The annual report provides a comprehensive look at the success of collective Dragon Ball licensing efforts, detailing both new license agreements and license renewals, and spotlighting key licensee partnerships in select product categories.
Over the last 14 months, Toei Animation and Crunchyroll executed a record-high total of 37 license agreements – consisting of 18 new licenses and 19 license renewals. The 18 new agreements will result in a variety of merchandise for fans of “Dragon Ball,” “Dragon Ball Z” and “Dragon Ball Super” series and, for the first time, “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero,” the new feature film scheduled for release this summer.
New branded goods include apparel from Bioworld, Hypland and NTD, statues and games from Oniri Creations and Mattel, plush from Youtooz, housewares from Just Funky, stationery
Apparel and accessories were once again top categories for the franchise. While demand for mass market apparel continues to be strong, streetwear has now become the hot segment – a trend that began in 2018 with Primitive Skateboarding’s highly successful “Primitive X Dragon Ball Z” collection and subsequent second collection “Primitive x Dragon Ball Super” in early 2021. Closing out 2021, in December, DJ Steve Aoki’s Dim Mak fashion lifestyle brand followed suit with “Dim Mak x Dragon Ball Z,” a limited-edition streetwear collection that included T-shirts, hoodies, bomber jackets, hats and tote bags. Los Angeles-based streetwear brand, Hypland, joins the list with a groundbreaking collection showcasing “Dragon Ball,” “Dragon Ball Z” and “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero” and featuring a mix of apparel and merchandise including T-shirts, hoodies, outwear, skateboards, tapestries and bags. Beyond apparel, in late 2021, FILA launched “Dragon Ball Super x FILA,” a limited footwear collection featuring seven character-inspired styles – a first for the “Dragon Ball Super” series and only the second footwear collection ever for the Dragon Ball franchise. Together with these licensees and others like Bioworld and NTD Apparel, fashion took center stage for Dragon Ball franchise licensing in 2021.
Created by Akira Toriyama and produced by Toei Animation, the Dragon Ball anime franchise is based on the “Dragon Ball” manga launched in 1984 and encompasses four TV series (“Dragon Ball,” “Dragon Ball Z,” “Dragon Ball GT” and “Dragon Ball Super”), 21 feature films (including the soon-to-be-released “Dragon Ball Super: Super Hero”), home video, video games and, together with agreements detailed below, an ever-expanding catalog of licensed merchandise ranging from apparel, accessories and toys, to novelties, furniture, housewares and more.
Now 37 years since the original manga’s launch, Dragon Ball has become an iconic brand with mainstream appeal. In recent years, Dragon Ball’s brand awareness and consumer demand has only intensified because of major franchise initiatives like the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And most recently in March, Dragon Ball franchise series “Dragon Ball,” “Dragon Ball Z” and “Dragon Ball GT” became available on Crunchyroll’s streaming service for the first time.
The list of new licensing agreements includes:
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