Genius Brands International “Genius Brands” (NASDAQ: GNUS) announced its first direct-to-retail program with specialty retailer, Hot Topic, to create a line of apparel for the Stan Lee brand as part of this year’s Stan Lee Centennial celebration campaign.
Genius Brands, through a joint venture with POW! Entertainment, owns and manages the global rights to legendary Stan Lee’s name, physical likeness, voice, signature, and IP, called Stan Lee Universe, which includes the Stan Lee Celebrity brand, as well as new content to be created from Stan Lee’s portfolio of approximately 150 unmined ideas and character creations in his post-Marvel career, along with consumer products programs to be developed for these new projects. This year’s Stan Lee Centennial campaign, celebrating Stan’s 100th birthday, is the first phase of a much broader Stan Lee Universe program.
Under the new deal, Hot Topic will create an exclusive line of officially licensed Stan Lee-branded print-on-demand apparel, available at Hottopic.com in time for holiday. In addition to Hot Topic, Genius Brands is working with licensing partners, including Funko, Bioworld, Changes, Iron Studios, JADA, Mego, Mighty Mojo, Moor Art, Royal Bobbles, Sideshow and more, to create a curated product capsule, including apparel and collectibles, for the Stan lee Centennial Collection. Additional product categories will follow in early 2023.
Genius Brands’ Chief Brand Officer Kerry Phelan stated: “We are launching the Stan Lee Centennial campaign to carry on his legacy for his millions of fans worldwide. We take our role of managing the Stan Lee brand very seriously and are being extremely selective with our partners. We couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Hot Topic on board to drive this first direct-to-retail program for the brand.”
“Stan Lee is a legend and one of the most prolific creators of a generation,” said Ed Labay, EVP Merchandise & Marketing, Hot Topic Inc. “We are excited to partner with Genius Brands to celebrate Stan’s life and his invaluable cultural contribution through the creation of a direct-to-retail program that features high-quality merchandise for fans to enjoy.”
Recently, Genius Brands signed a 20-year deal to license the name and likeness of Stan Lee to Marvel Studios for future feature films and television productions, as well as to create and sell merchandise in Disney theme parks and experiences worldwide.