Major film releases, coupled with evergreen brands and live experiences will drive firm.
Warner Bros Consumer Products is gearing up for a busy 2012, with the firm’s UK general manager, Paul Bufton, telling ToyNews he is confident about the year ahead but still mindful of the “challenging and unpredictable” economic environment.
The company has a strong slate including a mix of movie releases – such as Batman and The Hobbit – plus non-theatrical events like the UEFA Euro Championships and the Harry Potter Experience at Leavesden Studios. In addition, Bufton believes that WBCP has its strongest line-up of toy partners ever, while ThunderCats, Tom & Jerry, Looney Tunes and Scooby-Doo all continue to perform well.
With Batman: The Dark Knight Rises due to hit cinemas in the summer, a huge focus will understandably be placed on the brand. “Batman is a massive consumer products franchise, a brand that works for all ages,” Bufton explained. “In 2012, we will be shouting about the potential of the Batman franchise as a multi-demographic, multi-category proposition and, importantly, why Batman can work and is working for a younger age group.
“A great example is Mattel’s Fisher-Price Imaginext toy business, which turns DC characters into toys for toddlers and grosses $100m a year, Lego DC Comics construction toys, the best selling Lego Batman video games and the studio’s commitment to investing in original Batman animation that targets boys.”
Bufton also described the opening of the Harry Potter Experience at Leavesden as “an historic moment in the history of the studio”.
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