Targeting the infant/toddler age sector is certainly not something new for Warner Bros. Consumer Products...but aging down DC Comics' stable of superheroes certainly is. So, why the wait?
"We've been talking about doing this for a number of years based on the nature of the DC Comics superheroes and the role-play experiences for kids associated with these superheroes," reveals Karen McTier, executive vice president, domestic licensing and worldwide marketing, "but we've always been protective of the action figure line, and wanted a true point of difference." No time like the present to forgo the hesitation and create the point of difference, as according to WBCP research, the toddler—and young children's—market is one of the fastest-growing retail segments. Forecasts predict sales of character-licensed merchandise will rise from $13 billion in 2005 to $15.6 billion in 2010—a
To protect the already-established core action figure line, master licensee Mattel (for both) is on board to create a younger, unique but complementary basic and deluxe action figure line for Super Friends, as well as vehicles and other accessories. "From a toy perspective, we felt comfortable the toys would all reside in the same house [Mattel]," says McTier. The Super Friends program with a broad target of ages 0 to 5 (with the bulk of the target in the 2 to 5 age range) will launch first with toys in fall 2007, according to McTier. As a global partner, Mattel will launch the toy line on a global basis. Together, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Mattel will work on the creative for the brand for both advertising and merchandising opportunities. With toys as an anchor, McTier says apparel will follow in spring 2008, followed by bedding and bath (and other home décor items) in fall 2008.
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