Spin Master: “With Batman and DC license, we’re growing and diversifying our business”

With a record year for both its Monster Jam toy line, and its range based on the blockbusting franchise How to Train Your Dragon, it makes sense that 2020 will be a year in which Spin Master will continue its momentum in the licensed toy space.

It’s why, this Toy Fair season, you’ll find the global toymaker suiting up for the worldwide launch of its new DC toy line, featuring some of comic book history’s best loves super heroes and villains. It’s also why Batman is will be playing such an integral role among Spin Master’s Toy Fair offering this year.

With proven success in bringing big name licenses to life in the toy space, Spin Master’s new DC collection has been launched with one goal in mind; to continue to invest in licenses to grow and diversify its business for 2020 and beyond.

As Spin Master prepares to offer UK audiences their first hands-on experience with the DC range, ToyNews talks to Adam Hyman, senior director, marketing, GBU Boys Licensing, to learn more.

How important is the DC license for Spin Master – how does this now allow Spin Master to tap into a new audience?

As the new toy licensee for the iconic Batman and DC brand, Spin Master is bringing its unique twist to innovative releases in the boy’s action category, remote control vehicles, water toys and games and puzzles with a focus on kids and of course the core collectors. While we have had a few licenses within the realm of super heroes we haven’t had a dedicated toy line and to be given the opportunity to work with DC and Batman – which has such a rich, 80-year legacy is a major milestone for Spin Master.

Spin Master has a history of success with big franchises, most recently Universal’s Dragons… What does Spin Master bring to the DC license itself, and why is this the perfect partnership?

Spin Master continues to build a strong portfolio of licensed products, including its 10-year licensing partnership with FELD Entertainment as the worldwide master toy partner for Monster Jam® trucks, existing licensing agreement with DreamWorks’ Dragons franchise as well as recently announced relationship with Universal Brand Development as master toy partner for Dreamworks Animation’s Preschool Series, Gabby’s Dollhouse.  With the DC partnership, Spin Master is in a unique position to leverage our expertise in various categories to bring incredible new innovation and our technological expertise to the DC line. For example, in the Fall we will be launching the RC Batmobile. This iconic item is built to scale that fits the NEW four inch figures and comes with an exclusive figure that can launch out of the vehicle into action, merging remote control and action figure which hasn’t really been done before. Spin Master is known for its patented technology in the remote control space and we are able to leverage that to create better play experiences for fans.

We’ve seen the first wave of products, what does the launch mean to you guys – how is this setting you up for a big 2020 with an iconic franchise such as this?

We’re thrilled to unveil the first of our epic DC items globally, infusing Spin Master’s unique innovation into revered superheroes and super villains. Our team worked closely with Warner Bros. Consumer Products to launch what retail buyers are calling the most innovative DC and Batman toy line they’ve ever seen. This is just the beginning.

We will also be releasing new digital content in partnership with Warner Bros, telling stories with the new heroic toy line. With over 25 pieces of digital content that have been produced, we are putting our fingerprint on the Batman legacy. And, we are ramping up for new movie releases in 2021 which are sure to be big hits with fans of DC.

Can you talk us through the toy line – how are you both leveraging the heritage of the DC and Batman brand in a category it is familiar with (action figures) while pushing innovation ala Spin Master – with the likes of the 2-in-1 vehicle, masks etc?

With the DC universe, it’s really about taking what’s cool about the core brand and characters and putting our Spin Master twist on it. We infused affordable innovation in the action figure aisle and added unique points of difference. Featuring meticulous attention to detail and revived stylised sculpts, combined with new valiant missions and accessories for added surprise and play value, the new toy line will amplify play experiences for children.

This innovation can be seen in the new four-inchFigures that have a built in surprise element adding chance variance with new accessories and even unique artwork inside the packaging, the Batmobile that launches a hidden Batboat out of the back of the Batmobile, and the three in one Batcave with three levels that split apart revealing a cave, Gotham street scape and various levels that extend the play patterns and value with unique and innovative features.

Why is now the right time for Spin Master to be undertaking the DC license? Retro revival is a big thing, and pop culture and toys are aligning closer, but what does the DC brand bring to the space?

For generations, children around the world have been entertained and inspired by DC characters and now, Spin Master has the unique opportunity to bring these characters to life for collectors and kids alike. We’ve recently proven our ability to bring amazing licenses to life through toys – we are just coming off record year for both Monster Jam and the How to Train Your Dragon franchise. We have great momentum within the licensing space and this will only continue with the DC launch.

What kind of longevity with the brand are you looking at?

We are excited to be commencing our partnership with DC. Partnering with an iconic brand like DC is a major milestone for Spin Master and is part of our strategy to invest in successful licenses to further grow and diversify our business. We have a long-term partnership in place with Warner Bros and look forward to launching new products in the future.

When is the range landing in the UK? What is the wider plan for the brand?

Products are on shelves this month. Our goal is to take what is innately part of the DC Universe, and infuse it with our own Spin Master innovation, attention to detail and creativity.

About Robert Hutchins

Robert Hutchins is the editor of Licensing.biz and ToyNews. Hutchins has worked his way up from Staff Writer to the position of Editor across the two titles, having spent almost eight years with both ToyNews and Licensing.biz, and what now seems like a lifetime surrounded by toys. You can contact him by emailing robert.hutchins@biz-media.co.uk or calling him on 0203 143 8780 You can even follow him on Twitter @RobGHutchins if ranting is your thing...

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