NEW YORK — Swashbuckling pirates, Spider-Man and a regular girl who moonlights as a pop star are the licenses kids want most, according to presenters at the Licensing International Expo 2007, held here late last month.
The findings were part of the KidzEyes/Funosophy Spring 2007 License Tracker Survey, conducted in May 2007 by C&R Research, Chicago, in partnership with Funosophy, a children's marketing and design firm in Long Beach, Calif.
“Pirates of the Caribbean” topped the gender-neutral list, Spider-Man led the boys' list, and Hannah Montana, whose secret identity is a singing sensation, was the favorite among girls.
“Franchise licenses resonate with boys and girls,” said Nancy Zwiers, chief executive officer, Funosophy. “Pirates of the Caribbean” and Spider-Man have been lasting franchises, she said. “It is difficult for a theatrical release to be a successful license; if it is one and done [no sequel anticipated], it has to be a franchise.”
The companies surveyed a nationally representative sample of 8,000 kids 6 to 17 years old, with ages 6-11 represented in the findings. Children were asked, “How popular do you think products featuring these are going to be among kids your age in the next several months?” The choices were: “very,” “sort of” and “not at all.”
Nickelodeon was No. 2 for gender-neutral, followed by the Disney Channel, SpongeBob SquarePants and “The Suite Life of Zack and Cody.” Second for boys was “Star Wars,” followed by Hot Wheels, Fantastic Four and Superman. Cheetah Girls was second for girls, followed by Build-A-Bear, “That's So Raven” and Ashley Tisdale.
Zwiers noted that all of the top five girls' choices except for Build-A-Bear are Disney Channel properties. “The Disney Channel is a powerhouse with girls.” Girls' toy brand licenses are losing ground to Disney's entertainment-based properties, due in part to the channel's ability to make stars out of kids, she said.
Properties that offer something to aspire to and something to collect are the best bet with boys, said Adam Beder, vice president of global licensing, Spin Master, Toronto, a children's entertainment and consumer goods company. “Role play has grown substantially over the past year, and collectibility is an important play pattern, like with trading cards.”