On Wednesday, Disney Consumer Products (DCP) revealed its 2015 plans for Marvel and its key franchises, including The Avengers and Spider-Man. This year will see the roll-out of one of DCP’s biggest licensing programs to date, which would revolve around Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, the launch of new animated content, and innovative marketing initiatives.
For Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, Marvel is working closely with licensees—such as Hasbro, Lego, Hot Wheels, Funko, and more—to develop products that expand the storytelling of the franchise. Through this year and beyond, Marvel’s campaigns will focus on new animation on Disney XD, as well as a new marvelkids.com microsite, where kids can regularly interact with the characters and experience new content.
Following the success of the first Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy film, Marvel is building a long-term strategy, starting with the new animated TV series set to debut on Disney XD later this year. Marvel is also expanding the franchise’s licensing program with current licensees—which will be extending their existing lines—along with new partners.
Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) will continue to bring Marvel Super Heroes to life through books, kids apps, and eBooks in support of all Marvel Studios feature films, Marvel Animated TV shows, and Classic versions of Marvel’s iconic characters. In addition to publishing more than 4,000 Marvel books and magazines in 30 languages for the next generation of fans, DPW will extend its print and digital program to include young adult and middle grade novels based on Avengers, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Spider-Man franchises—as well as kids and family friendly apps.
The culmination of Marvel’s blockbuster year will be a national multi-platform celebration, entitled Marvel Super Hero Spectacular. Following the success of Marvel Super Hero September this past fall, this year’s campaign will run for five weeks, beginning at the end of September and going through all of October. Marvel Super Hero Spectacular will introduce an enhanced marketing and retail strategy, and will focus on core Marvel franchises including The Avengers, Spider-Man, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Both The Avengers and Spider-Man drove more than $1 billion each at retail globally last year, and Marvel’s toy sales in the U.S. grew nearly 13 percent last year vs. 2013, according to The NPD Group.