US Character Merchandising Market Report
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Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Character Merchandising market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.
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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?
Covered in this report
For the purpose of this report, character merchandising is defined as the use of popular (typically fictional) characters from the world of entertainment to promote the sale of consumer goods, including those lines of merchandise that have been especially created to bear the name and image of the character.
Characters typically derive from a number of different media, with the most popular being the following:
- Television series
- Cartoon feature films
- Live-action feature films
- Toys and games
- Comic books
- Fiction books
- Newspaper strip cartoons
- Computer/electronic games
Character merchandising seeks to promote the sale of consumer goods via the licensing of copyrighted intellectual properties and other means such as television networks, product brands (eg HGTV Home products), or sports organizations and teams (eg Chicago Bulls basketball or the National Football League).
What you need to know
2017 marked the slowest rate of sales growth for licensed merchandise since 2014, a year when the wild success from Frozen was still peaking. Since then, two of the largest toy retailers have filed for bankruptcy, and consumers have shifted their discretionary spending to experiences rather than tangible goods. Nonetheless, the entertainment industry continues to come to the rescue with blockbuster movies, TV shows, video games, and more that breathe life into the character-merchandising sector. 2018 brought some of the biggest movies in history, with Black Panther, Incredibles 2, and Avengers: Infinity Wars, the effects of which are still being realized but should lead to an uptick in sales at year-end. Even more big hits are expected in 2019 and beyond, including the highly anticipated Frozen 2.
Expert analysis from a specialist in the field
Written by Diana Smith, a leading analyst in the Retail & Apparel sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.
Licensed merchandise is big business, valued at $111.4 billion, and character merchandise represents the lion’s share (12.1%) of it. Blockbuster movies, TV shows, and other forms of media content all drive enormous demand for character merchandise, but the industry needs to look for new avenues for growth to sustain sales during slower, off-peak periods.
Associate Director - Retail & Apparel
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