Spring Fair: Fanattik talks through a pop culture market in consistent growth

For Fanattik, the pop culture scene isn’t just a favoured topic among its team of genre-loving specialists, but an ever expanding business that, over the past year alone, has seen the group continue to be the go-to experts on the subject.

This year, bolstered by a portfolio brimming with some of the hottest, most in-demand, and ultimately iconic properties from the deep caverns of the pop culture scene, Fanattik is making its Spring Fair debut to bring it all to the masses. ToyNews catches up with Fanattik’s managing director, Anthony Marks.

How was business for you guys through 2019? It was a big year for pop culture licensing, how did this impact on your success over the past 12 months?

2019 was strong for us, most of the film and video game licenses in our portfolio are retro titles with multi-generational appeal so retailers who want to stock pop culture product but without the risk surrounding new releases, came to us.

What can we expect from Fanattik for 2020? Can you talk us through some of the new licenses you’ve secured, and the product lines that you will be launching at Spring Fair this year?

We are super excited for 2020, new licensed ranges we will be launching at the Fair include Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a title that is consistently voted the number one horror film of all time, Cuphead – the massive video game phenomena with five million games sold and a really passionate global fan base, Yu-Gi-Oh! which was a hit for us and our retailers towards the end of 2019, and we will be launching new products at the show.

We all know that 2020 is the 35th anniversary of Back to the Future and the 45th anniversary of Jaws, so we have anniversary product ready to go to celebrate these iconic films as well.

In 2019 we focused on physically smaller product, easy to display and very affordable, 2020 will see us introduce larger product that will reach the higher price points buyers have asked us for.

What will the product and license line up be bringing to the gifting/ merch scene for 2020? How are you guys continuing to push for innovation in the pop culture sector?

We are fans of every title we work with, this is really important because the adult fans out there will not appreciate label slapping at any cost.

We commission exclusive artwork by recognised artists to create in-game/film replicas because we want to create items that fans will want to show off to one another. In the past, creating these sorts of product would have been judged as too niche by traditional retailers but with the rise of online retailers, this has all changed.

How are we seeing the pop culture audience evolve? Did influence your decision to exhibit at Spring Fair?

The pop culture fans from the ‘70s and ‘80s are now parents, and they are introducing their children to those iconic films and video games they grew up with. The market is growing year on year so we felt the timing was perfect for Fanattik to exhibit for the first time at Spring Fair.

What do you think 2020 holds for the pop culture licensing scene and its presence at retail?

We are currently working with two major High Street gift retailers, and they are particularly switched on and can see that the market for pop culture collectables is one of the few areas that is showing consistent growth. They will show the way in the UK and then the rest of the market will follow.

The growth in pop culture products in 2020, as well as benefiting the licensing scene, will particularly benefit Fanattik as our ranges of affordable, limited-edition gifts appeal to a wide spectrum of fandom from the casual to the super fan.

What will be fuelling the space for 2020 and beyond?

In one word, NETFLIX. Whether it was a new title such as Stranger Things or a retro one like Friends it had a huge impact on related gift sales. There are three big series starting on NETFLIX in 2020 and we are a gift licensee for all of them, Cuphead, Resident Evil and Jurassic Park.

As a relatively new brand, we really do appreciate the support we receive from every single toy and gift retailer we work with. It’s not a cliché to say that we do give each and every one of them 100 per cent, and I think it’s having this kind of mindset which is going to result in a very successful 2020 for Fanattik. Make sure you visit Fanattik this Spring Fair for more.

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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