2006 will mark the 65th anniversary of the Little Golden Books brand of storybooks that generations have grown up reading. And heading towards that anniversary, property owner Classic Media has partnered with L.A. licensing agency Evergreen Concepts to roll out a new merch program.
Evergreen principle Melissa Segal says the new LGB product line will stay true to the brand’s heritage positioning as entertainment that’s ubiquitous and affordable – the books have never been out of print, and publisher Random House has established a spinner-rack program at Wal-Mart, where titles retail for roughly US$3.
Starting out at mass in fall 2005, infant and toddler apparel will drive the program, followed by room décor/accessories and preschool toys. Veteran licensees Briarpatch (puzzles, early-learning card and board games) and Yottoy (plush gift sets) will stay on-board, and Evergreen has just added Crown Craft for infant bedding.
Segal is still looking to nail down apparel, toy, plush, slumber and infant feeding accessories deals. She says the new style guide captures the nostalgic feel of the books with a contemporary twist for today’s kids and thinks it will play well with parents who remember the likes of The Poky Little Puppy and Tawny Scrawny Lion. Interestingly, the first LGB titles retailed for US$0.25 in 1942, and the brand’s compound sales now exceed two billion units worldwide.
The new merch program could also extend beyond the brand’s kid roots. Segal says Passing4Sane’s juniors T-shirt program, which features old-school LGB book covers and hit hip retailers such as Urban Outfitters and Hot Topic in January 2004, has been so successful that she’s plotting a full-on juniors program. Graphique de France has just signed on to do stationery, and Segal will be looking for a bag licensee next.