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  • Writer's pictureScott Neitlich

Got movie? Want toys? Start here.

Updated: Jun 29, 2020

So you have a movie. Or a script. Or an idea for a movie.

These days, a large bulk of film revenue is not made at the box office, but rather though merchandising. A very large category for this merchandising is toys and collectables. In today's market, EVERYONE wants their film to be a "toy film" and have their hang in aisle 7G. What are the benefits? Making royalties, promoting the film and creating awareness of the property in general just to name a few!

The question becomes then how do you get a toy company to take interest in your film? If you are not a "Star Wars" or a "Batman" type film with an established evergreen retail presence it can be difficult to get through the door. How do you court a toy company, who has to make a significant monetary investment in a new line? How do you demonstrate to them that they should take a "bet" on your product? How do you win them over and instill confidence that licensing your movie will not only perform at retail, but will also emotionally connect with consumers.

Believe it or not there is a very simple solution:

Make your film TOYETIC!

At the script and/or development stage, if you want a film that will not only sell to a toy manufacturer, but also to retail consumer it is essential to build in key elements into your script that will translate into toys - from day one.

I'm not just talking about colorful jumpsuits and Nerf guns. There are VERY specific elements needed to make a film work for a consumer toy/product line (please see my previous blog about Batman and Harry Potter). Both are extremely popular with kids, but only one (Batman) sells toys. This is because Batman has toyetic concepts built into his brand DNA.

Additionally, it isn't just the toyetic elements, it is also about thinking and understanding the toy making process. An action figure is going to cost between $30 and $50 thousand dollars to design. What can you do as a filmmaker to ensure the entire team can be made and not just one hero? What elements can you build into character design and costumes that will actually make it easier (and therefore more alluring) for toy manufactures to want to license your property?

For the last twenty years I have worked for both major toy makers as well as hand-in-hand with all of the major Hollywood studios to achieve this goals with many blockbuster films. Spector Creative is an expert resource to help you infuse your script or film project early on with elements that will translate into maximum toy sales, while minimizing the development investment for the toy manufacturer upfront.

All three of these items are key to a successful film to shelf relationship. It's not necessarily about product placement or super hero masks, it is about a key understanding of the toy manufacturing business, the emotional connection of the end consumer, and mastering how to infuse toyetic elements into a brand/film to maximize retail appeal and placement.

So... if you have a script or film in development, contact Spector Creative. Our staff of Child Psychologists, Toy Makers, and Screenwriters are here as a recourse for you. We look forward to working collaboratively with you to ensure your film merchandising goals are a success!

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