With Spice Girls images appearing on everything from trading cards to toy cars, putting a dollar value on the marketing impact made by the latest U.K. pop phenomenon is about as impossible as bringing Ginger Spice back into the fold.
But Gerri’s summer departure from the band did show us what a powerful marketing force the group has become. After the June announcement, EMI lost 3.1% on the London Stock Exchange, cutting the company’s market value by $US164 million.
While investors feared the worst, toy manufacturers were only nervous for about five seconds, says Ron Goldenberg, CFO of Montreal, Canada-based Grand Toys International. ‘Once we saw that the band was still popular, we knew that Spice Girl items would be fine,’ he says.
This month, Grand Toys is marketing three- and six-inch dolls to compliment its existing line of party goods, stationary, backpacks and luggage.
Galoob Toys of San Francisco, meanwhile, has new ‘on-tour’ Spice Girl dolls that come with headphones, stickers and collectible two-inch figurines. Like the fashion dolls the company launched earlier this year, the ‘on-tour’ dolls retail for $US20.
In time for the holiday season, major department stores will also receive the $US20 Sound Stage playset, where girls can let their dolls perform in concert. For young girls who can’t decide on their favorite spice, Galoob has packaged all five figures as a Superstar Collection. Exclusive to Toys `R’ Us stores across the U.S., it retails for $US50.
The Spice Girls property has also managed to secure promotional tie-ins with Pepsi, Kodak and Impulse Deoderants, and it appears the multimillion dollar marketing machine will remain in full swing, at least through the holiday season.