With more than three million copies sold worldwide since its mid-2006 launch in the UK, the old-school-themed Dangerous Book for Boys has spawned a decidedly fresh and new licensing program.
UK-based agency Rocket Licensing has started lining up partners to put Dangerous product into all tiers of retailers by late 2008/early 2009. So far, the HarperCollins book penned by Conn and Hal Iggulden that focuses on learning fuelled by tried-and-tested science- and history-based themes, has attracted UK licensees Hasbro (worldwide game and travel games), Danilo Promotions (calendars), Kinnerton Confectionery (seasonal confectionery) and Susan Prescot Games (jigsaw puzzles).
But Rocket’s joint-MD Charlie Donaldson says he’s looking to round out the program with apparel, stationery, back-to-school, learning products and toys.
The book and the initial product line up targets boys eight to 12, but Donaldson believes there might be merch potential with older demos as many nostalgic dads, who want to remember how to tie rope knots or make a bow and arrow, are fans of the book. Thus products such as pocketbooks and pens for fathers may be in the offing down the road.
Rocket isn’t stopping at the UK, either. The book has been sold into 25 territories and has proven to be quite adaptable for local climes. For example, while the UK version contains info on the British monarchy and cricket, the US edition reads of American presidents and football.
To that end, Manhattan Beach, California-based The Sharpe Company has picked up US licensing rights and president Charlie Day has gotten to work on lining up promo partners and construction and die-cast toy licensees to join the current roster. So far Rizzoli International (calendars), Andrews McMeel Publishing (mini-instructional kits), Thames & Kosmos (science kits), Uncle Milton (activity kits) and University Games (worldwide magic kits and jigsaws) are onboard.
Day also sees potential in apparel that ties into technology, such as building a Dangerous compass or GPS transponder into an outdoor jacket for 2009.
For its part, HarperCollins is planning to launch a DBFB pocketbook in time for Father’s Day this year.