Warner Bros. Consumer Products is well into a year full of celebration for several of its most iconic properties, each of which have milestone anniversaries in 2014.
Batman: The Legend Continues
With his 75th anniversary in full swing, the Caped Crusader continues to prove that there is no end to pursuing justice and certainly no end to the allure of the character for fans and consumers.
The evergreen brand has a strong roster of best-in-class licensees on board to support the licensed consumer product program that is slated to hit shelves this year and well into the future.
"WBCP has been working alongside its partners around the world to develop strong, tailored programs that not only celebrate Batman's 75-year legacy, but ensure that Batman remains a must-have on the shelves for many years to come," says Karen McTier, executive vice president, domestic licensing and worldwide marketing, Warner Bros. Consumer Products.
Mattel will release new products and expand upon existing lines such as Lights and Sounds 10-inch core figures, a Hot Wheels Batmobile assortment, a DC Comics Multiverse collection of 4-inch figures, a Batman Gotham City Showdown seven pack of 4-inch figures, DC Super Powers 6-inch figure collection and the Total Heroes collection of 6-inch figures.
Role play accessories are just launching for the Dark Knight's anniversary, with a fresh new line from Thinkway; while NECA is releasing a collectible figure collection that honors the many iterations of Batman, from the 1960s era classic TV series to the Batman Arkham Origins version and more. Publishing partner Eaglemoss will also debut in North America its extensive Batmobile partworks collection featuring Batmobiles through the ages.
Of course Batman is not only relegated to older children and fans, either.
From Fisher-Price comes the expansion of its range of Imaginext DC Super Friends toys to new territories such as Germany and across Europe. The toy line is already on shelf in the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, Mexico, Australia and Spain.
Meanwhile, The LEGO Group has expanded its DC Comics offerings by implementing a new junior line and recently introduced the brand into its LEGO Duplo program with three sets.
Apparel partners are also on board for the anniversary event and include Bioworld, Changes, Junk Food, Converse, New Era, Under Armour and more.
Follow the Yellow Brick Road
Nothing says classic Americana more than Dorothy, Toto and her band of loyal friends, which prove there's no place like home–or Oz–as the beloved film The Wizard of Oz turns 75 this year.
Mattel has launched a collectible doll line in honor of the film with classic interpretations of the mainstay characters Dorothy, Glinda the Good Witch, the Wicked Witch of the West, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion. The property will further be augmented by Fantasy Glamour Dorothy and Wicked Witch of the West, which feature dramatic takes on the characters' classic costumes.
Marking the occasion in high style is Tonner Dolls, which has partnered with WBCP for a collaboration with some of the most prestigious fashion houses to re-imagine the iconic costumes from the film into pieces that will eventually be auctioned off in support of the charity Habitat for Humanity. Labels such as March Jacobs, Donna Karen Atelier, Hervé Léger, BCBGMaxAzria, Lyn Paolo and Charlotte Ronson are signed on to craft haute couture dolls. The partnership is part of WB's There's No Place Like Home campaign with Habitat for Humanity, which also features several other themed initiatives and events.
"This year's Tonner Doll partnership, which features re-imagined costumes for the leading ladies of The Wizard of Oz designed by a number of high-end fashion and costume designers, showcases just how relevant this property is to modern audiences," says McTier.
Rubie's Costume Co. will offer specialty costume collections for kids, tweens and pets; while other licensees such as Tervis (drinkware), Darice (crafts), Enesco (collectible figurines) and Royal Chain (an exclusive Pandora charm bracelet) are also celebrating alongside WBCP.
Confectionery retailer Dylan's Candy Bar will also fete Dorothy and friends with anniversary-themed candy collections available exclusively in its locations across the U.S.
Gone with the Wind's 75th
Whether you've seen it or not, dialogue from the classic 1939 film Gone with the Wind is burned into the fabrics of pop culture. As the iconic movie turns 75 this year, WBCP has lined up a host of licensees to continue the tradition of epic romance film for years to come.
Longtime partner Madame Alexander, which has created Gone with the Wind-inspired products for almost as long as the film has been known to moviegoers, will release a new range of dolls based on Scarlett O'Hara, the film's lead.
Tonner Dolls will also release a limited edition collection of hand-painted, 19-inch collectible figurines, while Mattel will debut an anniversary Barbie collection. Also on board for the program is Enesco, which will launch an 8-inch Scarlett O'Hara Couture de Force resin figurine.
"With an epic saga like Gone with the Wind, we've continued to work with our renowned partners such as Madame Alexander and Mattel, to offer commemorative merchandise to the film's steadfast fans, while also bringing on new partners to augment the brand's portfolio," says McTier.
Additional partnerships for the brand include a line of jewelry, watches and gift items from Jacmel; toddler-sized dolls from Adora; and replica costumes from Museum Replica.
All Aboard The Polar Express
Finally, WBCP is celebrating its holiday classic The Polar Express with an expanded roster of licensees in honor of the property's 10th anniversary.
Rail Events is calling "all aboard!" and giving fans new opportunities to experience officially licensed train rides inspired by the film and book by author Chris Van Allsburg.
Additionally, Lionel will offer locomotive sets for both children and collectors.