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Warner Bros. Consumer Products Division

Behind every great movie or cartoon, there’s an even better toy. And even the ones that are not-so-hot can inspire a toy that sells. Just ask the team at Warner Bros. Consumer Products. The team’s entire focus is to make sure consumers are entertained long after they leave the movie theater or turn off the TV. Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a division of Warner Bros., has built a business that generates about $6 billion in sales annually with properties that include DC Comics, Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, Harry Potter, Wizard of Oz and Scooby Doo, just to name a few. “We are so involved in the creative process — maybe too involved,” said Brad Globe, president of Warner Bros. Consumer Products. “We want people to really understand the brand and the property.” The division, which has 37 offices worldwide, maintains close relationships with its 3,700 licensees and ensures consistency in the representation of its brand. That can mean approving the design of a Batman action figure or measuring the length of a Harry Potter toy wand, for example. In November, the company announced it had extended its 10-year agreement with Mattel, worldwide toy manufacturer and licensee of Warner Bros.’s DC Comics Characters. Under the agreement, Mattel will continue to grow its production of the popular DC Comics characters such as Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern and future products for the brand. Warner Bros. is one of the few major toy licensing companies — Disney and Hasbro are among its competition — so marketing new properties and refreshing the older ones are equally important. “There’s always pressure to keep our properties fresh,” Globe said. Classic film titles such as “Gone with the Wind” and “Wizard of Oz”— which helped to launch the company’s success — haven’t been placed in the vault just yet. They have found a home in the collectible toy market with products that feature “upscale” packaging and target a more sophisticated consumer, Globe said. Those products garner higher price points. And since the division’s ultimate purpose is getting toys into the hands of consumers, it partners with retailers to ensure the stores are stocked with the products that best serve its customers. This often means hosting marketing presentations with retailers and providing exclusive toys and items that will cater to a particular store’s clientele. “The retail side is an ever increasing important part of our job,” Globe said. “We spend 365 days a week working with the retailers to ensure we are getting our share of shelf space,” He added: “You can spend all this time making sure you have the right products for retail, but if it’s not on a shelf, you haven’t succeeded.”

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