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Product Watch

Warner Bros. Fetes Magical Potter Merch

By Heather Perry; contact the Editor at karina@plainlanguagemedia.com.

TLL was recently invited to Warner Bros.’ showcase for its Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts, and Wizarding World brands with merchandise from over 30 licensees.

In 2011, Warner Bros. reported that the Harry Potter franchise had generated $7 billion in retail sales for merchandise such as wands, hats, “invisibility” cloaks, and Quidditch equipment. By 2017, that figure had dropped to under $100 million in retail sales a year in the U.S./Canada, according to TLL estimates.

This summer, the prodco is looking to turn the tides with a new look. In previous years, Harry Potter merchandise was geared more towards children and tweens. It used to be all about the characters and houses displayed on apparel, for example, the Gryffindor house crest or the titular main character’s face on a shirt.

Now, Warner Bros. is expanding to home, apparel, and other merchandise in an effort to target the adult market. The prodco is using the symbology from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World to better appeal to adult fans who grew up reading the books. Some of the symbols include the three Deathly Hallows, the Golden Snitch, Hogwarts’ house crests, and Harry Potter’s glasses and scar.

The strategy: A generation that has snubbed obvious, obnoxious branding will be more likely to wear apparel or use home décor with unique, special symbols that the “in-crowd” knows and understands.

The new merchandise includes beautiful patterned apparel, accessories (purses, backpacks), domestics (bedding, pillows), and home décor (jewelry holders, bathroom containers). Here are some offerings that stood out:

  • Alex and Ani, known for its symbolized jewelry, is coming out with bracelets and necklaces that aim to best represent the wearer with unique symbols such as house crests.
  • Another favorite were cards featuring the signature Harry Potter font. This is one product our correspondent feels will be extremely popular among die-hard Harry Potter fans sending out invites for weddings, baby showers, and more.
  • Warner Bros. is partnering with Lifeprint to make pictures come to life through its app.

In addition to its new adult-oriented lines, Warner Bros. is remaining true to its roots with products for teen, children, and infants. New offerings include onesies for babies and crib décor. The products for the youngest generation still have some character influence, but are incorporating the symbology  in lighter color palettes and patterns. While not-quite “mommy and me,” the infant lines have a direct appeal to the now all-grown-up fans who are beginning on their own magical adventures in starting a new family.

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