the launch of Freaky Fusion ties in perfectly with Halloween – an excellent opportunity for a Monster High takeover in store and online.
What has the reaction from retail been like to the brand?
The brand has continued to grow and 2014 is looking very promising for consumer products as we gain traction with retailers – especially through our publishing and soft-lines business.
What would you most like to achieve with the brand by the end of 2014?
It would be great if we could make Monster High the must have licence for older girls, with a presence in all key categories. We also want to connect to the older girl differently this year; through new digital opportunities and drive our fashion credentials with key fashion retailers.
*NPD December 2013