Teen fashion tops were the hot-selling item in the new juniors Powerpuff Girls apparel line, which first shipped in April. ‘From the day of the January launch [of the Cartoon Network original toon series], our phones started ringing off the hook with licensees wanting it,’ says Patti Buckner, VP of apparel at Warner Bros. Consumer Products. The exec says teens were attracted to the line’s Japanimation look and the girl power message behind the series, whose slogan is ‘Save the World Before Bedtime.’ Another fashion-forward aspect of the Powerpuff Girls line is its ‘little girl’ look, which is a hit with teens and tweens, spurring later additions to the merchandising line like a bedding program featuring funky plastic furniture and little girl-ish backpacks and jewelry.
Initial retailer reorders revealed that the line was attracting not only juniors, but size 4 to 6X girls, as well as girls ages seven to 14. However, Buckner chose to pursue the same trendy look for all three demos, as the younger groups imitate the older girls. No product for boys has been developed, even though boys comprise 50% of the show’s audience. Retailers currently on board include The Girlfriends Catalog, Brat Catalog, Sears Junior department and Hot Topic, and Warner Bros. stores will also carry the Powerpuff line.
This fall, a substantial rollout of a more fleshed-out apparel line begins, followed by a major retail promotion at an as-yet-unnamed retailer in spring of 2000. The promotion will be storewide and will highlight product just as the full line has had time to catch on, says Buckner. Cartoon Networks’ Atlanta-based promotional team has visited Consumer Products to brainstorm about how best to create synergy between promotion of the show and the consumer product lines. VR