Las Vegas, Nevada (May 31, 2017) — In particular, NBCUniversal stood out as their global reach is widening with their recent investments into Snapchat ($500M), Buzzfeed ($200M) and Rotten Tomatoes. They are creating an immerssive marketing roadmap that allows their licensors to know they are promoting their content at every possible touchpoint to the consumer.
Overall, Hollywood is “franchise focused” which means there will be plenty of prequels and sequels fighting for your retail dollars and shelf space. And although the newest Avengers, Jurassic Park, and Star Wars look phenomenal, I wanted to showcase new brands that should be on your radars as you plan 2018. Here is a list of new properties that will have an impact at retail in 2018:
Dr. Seuss / The Grinch – The comeback of this brand is being headlined by Universal’s The Grinch staring none other than Benedict Cumberbatch as the titler character debuting in theaters November 9th, 2018. The Seuss brand overall is seeing a renaissance with new museums, promotion, and social infatuation with the classic characters and stories. Funko releasing their range of classic products this year, gives this brand validity with collectors and trend setters.
Hello Neighbor – The first smart game is here. This horror-venture game is about breaking into your neighbors house to find out what dastardly deed he is up. It boasts incredible AI that learns from each move the player makes and becomes more challenging with each play. It picks up from the “scare-you” play pattern of Five Nights At Freddy’s which was a top boys property in 2016. The game is currently in beta (official release is in August) and already boasts millions of views on youtube of players being scared by the high end graphics and thrilling action.
Fancy Nancy – I believe there is a major void in content for traditional, wholesome girl’s properties for 3 – 6 year olds. This re-introduction from powerhouse Disney Animation showcased fantastic graphics (CGI, think Pixar quality) and even better musical talent. The property has traditionally done well at specialty, and with this new cartoon series on Disney Jr. it has a great shot at becoming a top girls property for all retailers.
Rainbow Rangers – Nickelodeon has acquired U.S. broadcast rights to season one of CGI-animated preschool series Rainbow Rangers from up and coming studio Genius Brands International. Bright and colorful content seems like a mix between Trolls and Care Bears. Mattel is signed on as master toy licensor giving this brand instant legitimacy.
Lounge Fly – This newly acquired member of the Funko family is leading the charge in upscale licensed fashion. This is the new direction of licensed product; where it is fully integrated into your daily life instead of it having to be a statement piece. Funko recently did a consumer community study that found that 50% of their customers are female. This should be very telling that pop culture still has legs in other traditionally female focused categories.
Care Bears & Mad Balls – Nostalgia continues to be a major force in our business, as it’s easier to bring back something old then invent something new. Two classic 80s brands are being reimagined for todays consumer from American Greetings. I especially like the urban vinyl collector art toys angle with their Bear Brick and blind boxes from Kid Robot.
BONUS: MIFFY – think Hello Kitty but DUTCH. This European beloved property is cute and smart and is making it’s way to the US this year via Jazwares; as master toy licensor. The first Miffy book was produced in 1955, and almost 30 others have followed. In total they have sold over 85 million copies, and led to two separate television series. I think it gives artistic and sophisticated millennial parents a property to support that is stylish yet doesn’t overstimulate nor talk down to their kids.
Thank you for taking the time and interest, if you would like to discuss anything in this trend report in more detail please don’t hesitate to contact me SteveS@diversemail.com or follow my adventures visually on Instagram at @RedStarArmy1.
Chief Discovery Officer, Diverse Insights
Headline photo: Hello Neighbor / Tiny Build, Dynamic Pixels, Evolution Brand Portfolio