Smurfs licensing program will reflect strength of classic brand and massive potential of Sony’s 2016 film.
Rocket Licensing has been appointed as the exclusive UK and Eire agent for the Smurfs – one of the best-loved and best-known children’s brands of the last 50 years — by brand owner International Merchandising, Promotion & Services (IMPS) s.a. of Belgium.
Rocket will develop a dual licensing strategy that both expands the range of the ‘classic’ Smurfs brand, which enjoys strong affinity among both parents and children, and develops product for Sony’s eagerly anticipated new Smurfs film, which will be released in Summer 2016. The first two Smurfs films, released in 2011 and 2013, grossed a combined total of nearly a billion dollars worldwide.
The core market for The Smurfs is girls and boys four to nine years old but the brand also has real appeal for females in their tweens, teens and twenties. There is also a strong market among adult gift buyers, parents and grandparents, as well as adult nostalgia buyers.
The campaign for the classic brand has already begun with a strong line-up of licensees including:Brand Alliance, International Greetings PLC & TV Mania. The Smurfs movie will be presented to retail and manufacturing partners over the course of the next few months. Rocket’s objective is to work together with partners to ensure the brand fulfils its enormous potential and deliver a coordinated approach to brand development especially at retail.
The main licensing categories for the brand include; toy, apparel, nightwear and underwear, loungewear, accessories, homewares, digital product and publishing. The movie brand will include all of the classic categories as well as toys, FMCG, promotions, paper product such as prints, calendars and cards, stationery, back to school ranges, partyware, gifts, novelties and entertainment, and tablet and phone covers and cases.
The Smurfs, friendly little blue-skinned characters in baggy caps, first appeared in Belgian comics in the late 1950s, taking off internationally in the late 1970s with The Smurf Song and then an animated series. The Smurfs animated series is currently airing in the UK on Pop.
Charlie Donaldson, Joint Managing Director of Rocket Licensing says, “The Smurfs enjoy a strong following both among new, young viewers of the TV show and films and among the many adults who remember them fondly from their own youth. With the latest film due to add a whole new generation to the vast number of Smurfs fans this is an ideal time to expand and enhance the licensing base for these wonderful characters.”
Ms. Véronique Culliford, President of IMPS adds, “Rocket’s strong reputation with both new and classic children’s properties, as well as their fashion experience makes them the perfect partner for this much-loved brand. We’re looking forward to a strong performance at retail, boosted further by the massive potential of the latest Smurfs film, due next year.”
Source: Rocket Licensing