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Editor's Note

As the Licensing 2007 International Show officially opens this week, attendees are already looking ahead to 2008 and beyond, attempting to build on the success of this summer’s theatrical blockbusters as well as other television hits, celebrities, and other new properties.

The time is right to capitalize on this year’s success, which has many retail execs pleased with the performance of licensed merchandise and actually looking to the future.

While some skepticism still exists among retailers, along with the other usual demands for exclusivity, retailers will be more amenable to long-term planning and development that better integrates brand licensing into their overall merchandising and marketing plans. Retailers have always been focused on building customer traffic and market baskets, and few other products or initiatives have delivered consistent results (albeit with a few exceptions) than a strong, integrated merchandising and licensing strategy.

So while the newsstands are full of magazines that tout hot lists such as growth companies, hot spots, and smart investments, here’s a preliminary list of the big theatrical properties for 2008 and beyond: Hulk 2, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Get Smart, Batman: The Dark Knight, Indiana Jones 4, Iron Man, Speed Racer, Kung Fu Panda, and Halo.

And it’s not early to start thinking ahead to Spider-Man 4, Shrek 4, Jurassic Park 4, and Toy Story 3 in 2010.

It’s obviously not all about Hollywood, but when the theatrical blockbusters deliver such record-breaking results, it has a positive impact on all aspects of licensing.

Tony Lisanti


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