THE popularity of a property, whether it is a feature film or television series, is primiarily created by cinema or television exposure. However, intelligent merchandising of the property – the marketing of toys, games, books and other byproducts and the use by a national advertiser to promote the sales of his products – not only provides a stimulus to the popularity of the film or television series, but also can be a useful source of royalty revenue.
Following the merchandising success of its previous series "Supercar", where it is estimated that retail sales of Supercar merchandise have exceeded £750,000 – over 400,000 model Supercars have been sold and book sales are in excess of 250,000 copies – AP Films (Merchandising) is forecasting an even greater success for its current series Fireball XL5. Many of these items will he in the shops very shortly and advance orders are extremely encouraging. Orders to date for the Fireball XLS missile, which returns to earth on a parachute, releasing a spaceman on a second parachute on its descent, are in excess of 150,000 pieces with repeats coming in daily. This is an ideal summer line and, given a reasonable break in the weather, the item promises to be one of the best sellers in the toy field for 1963.
Exhibitors can also cash in on the popularity of Steve Zodiac and Venus, the leading characters of Fireball XLS. Lyons Maid, Eldorado Neilsen has a tie-in with the programme to promote the sale of its Zoom ice-lolly. A colour commercial is currently being shown on the Rank circuit, and in addition, 62 30-sec. spots have been booked for a television commercial. This campaign is being backed up by point-of-sale display material, featuring Steve Zodiac on his jetmobile.
Merchandising, then, has played its part in the success of AP Films. And played it very successfully.