LICENSING NEWS

Exclusive: Warner Bros. on Space Jam, Tom & Jerry and Batman

Published on: 25th January 2021

General manager Rachel Wakley spoke to Toy World about the licensing programmes for three of Warner Bros.’ most iconic franchises that are set for success in 2021.

25 years since the launch of the original movie, Space Jam returns for summer 2021 in an all-new remake, starring NBA icon LeBron James alongside fan-favourite Loony Tunes characters. Rachel Wakley explained how the studio will be supporting the new release and shared the licensees taking to the court this time around.

She told us why Warner Bros decided to revisit this classic movie, what viewers can  expect, how the licensing programme is shaping up and about the company’s retail aspirations for the brand in 2021.

“So many of us grew up with the Looney Tunes,” said Rachel. “We can all identify our favourite character and, dare I say, identify our own traits in some of them too. Space Jam: A New Legacy gives us an opportunity to make these characters relevant to a whole new, younger audience.”

Iconic characters Tom and Jerry have delighted viewers with their entertaining rivalry for eight decades. Now, a new film will see them set their differences aside as they work together to save the day. Toy World found out more about the new movie and the opportunities it presents retail partners.

Rachel discussed what makes Tom and Jerry such iconic, enduring characters, told us about the blend of classic animation and live action in the new movie, which licensees are on board and shared how she sees Tom and Jerry translating into consumer products.

“This is our opportunity to maximise Tom and Jerry in a way that we haven’t before,” she enthused. “It was crucial for us to work with leading innovative partners to bring the characters to life, and we’re delighted to be working with Moose as master toy partner, for a master toy range that will focus on figures and plush.”

Batman benefits from a host of innovative new developments this year including Bat-Tech; a marketing theme, content slate, product line and app that will engage Bat-fans like never before, as well as a new movie for 2022.

The Batman and DC business has delivered a really strong performance in the most challenging of years, according to Rachel, with the majority of category areas seeing growth across this franchise, and toys – particularly the new range from Spin Master – spearheading the success.

With plans in place to ramp up consumer engagement for the brand and licensed merchandise in 2021, Rachel told us which new launches she is most excited about and how the content plan will support the franchise.

“At WB, range support is, and always will be, our No.1 focus,” she said. “For Batman, we have the product, the partners and the content plan to ensure that range support, both in breadth and depth, will be rewarded with sell-through and repeat purchase.”

To read more about these three franchises, which were put under the spotlight in the January edition of Toy World, click here.

 

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