Merchandise Surges for 'Dark Knight'

By Robert Marich
   July 19, 2012-Warner Bros. unveiled product licensees for The Dark Knight Rises with the top-tier merchandise purveyors Mattel, Lego, Hallmark, Kinetex, Rubie’s Costume, Titan books, and Sakar International (electronics). The movie, which reportedly cost $250 million to make, premieres tomorrow.
   A Warner Bros. Consumer Products press release says that licensed products range “from toys and games, to collectibles and costumes, to apparel and accessories, to publishing, party goods and domestic decor.”    
   A Variety story says merchandise sales are up 10% in comparison to the prior Batman movie in 2008, The Dark Knight. “Warner Bros. Consumer Products locked down 300 licensees around the world to make more than 1,000 products specifically tied to The Dark Knight Rises,” says the Variety article by Marc Graser.
   While Mattel holds the main toy alliance, second-tier toy licensees include PPW Toys, Jakks Pacific (figures and plush), Funko (plush and vinyl), Mezco color figures, Hornby Hobbies, Thinkway Toys and McFarlane Toys. In clothing, Under Armour, Converse, New Era and Diesel are among licensees.
   The Batman franchise movie is based on a property from the studio’s corporate sibling DC Comics, so the foundation property and movie are all under the Time Warner Inc. corporate umbrella.
  Computer antivirus company Thirtyseven4 is not a licensee but jumped on the Dark Knight Rises bandwagon anyway with a press release pointing out cybercriminals are trying to entice movie fans to website touting leaked footage and pirated downloads. Those naughty websites tag visitors with malware. Thirdyseven4 said that’s what happened with the Harry Potter and Hunger Games films. In one of the better quotes from press release land, Thirtyseven4 owner Steven Sundemeier says, “As the battle for good versus evil hits the big screen this weekend, we want to do our best to make sure it stays there and off the computer screens of unsuspecting fans.”
   Pepsi-owned Mountain Dew has a promotional tie-in worldwide with Dark Knight Rises and offers a free song download from the movie with online ticket purchase.
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