Anon Mouse

Published: May 21, 2014 at 12:04 PM

Having these products in the stores can confuse the customer or maybe just cash in on the phenomenon. Transformers in Epcot might not necessarily be about the American movie. It is just as popular in the Japanese original.

I wonder why Disney doesn't cash in on the Superheroes popularity with "The Incredibles". Sometimes, they can be done under the Pixar/Disney label instead of Marvel.

Brian Bauer

Published: May 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM

I've heard people ask "Why is (theme park) allowed to sell (licensed product) doesn't (other theme park) own the rights?"

They fail to understand that not only are toy rights and theme park rights two completely different things, toy rights have nothing to do with selling those toys.


Published: May 21, 2014 at 2:18 PM

Robert, you never cease to amaze me at how you come up with stories for TPI... Of course, the easiest thing to do would report on Diagon Alley and the Fantasyland expansion, but you find things to report on that nobody really knows about. Well done.
Apple Butter

Published: May 21, 2014 at 8:48 PM

Robert is right on point but you left out one key IP and that is Harry Potter. I believe that the only place, theme park wise, that you can purchase potter merchandise is the Universal parks. I think by limiting the merchandise to only a select few parks it draws people in like you said. I think Universal is a pioneer in incorporating a themed element with food and merchandise that actually draws people in. They could have just done a Harry potter ride and left it at that but its so immersive having theming, characters, food, dinning, shopping, rides, and merchandise to only Universal. It's not only good business sense for Universal but also the consumer. Do I want to buy the Harry Potter wand at Cedar Point or do I want to buy it where I'm engulfed in theming, characters, rides, and attractions that I may be able to interact with. No brainer here I'm going for the park where I will be spending all of my cash at and that is Universal. Merchandise plays a key role in that decision.

Published: May 22, 2014 at 5:21 AM

With the release of the Big Hero 6 trailer coming today, there's another interesting case regarding Universal Orlando and Walt Disney World.

Who has the Orlando theme park rights?

One might say "Universal!" since the upcoming Walt Disney Animation film is an adaptation of a Marvel story. But thus far there has been no mention of Marvel in any promotion for the film and the famous red block logo has been left out of the teaser poster. Might Disney conclude that, in this instance, Marvel's tie to the project is so minimal that Universal can't claim it for the Orlando property? It would be quite odd if a animated Disney holiday release is not promoted in the Florida parks.

Brian Bauer

Published: May 22, 2014 at 7:21 AM

@Apple Butter, but you're talking about merchandise produced exclusively for the theme park as opposed to mass market items based on an IP which another company has the theme park rights for.

For example, it's possible that Universal could carry Star Wars action figures, but you'll never see a "Build-a-Droid" station there.

@anonymous, I don't think Universal can claim BH6. They would need Disneys permission to use it. They can only use the families of characters they are currently using. Which is a big reason why Disney may have chosen this IP. There are no direct ties to the characters Universal is using. I do believe they are downplaying the Marvel aspect, though. If the movie does well, Disney may want to incorporate something into the parks. Universal couldn't stop them from using the characters but they may have issue with promoting them heavily as "Marvel" characters.


Published: May 22, 2014 at 8:16 AM

I hope Universal will have some 3.75 inch Harry Potter action figures for sale. POPCO company did a great job with the HP figures in the UK/Europe. Unfortunaly the NECA company got the U.S. contract which produced more "statue" type figures--and each were 7inchs tall. I would pay premium to get all major and minor characters as action figures. Univesal make it happen please!
Mark Fairleigh

Published: May 22, 2014 at 10:15 AM

There's also Star Wars/DC/Doctor Who merch at the Terminator gift shop at USF. I get the business aspect of it...but I'd rather see ride-specific merch or park-specific merch only. For me, "muddying the waters" just kills whatever themeing is at play. But I'm just quirky about that sort of thing.