Halloween Suppliers Adding Streaming Service, YouTube Properties
The Halloween industry’s traditional focus on film- and TV-based properties is broadening to include streaming service and YouTube properties as suppliers adapt to ever-changing consumer trends, industry executives told us at the recent International Halloween Show in New York.
While films and TV series remain staples of the Halloween trade – Rubie’s Costume Co. expanded its pet costumes to include more than a half-dozen Disney film-related properties – the tried and true costumes and accessories are being joined by YouTube sensation Ryan’s ToysReview, Netflix’s “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and CBS All Access’ “Star Trek: Discovery,” while Netflix’s “Stranger Things” continues to remain popular with a third season due in fall 2019. Jakks Pacific’s Disguise Division also signed for costumes for Netflix’s “Super Monsters,” which released its second season in October.
The licensing of streaming properties is “still a little tough because if it is downloaded all at once, it doesn’t have that lasting effect,” says Rubie’s Natasha Muraszew. “But if it has unique look, we are going after it.”
The growing role of streaming and Internet properties in Halloween costumes and accessories comes as ecommerce also accounts for increasing share of industry sales. For example, Buy Seasons, which Rubie’s purchased in 2017, handles ecommerce fulfillment for costumes for Target, Walmart and other retailers, says Muraszew. And overall ecommerce sales of Halloween-related products doubled in 2017 from the previous year, says Funworld’s R.J. Torbett.
Among the news from the Halloween Show
- Funworld will ship Ryan ToysReview-licensed costumes and accessories in 2019 as the YouTube channel that features eight-year-old Ryan unboxing toys moves into costumes for the first time. The costumes (firefighter, police officer and others) were designed based on Ryan’s choices and he will wear them during shows on the YouTube channel in serving as defacto brand ambassador. In addition to Ryan ToysReview, Funworld is ready four SKUs based on TruTV’s “Impractical Jokers” and accessories – sword’s etc. – based on Lionsgate’s Hellboy. The new products are departure for Funworld, which typically has relied on evergreen licensed properties such as Popeye, Raggedy Ann, Halloween’s Michael Myers and “I Love Lucy.” “While we have relied on evergreen properties in the past, we are expanding out a bit,” says Torbett. Funworld also is extending InCharacter licensed products lines. Funworld acquired InCharacter last year, strengthening its business in the infant and toddler category and adding licenses for Wild Kratts and Monster Jam.
- Rubie’s Costume Co., in addition to testing the waters with streaming service properties, has regained the license for World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). In doing so, Rubie’s replaces Jakks Pacific’s Disguise division with products that feature both Legends (The Undertaker, Ric Flair, MachoMan and Ultimate Warrior) and current stars (John Cena, Rowdy Ronda Rousey, AJ Styles). Rubie’s also has gained a license for Godzilla, — a new film, Godzilla King of the Monsters is due in May — as Japanese film studio Toho Co. resumes licensing responsibilities that previously were with Warner Bros. It also showed costumes based on Nickelodeon’s new “Butterbean’s Cafe” children’s TV series that first aired in October and Warner Bros.’s horror film The Curse of La Llorona that is being released in April. Rubie’s also is expanding Buy Season’s party goods business’ reach in licensing. It recently signed agreements for Jay Franco & Son’s Jay at Play Division’s Boxy Girls (paper plates, napkins and cups) and Fred Rogers Production’s “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood”. Buy Seasons had a license for Nintendo’s Super Mario Bros. prior to Rubie’s buying the company.
- Rasta Imposta reached a pact with The Hershey’s Co., bringing the candymaker back into the licensed costume business after a long absence, says Rasta’s Gary Schneider. While previous efforts targeted Hershey’s Kisses, the new license initially will be developed with Hershey’s Kisses, Twizzlers, Reese’s and Jolly Ranchers, says Rasta’s Gary Schneider. Hershey’s decision to re-enter the Halloween costume business was partly driven by the growing number of user-generated products featuring its brands available on the Internet, says Hershey’s Ernie Savo. “We’re noticing more and more consumer generated costumes leveraging our brands and we’ve decided to work with Rasta as a way providing consumers a ready-made solution,” says Savo. Rasta also has new license for retro Barbie and Ken costumes and will develop 4-8 items for introduction in 2019.
- Jakks’ Disguise expanded its portfolio, adding licensing deals for Nickelodeon’s “Top Wing” and Genius Brands International’s “Rainbow Rangers.”
Funworld, R.J. Torbett, Dir. Licensing and Product Development, 516-873-9000 x215, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Hershey Co., Ernie Savo, Global Licensing Dir., 717-508-3112, email@example.com
Jakks Pacific/Disguise, Bernice Nesbit, Marketing Dir., 858-391-3600 x3209, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rasta Imposta, Gary Schneider, General Mgr. Licensing and Marketing, 856-939-9599, email@example.com
Rubie’s Costume Co., Natasha Muraszew, Licensing Mgr., 516-326-1500 x119, firstname.lastname@example.org