As Pokémon celebrated its 10th year on US soil in 2006, it enjoyed an incredible re-emergence in the kids space and the plan for 2007 is to keep building on the momentum. So, how did Pokémon USA do it? That’s the subject under consideration during an in-depth case study that’s just been added to the agenda of KidScreen West – the two-day licensing & marketing conference taking place in Santa Monica, California on May 14 and 15.
‘It was a combination of re-branding, re-packaging, and focusing on the cast of characters as well as finding promotional partners,’ says Holly Rawlinson, Pokémon USA VP of licensing and entertainment, describing the rebuild after her company’s contract with licensing rep 4Kids Entertainment expired at the end of 2005.
Currently, Rawlinson says the series is pulling down solid ratings on Cartoon Network and the toys are enjoying a brisk sell through. And in terms of licensing deals, she says Pokémon USA is going to more than double its minimum guarantees in less than a year and new categories are opening up.
An all-star panel comprised of the property’s three key partners will make the detailed presentation. Bob Higgins, Cartoon Network SVP of programming and development, and master toy partner Jakks Pacific director of male action Eddie Hayed will join Rawlinson as they lay out the plan that put the Japanese property back on kids radar.
The session will take place at KS West on May 14th at Loews Santa Monica Beach hotel at 2:45 p.m.