Marvel has revealed a new show for Disney Junior, “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends,” set to launch this summer. In addition to TV content, Marvel is planning the release of multiple licensed products, also set for a summer launch. Licensees already involved include Hasbro, Centric Brands, General Mills and more.
“The rich world of Marvel entertainment has allowed vast growth of the Hasbro Marvel portfolio,” says Melissa Kustell, vice president, global brands, Hasbro. “We’re thrilled to continue our collaboration with Marvel by further expanding our preschool product segment and bringing characters from the upcoming ‘Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends’ animated series to life. The series will be a great entry point for kids learning about Marvel Super Heroes and we hope our line of playsets, vehicles and action figures will add to the fun!”
License Global exclusively talks with Joe D'Ambrosia, senior vice president, original programming and general manager, Disney Junior, and Paul Gitter, senior vice president, Marvel Licensing, about this new property, its upcoming consumer products program and more.
License Global: Tell us about "Marvel's Spidey and his Amazing Friends."
Joe D'Ambrosia: “Marvel's Spidey and his Amazing Friends” is a new original series for Disney Junior and the first full-length Marvel series for preschoolers. It follows Peter Parker, Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy, who form Team Spidey and embark on heroic adventures to protect their community.
Each episode features two 11-minute stories and celebrates key heroic Marvel characteristics including the importance of teamwork, cooperation and problem-solving. We feel it's the perfect series to introduce preschoolers to the superhero powers of friendship and working together to help others in need.
Who has been involved in the production and where will the series live?
JD: “Marvel's Spidey and his Amazing Friends” is produced by Disney Junior and Marvel Entertainment in association with Atomic Productions, with Harrison Wilcox as executive producer. The series will debut this summer on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and DisneyNOW in the U.S. and will also become available on Disney+ shortly thereafter. Launch platforms will vary in international territories.
When will the “Marvel's Spidey and his Amazing Friends” product line launch?
Paul Gitter: The full product line, across toys, apparel, accessories and home décor, will debut in conjunction with the series premiere this summer. It’s the perfect timing to engage our new preschool audience during a season that’s traditionally more open for creative play and free time.
What strategy is in play for engaging this new preschool audience?
PG: Essentially, we are welcoming and introducing the next generation of fans to Marvel characters and storytelling. “Marvel's Spidey and his Amazing Friends” is the perfect entry point for preschoolers to experience the positive values of teamwork with our Marvel Super Heroes in storylines they can easily relate to and understand. With Spidey being such an iconic cross-generational character, we’re fully expecting families to be tuning in together and sharing the viewing experience, which will ultimately impact purchasing decisions.
What licensing support will the property have?
PG: We’ve got more than 100 licensees supporting and have received a tremendous positive response for the property. We’re really seeing a theatrical-level of support across the board. Spidey is one of our most beloved characters with kids and families, and Miles Morales and Ghost-Spider continue to rise quickly in awareness and affinity, so it’s been great to see the fanfare around the show and how we can really amplify the property with our merchandising and retailing partners.
JD: We are thrilled at the amount of support that is behind the product launch for this series and can't wait for our young viewers to follow along on the Spidey Team's adventures both on-screen and off.
Can you spotlight some licensees?
PG: Our licensees span toys, games, publishing, apparel, home décor, stationery, youth electronics and consumables. Some highlights include Hasbro’s innovative toy line with age-appropriate figures and role play, and Jazwares is on board with an assortment of plush and vehicles. For warm weather play, SwimWays has a cool line of Spidey pool inflatables while KIDdesigns is launching a robust portfolio of preschool-inspired interactive learning toys such as electronic keyboards and drums. On the games side, families can look forward to some action-packed tabletop offerings from Spin Master, perfect for developing preschoolers’ cognitive and problem-solving skills.
For apparel and home décor, we have numerous global collaborations coming soon from Bentex, Centric Brands, footwear from BBC International, bedding from Crown Craft and more. On the consumables front, General Mills will be debuting a healthy snack lineup while Hallmark and American Greetings will make kids’ special day more heroic with a wide array of Spidey themed birthday cards.
How is “Marvel's Spidey and his Amazing Friends” being supported at retail?
PG: It's massive and it's global. Major retailers will be supporting in a big way with dedicated in-aisle space, endcaps and direct-to-consumer marketing. Target, Walmart, Amazon and Kohl’s are really rallying around the portfolio, and we expect significant visibility both in-store and on e-comm. For direct-to-consumer, shopDisney.com will have a complete line of toys, apparel and accessories, all geared toward preschoolers and their families. Internationally, popular retailers including Smyths Toys, Tesco, Carrefour, Lidl, Aldi, BIG W, Liverpool department stores among many more will be carrying our Spidey line, so we’re really focusing on where our families are shopping on a daily basis.