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Merchandise mania

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Every once in a while a book, movie, band or character comes along, shakes up the retail industry and generates shelf dominating merchandise, previous examples of this include One Direction, Frozen, Twilight, Peppa Pig and of course, Harry Potter.

Author JK Rowling has announced a spin off trilogy to Harry Potter called Fantastic Beasts and based on her 2001 charity novella.

The first film of the trilogy will be released on the 18th of November 2016 with JK Rowling reclaiming the Christmas spot throne. The second film will be released 16th of November 2018 and the final film will be released 20th of November in 2020.

The young wizard Harry kick started an incredible franchise, from Harry Potter lollipops sold in supermarkets to memorabilia displayed in Harrods to ‘butter beers’ available at Warner Brothers Studio. Not taking into account the number of books and DVDS sold, the franchise also sold cakes, wands, costumes, mugs, soft toys and keyrings, showing there is no limit to franchise’s retail opportunities.

The famous Potter books also boosted tourist attractions like the Universal Studios in Florida, home to Hogsmead and more recently Diagon Alley. The Harry Potter roller coasters and scenery is one of the main attractions of the already popular theme park. Long queues are always expected for both the rides and the gift shops.

Universal have announced a Beijing park which will be spread across 1,000 acres and has a budget of around $3 billion. Hoping to open in 2019, the park is rumoured to include super hero movie rides such as Spiderman alongside Transformers and Harry Potter. With the potential opening date being in the middle of the Fantastic Beasts movie trilogy, the Beijing Universal Park could be the first to have a Fantastic Beasts area. Universal Beijing will create a higher level of economic growth. More than 35 million people visited existing Universal parks in 2013.

Harry Potter may be at the top of the franchises but Disney’s Frozen was the highest grossing animated film and has led on to jewellery ranges, clothing and toys. Disney World Florida has recently announced plans to open a Frozen attraction in their Epcot park replacing the Maelstrom boat ride.

In the UK we have the Harry Potter Warner Brother studio tour. Due to the attraction’s success with profits and positive publicity, the tour has been extended just in time for Halloween. Visitors can now experience a Dark Arts exhibit. From now until 3rd of November, Warner Brother’s studio visitors will be treated to exclusive interactive experiences such as Death Eaters patrolling the grounds and animal trainers showcasing their pythons.

As a British born franchise, Harry Potter is up there with Star Wars and is still a hugely profitable brand. The opportunities available through expansion of the iconic children’s books seem endless and with the new trilogy announced, there will surely be even more.

Published on Friday 24 October by Editorial Assistant

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