Good morning and Happy New Year all of you characters in Merch.
Why would you ever consider contracting or buying planned goods from our firm for your creative Themed Entertainment merchandising lines direction?
How about because as a child growing up in the southland, I was raised in my father’s merchant businesses under the tutelage of merchandising for Cal Stores, Bazaar, Federated and Gem Co, growing up from the warehouse to overseeing 5 retail department stores across the southland selling everything from suits in stock, and socks to jocks. As a three year old, I was raised in the back yard of then just launched Disneyland, where sitting perched by my dad on the brick wall of our back yard on the back property line of Disney, I’d look up to see the fireworks overhead every night, look down at Disney coloring books and records, and say “Hey, I can do this!”
Much later in life, working with Jerry Smith of prior Hanna-Barbera and Sepp, SA Animation studios, I sat with John Freeman and Milton Kahl, the foremost animator and director of Disney Studios who worked directly under Walt. We were having dinner and talking about character, story and how everything had to tie into the bigger picture when I said, “Right, but every nuance to plot must come back to not only real life metaphor, but also should tie to a strip out for all related goods, soundtrack to records, design to merchandising, apparel, clothing, toys and games, and even the ride experience. There are no insignificant props to storyline, and by all means even what is leveraged for meaning to story as a prop is reinforced importance when that writer’s prop now shows up at retail, driving consumer’s bondage to the story and film”. Milt looked at John and said “He’s got it.”
Shortly in the decades after, I became the Vice Chairman of Communications and Membership for the Themed Entertainment Association, working with manufacturers and producers in what we call the ride film experience, across parks, restaurants and malls, leisure destinations. Dovetailing with my background in the Licensed Merchandise Association, I used to publish the articles of Murray Altschuler, Peter Eichler and Danny Simon, while my personal relationships with King Features and Archie Comics had be winnowing up ladders from comic books to brand beverages, soft goods to TV specials. My own credits in theme park attractions includes Universal Attractions’ “Kongfrontation”, “ET’s Adventure”, and “Jaws – the Experience”, while my colleagues who produce our sister firm's current show “Spontaneous Fantasia” had direct technology creation for “The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera” and Epcot attractions with Academy Award winning credits.
I’ve run merchandising for soft goods at retail concessions in Downtown Disney, Church Street Station, Knott’s and Busch Gardens parks out of Orlando. I’m pleased to now be working with Warner Brothers Presents “Animaniacs Live!” starring Rob Paulsen and Randy Rogel in their new live show with orchestra, presented for special venues and location based entertainment, with a direct hand in merchandising, including breakthroughs in 3D Printed goods that run around China for cost and efficient speed of delivery to site, souvenir cups in attraction branded beverages, and apparel. I maintain a full rolodex of licensed brand product manufacturers who know and understand the licensing contract business, and have been through the quality checkpoint system many times across all design approval stages.
I'm extremely confident that working with the team at your licensing group or theme park attractions team, we can facilitate a management of current and new break-through lines as well, bringing on new sets of Wow! Factor items to the shelves and stores of all end point attraction gift shops and other brand extension retail shelves that carry the consumer magnet of your Themed Entertainment attractions brands as consumer items.
Give a call. I am available at any time to meet with you. My business past has brought me to Orlando, Brussels, Brazil, Mexico, Beijing, Singapore and Hong Kong. My current little world is a short drive up the I-5 to the major Hollywood-Burbank studios and offices, and after 14 years in Manhattan, New York is just a nosh away.