Toys ‘R’ Us is creating its own in-store excitement surrounding one of this summer’s biggest event movies, Batman & Robin.
In a first-of-its-kind effort for the retailer, 684 Toys ‘R’ Us stores in the U.S. are giving away replicas of the DC Comics in which Robin, Mr. Freeze and Batgirl first came into the picture: Batman’s crime-fighting partner, Robin, debuted in 1940, Mr. Freeze (originally called Mr. Zero) in 1959 and Batgirl in 1967. The package of three 16-page comics is free to customers who purchase merchandise based on the feature film.
The comics became available to Batman fans on June 8, and Toys ‘R’ Us predicts that the limited copies ‘will go immediately’ in stores in heavily populated areas, says Carol Fuller, Toys ‘R’ Us spokesperson. Fuller expects that kids age five right up to adult comic-book collectors will be keen to get their hands on the reproduced comics, which are exclusive to Toys ‘R’ Us in partnership with DC Comics.
Toys ‘R’ Us is informing customers about the promotion in its in-store flyer and on its Web site (www.toysrus.com), and DC Comics is also mentioning the offer on-line (www.dccomics.com).
Among the merchandise that customers can buy to receive their free comics are action figures, books, puzzles, software and electronic and role-playing games. ‘We have a very broad licensing campaign around the Batman movie,’ says Michael Tabakin, director of trend merchandising at Toys ‘R’ Us. ‘Just about every product category will be participating.’
And customers shouldn’t have any trouble locating that merchandise. The retailer is showcasing the Batman licensed product for a one-month period in a feature shop within stores that is it calling the Batman Merchandise MegaCenter. ‘It’s a very well-positioned piece of real estate within our store, [sort of] a destination center for a variety of Batman product,’ says Tabakin. The area will be branded with signage featuring the Batman logo, and point-of-sale materials will always draw attention to the Batman display.