Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2012 - (Page 30)

COVER STORY Feathery Feats V ideo games have given the world some memorable characters – Nintendo’s Mario has achieved almost Mickey Mouse-like status around the globe – but aside from the plumber in the red hat, video game characters have rarely broken out to become true stars. Most gaming characters are hamstrung by their inherently limited audience, as it would be hard to imagine anyone buying bedsheets featuring the characters of the violent “Gears of War” or “Resident Evil” games. Others don’t have the cross-generational appeal needed to become lasting icons. Although they’re very popular with kids, few grown-ups would wear a Pokémon t-shirt, and likewise Pac-Man doesn’t mean much to anyone anymore except as nostalgia. Recently, however, a phenomenon has emerged that has the potential to give Mario a run for his money. The deceptively simple “Angry Birds” has become one of the most successful video games of all time, and licensing agency Striker Entertainment is helping the game’s developer, Rovio Entertainment Ltd., parlay that success into other market areas. Partners Marc Mostman and Russell Binder say the property has what it takes to become a long-lasting success, and Striker Entertainment is searching for new plat- Striker Entertainment is racking up high scores and growing sales as the licensing agent for the mega-popular ‘Angry Birds’ video game series. forms on which to showcase the brand. California-based Striker Entertainment has a track record of successfully managing the licensing for properties and companies including DreamWorks Studios, Lionsgate Films, “The Hunger Games” novels, AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” the “Twilight” movies and other film and television projects. Mostman explains a mutual friend introduced them to Rovio in early 2010, and that the subject of “Angry Birds” was discussed almost immediately. “We had been tracking this for a bit, and so we reached out thinking there was some potential,” Binder adds. At that time, “Angry Birds” was well on its way to becoming a legitimate craze, having first appeared on the iPhone in 2009. Today, the game also appears on the Android and Windows smartphone platforms, the Sony PlayStation and Xbox 360 game consoles and in the Google Chrome web browser. With so many people playing “Angry Birds,” the stage was set for Striker Entertainment to license the property to a broad range of companies, producing everything from clothing to phone accessories. The initial process wasn’t easy, Mostman says, due to the fact that “app licensing” as a driver of merchandise didn’t really exist, but the Angry Birds brand had a lot going for it. As products bearing the Angry Birds characters continue to sell out across the nation, it appears the world of video 30 January/February 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2012

Retail Merchandiser - January/february 2012
What the Nose Knows
Customized Marketing
Greener Logistics
Illuminating Retail
Toy Fair 2012 Preview
Wandering Wallet
Targeting Digital Neighborhoods
Ces 2012 Show Wrap-Up
Category Insight
Striker Entertainment
Joester Loria
Sony Pictures
Mind Candy
Empowered Media LLC
Global Icons
Pep Boys
Tedeschi Food Shops
New Hampshire Liquor
B-O-F Corp.
New & Notable

Retail Merchandiser - January/February 2012