Studios descend on Toy Fair with movie merchandise
By Georg Szalai
NEW YORK (Hollywood Reporter) - It's play time again for Hollywood, as the annual Toy Fair kicks off in New York on Sunday with the traditional slew of product tied to movies, TV shows and entertainment characters.
Among this year's hot properties: "Toy Story 3," "Iron Man 2," "How to Train Your Dragon," the latest installments of "Twilight" and "Harry Potter," and TV favorite "Dora the Explorer," who is celebrating her 10th anniversary. But overall, there are fewer movies than last year that are ripe for toy merchandising.
"There are fewer 3D films with toy opportunities, but there will be a lot of sequel or legacy film product," Toy Industry Association spokeswoman Reyne Rice said.
Some movies will cater to the core toy demographic of kids, while others will skew more adult, providing the opportunity to sell merchandise to toy collectors.
"Toys for sequels usually sell better," Rice said. "Retailers, for example, will support 'Iron Man 2' more, because they know how well product for the first one did." And "Shrek 4" merchandise will more easily fill retail shelves now that the franchise is proven and retailers no longer question the appeal of a green ogre.
QUARTER OF THE PIE
About 25 percent of all toy dollars in a typical year are spent on products tied to a licensed or entertainment property.
NPD Group said licensed toys in 2009 represented 25 percent, or $5.4 billion, of total industry sales of $21.5 billion. That was down from 27 percent of the $21.65 billion registered in 2008. Continued...