Description: An edgy, summer action-adventure film by DreamWorks Pictures and Universal Pictures that follows the story of a battle between the Gorgonites and the Commando Elite, muscular, war-loving military types who are also prototypes of the most advanced action figures ever imagined. The movie, to be released July 10, uses live-action with computer animation and targets teenage boys and young adult males.
Licensor: DreamWorks Consumer Products
Licensees: Over 60 licensees will display Small Soldiers on everything from bedding and cake decorating kits to Valentine’s Day cards and water toys. Hasbro Toy Group is the master toy licensee and is launching a line of action figures and accessories. DreamWorks Interactive is developing a game for the Sony PlayStation and a CD-ROM game for Windows 95. Penguin Putnam, Landoll and Publication International have signed on for activity, story and electronic books. 12 apparel companies, including Fruit of the Loom and Jem Sportswear, will market head-to-toe gear like watches, backpacks, shoes and clothing. American Boardsports and Rand will sell extreme sporting goods such as snowboards, skateboards, bikes and accessories.
Promotional Partners: Burger King is launching a food and collectible premium campaign early in July. Points from the loyalty program offered to travellers who stay at Travelodge motels across North America can be redeemed to see the Small Soldiers movie. Coca-Cola, Microsoft and NASCAR have also recently signed on as promotional partners.
Media Support: There will be extensive television, print and on-line promotions. Curiocity’s FreeZone (http://freezone.com/small-soldiers) is the film’s official Web site (see story on page 104). It features a contest between the Gorgonites and the Commando Elite, as well as character profiles, photos and a video.
Retail: All major North American department stores will sell Small Soldiers licensed products. Retail rollout will begin just before the movie’s July release.
The Final Word: The edgy nature of the film and its broad demographic make it appealing to licensees. ‘We’ve made a point of introducing an incredible variety of Small Soldiers products into the marketplace,’ says Travis Rutherford, head of licensing at DreamWorks. ‘Extreme sporting goods, for example, is a relatively new and untapped area for the licensing sector and it is an area [that] has a lot of growth potential, particularly when you are targeting this film’s demographic.’ MM