Bolstered by licensing partnerships with timeless properties from entertainment companies such as Disney and Warner Bros., classic gift companies including Kurt S. Adler, Lenox, and Swarovski are gearing up for the holiday selling period. According to Unity Marketing research, an estimated 10 percent of today's $2.6 trillion retail market is spent on buying gifts. That means 1 out of every 10 customers has a gift shopping need. Here, License! presents gift items already on shelf and a sample of what's in store for holiday.
Kurt S. Adler unveils a limited-edition Darth Vader Nutcracker in coordination with the release of Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Outfitted in a black mask and helmet, armor, jumpsuit, and black cape, the Darth Vader figure is handcrafted of fine European woods by Steinbach nutcracker artisans in Germany's Steinbach Factory. Only 7,500 pieces will be available at fine gift stores nationwide; the suggested retail is $400.
Swarovski and Disney Consumer Products partnered for an exclusive Disney collection of special-occasion gifts, which includes six figurines and a sparkling jewelry and accessories collection of pendants, bracelets, earrings, brooches, and key chains. The Mickey-inspired jewelry line is based on simple circle designs that represent the head, body, and ears from the original Mickey Mouse drawing. The circle design is used in combination with crystal pavé and colorful enamel. Black and red are the dominant colors of a Mickey set that includes a pendant, reversible earrings, key ring, mobile phone charm, and bracelet, while another group uses pastel shades of blue and pink to create a softer effect. A classic crystal look is the main theme of the pendant and bracelet set, and the highlight of the collection is the earrings and pendant set, which glorifies the rose in the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. It features two lovers united by a flower, and is available now at all Swarovski stores; suggested retails range from $25 to $315.
Lenox Collections introduces a bit of whimsy for the upcoming holiday season. The classic gift company adds new collectibles and ornaments to its Disney, Warner Bros., and Wizard of Oz collections, which include hand-painted porcelain ivory china and full lead, etched crystal items; suggested retails range from $30 to $150. Its Classic Edition of A Grinchy Christmas Eve features a hand-painted porcelain china sculpture of the devious Grinch character outfitted in a Santa suit while he ponders a plan to put a damper on the holiday spirit in Who-ville. The Tweety Teapot features the little yellow bird atop a generous portion of cake embellished with pink frosting and accented with strawberries. Sculpted from original Warner Bros. Studios artwork, the piece is crafted of ivory fine china, hand painted, and trimmed with gold. Both the Tweety and Grinch gifts items are available now at fine department stores nationwide; suggested retails are $76 each.
According to Janine McGarvey, licensing manager for Lenox, "Disney and Warner Bros. continue to be strong licenses for us, particularly Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and Tweety. A newer license that we're seeing growth with is Jack Daniel's, where we promote more male-themed product—such as shot glasses and watches —than we do with our other licenses. Crystal, metal, and resin are key materials of this collection, which is a diversion from the typical porcelain."