Doctor Who Action Figures To Invade North America
by Jay Cochran
October 07, 2006
BBC Worldwide announced today the appointment of Underground Toys Ltd. as the North American manufacturer and distributor for Doctor Who toy and collectible products, including the popular figure line from the UK’s award-winning Character Options Group. The deal was brokered by MOST MANAGEMENT, BBC’s North American licensing agency for the Doctor Who franchise.
Underground Toys will be bringing action figures, R/C figures, 12" collector dolls, clocks, watches, electronic gadgets, electronic keychains, diaries and more to market through their own distribution channels, direct-to-chain stores and through sub-distributors around the country. Underground Toys directly supplies specialty market retailers including Borders, Hot Topic and Spencer Gifts as well as independent retailers, comic book and hobby stores. Underground Toys will begin shipping initial products in time for the holidays, with a full roll out of the items in February 2007 at the International Toy Fair in New York.
Already a huge success in the UK, the Doctor Who toy line was the second highest-selling last Christmas in the UK and is expected to repeat its success this year. The line also won Best Licensed Toys and Games Award and the Innovation Award at the 2006 Licensing Awards.
“Underground Toys recognizes that there is a growing demand for Doctor Who products at retail in the USA and will be strongly pushing and supporting the brand into specialty retail,” said Robyn Morgan, Underground Toys' Licensing Manager. “We are focused on executing the merchandise program effectively in conjunction with the growing popularity of the new Doctor Who series."
“Underground toys has a wealth of experience and knowledge in the market along with an enthusiastic approach to the Doctor Who brand,” said Anna Hewitt, Head of International Licensing, BBC Worldwide. “We are thrilled that fans both new and old in North America will have a chance to purchase Doctor Who products.”
The first season of the new Doctor Who proved a huge success for SCI FI Channel, delivering an average of 1.5 million viewers each week. The second season began with a two-hour premier on September 29th, where over a million viewers tuned in to watch the new Doctor, David Tennant.
Doctor Who: The Complete First Series has become BBC Video’s best selling ‘Doctor Who’ DVD title ever in North America. The second series will arrive on DVD January 16, 2007, following the airing on SCI FI Channel this fall. In addition, over forty classic Doctor Who episodes are currently available on DVD through BBC Video, with new releases in the classics line releasing each quarter. A range of Doctor Who novels, featuring adventures from the new and classic Doctor Who series, is available through Diamond Book Distributors.