By Allison Watkinson
Genius Brands has announced a direct-to-retail licensing partnership with Hot Topic to create an apparel line for the Stan Lee Centennial celebration.
“We are launching the Stan Lee Centennial campaign to carry on his legacy for his millions of fans worldwide,” said Kerry Phelan, Chief Brand Officer at Genius Brands. “We take our role of managing the Stan Lee brand very seriously and are being extremely selective with our partners. We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Hot Topic on board to drive this first direct-to-retail program for the brand.”
Under the new deal, the specialty apparel and accessories retailer, Hot Topic will be responsible for creating an exclusive line of print-on-demand apparel for the Stan Lee brand.
Genius Brands, through a joint venture with POW! Entertainment, owns and manages the global rights to Stan Lee’s name, physical likeness, voice, signature, and IP.
Genius and POW! also manage the rights to the Stan Lee Universe, which includes Stan Lee’s portfolio of approximately 150 unused ideas and character creations from his post-Marvel career.
In addition to Hot Topic, Genius Brands is working with other licensing partners to create a curated product capsule collection for the Stan Lee Centennial celebration. These licensing partners include Funko, Bioworld, Iron Studios, Mighty Mojo, Moor Art, Royal Bobbles, Sideshow and more.
The curated capsule collection will involve apparel and collectables with additional product categories to follow in early 2023.
“Stan Lee is a legend and one of the most prolific creators of a generation,” said Ed Labay, EVP Merchandise & Marketing at Hot Topic Inc. “We are excited to partner with Genius Brands to celebrate Stan’s life and his invaluable cultural contribution through the creation of a direct-to-retail program that features high-quality merchandise for fans to enjoy.”
Recently, Genius Brands signed a 20-year deal to license the name and likeness of Stan Lee to Marvel Studios for future feature films and television productions. This deal also allows Marvel Studios to sell branded merchandise in Disney theme parks and experiences worldwide.
Stan Lee was a prolific comic creator who worked as Marvel’s editor-in-chief to build an expansive fictional universe. Stan went on to become Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972, and was eventually named chairman emeritus.
Stan also appeared in many of Marvel’s films that were based on his character franchises. Following the release of the X-Men movie in 2000, he appeared in almost every Marvel film and television project until his death in 2018.
Genius Brands International is an international children’s media company that develops, produces, markets and licenses branded entertainment properties and consumer products for media and retail distribution.
The Stan Lee apparel collection will be available for purchase on the official Hot Topic website before the holiday season.