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ShoPro responds to Sonic’s building market heat with a toy-centric new merch plan

With SonicX now airing twice on Saturdays and consistently winning the Fox Box its highest weekend ratings (averaging a 1.6 on December 6), ShoPro is bringing its quirky Hedgehog character back into the licensing arena.
January 1, 2004

With SonicX now airing twice on Saturdays and consistently winning the Fox Box its highest weekend ratings (averaging a 1.6 on December 6), ShoPro is bringing its quirky Hedgehog character back into the licensing arena.

With product hitting shelves in June, the first phase of a multi-demo program will target kids in the six to 11 age range with action figures and plush produced by Woodbury, New York-based master toy licensee Toy Island. At press time, ShoPro VP of consumer products Cynthia Modders was in negotiations with other licensees to flesh out toy offerings in the craft & activity, puzzle, remote-control and novelty categories.

Modders credits the extensive TV development that went into creating SonicX for giving ShoPro and property licensees a much wider world of racing and robot characters to work with on the toy front, adding that a secondary line focusing on the speed, vehicle and racing aspects of the 52-ep series will roll out in fall 2004.

Originally launched in the early ’90s as a video game property, Sonic grew to become a US$1-billion franchise by the end of the decade. Modders says Sonic has traditionally performed best in apparel, footwear and candy/food categories, so plans are in the works to revisit those categories in phase two of the program. S. Goldberg is currently producing a line of kids athletic footwear featuring Sonic, and Top Heavy is the property’s T-shirt licensee. ShoPro is also on the lookout for soft line licensees in bedding, backpacks and stationery.

Fans of the classic Sonic need not fear: ShoPro is looking to create a mid-tier program targeting collectors that will complement the mass-market kids line currently in the works. You can expect to see T-shirts and soft goods designed with a ‘more retro look’ in the coming year.

About The Author
Lana Castleman is the Editor & Content Director of Kidscreen and oversees all content for Kidscreen magazine, kidscreen.com and related kidscreen events. lcastleman@brunico.com

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