A new line of exclusive comics is on sale at another mass market retailer, as Target has just rolled out five exclusive graphic novels. Will the direct market rise up in anger?
Probably not this time, because these are DISNEY PRINCESS comics.
Target has just launched an extensive new line of Disney Princess merchandise…including five 96-page collections featuring Ariel, Jasmine, Rapunzel, Pocahontas and Belle. These are hardcover collections, all produced by Joe Books. And not entirely exclusive, as you can buy them at the Joe Books website.
Joe Books has been producing Disney comics for quite a while, including a Disney Princess periodical comic, so my guess is that these are reprints of material already offered to the direct market, so I don’t expect we’ll see a retailer brute squad descending on Joe headquarters just yet.
It’s part of a marketing push at Target for all kinds of merch, but according to PR it’s focused on the Joe Books version of the Princesses.
The books retail for $9.99 so a pretty reasonable purchase to keep your tots quiet for a bit in the back seat.
Disney Princesses is one of the most – if not the most – successful licensing lines of all times, and for several years it was the #1 licensed line. In 2012 it made $1.6 billion in North American retail sales and $3 billion globally. When the toy line went from Mattel to Hasbro it signalled a massive drop in Mattel’s fortunes and a similar lift in Hasbro’s. Luckily Mattel bounced back with the DC Super Hero Girls line, which has also been a massive success.
Given that we now know that little girls read comics, I’m guessing these books will do quite well at Target. And I also suspect that the direct sales market won’t be too upset about missing out on them.
Plus. just like the controversial Wal-Mart DC line, it will introduce comics to a whole new audience. Outreach!
The rest of the Target line includes many products including toothbrushes, toys, disposable diapers, underwear and even soup! With enchanted pasta shapes even! Something for everyone.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.