Marvel's 2013 toy retail plans unmasked

Retailers to benefit from 'constant 365 day per year connection'; toy sales jumped 181 per cent.
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The success of Avengers Assemble last year is being supplemented by fresh activity in 2013 and beyond to drive kids into toy stores.

Marvel has told ToyNews about its Avengers sustaining programme and plans for fresh animated TV series, to prolong consumer interest and get them buying new toys.

For example, the Ultimate Spider-Man TV show will get a second season early this year on Disney XD, as season one goes free-to-air. Then the Iron Man 3 movie arrives in April, the Avengers Assemble animated TV show follows in mid 2013 and Thor: The Dark World hits cinemas in November. 

In between these big movie releases, other TV seasons will arrive to provide kids with fresh content, which will aim to keep toy sales strong throughout the year.

“Retailers and licensees can be ensured that backing a Marvel franchise comes with content that will be consumed every day,” Disney’s general manager of consumer products EMEA Simon Philips told ToyNews.

“For example, we have an Avengers sustaining programme. No one else has that. There is no other superhero or boys franchise that can claim to have event movies, a constant animated series and all the other activity going on behind these brands.

He added: “The big thing is that Marvel is all about constant content driving franchise. If you don’t, kids move on very quickly.

“If the sales are in a supermarket and the average shopper goes in twice a week, they need to see something new.

“Our goal from a licensing standpoint is to have a constant presence at retail for Avengers.

“When Iron Man comes out, it will expand to absorb the Iron Man merchandise, and then the same will happen with Thor comes out and so on.

“We make content and movies that straddle the line between providing the fans with something they want but also providing the broader audience with something they want. That’s one of the beauties of Marvel – it’s cross- generational.”

A Disney statement added: "Released in April 2012, the acclaimed Marvel’s The Avengers has taken over $1.5 billion at the global box office, becoming the fourth biggest film of all-time and Disney’s highest ever grossing film globally. 

"In the period from January 2011 through to June 2012, the total sales in the UK for Marvel toys increased by 181 per cent year on year (NPD 2012)."

Read our full exclusive interview with Simon Philips in the latest issue of ToyNews.

Disney: 020 8222 1000

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