What is a Property? For most people the term “Property” generally brings to mind real estate or a belonging. In the world of entertainment or licensing and merchandising, a Property refers to a character or a group of characters. In other words, an Intellectual Property. Well known examples are Mickey Mouse as a single Property or the Teenage Ninja Turtles as a group Property.
Properties can be utilized or arise in a book, a comic book, as an image on a cup or can be the focus of a television program or can be utilized in a television commercial.
Billions of dollars have been generated since Mickey Mouse developed in the wonderful mind of Walt Disney and of course the Disney Corporation is the epitome of intellectual Property rights that all others aspire to.
What does a Property consist of? This is where matters become confusing. If you can imagine in your mind, a pizza pie that has been cut up into slices. Or, better still, take a sheet of paper and draw a pizza or a circle. Then, divide the circle into parts – let’s say sixteenths. Each one of those sixteen pieces represents a different part of the whole and each one of those pieces can be sold off or licensed, as is more the common practice.
The following are some of the more common categories that are licensed off as part of a Property; publishing, music, board games, electronic games, clothing, television, action figures, plush dolls, remote control toys, play sets, cards, greeting cards, educational products and so on.
Obviously, the more popular the Property, the more licensing fees are generated and the wider the range of products. A wonderful example of a Property that spun off from a first book is Harry Potter. I’m sure that when JK Rowling was slogging over her first book in a London cafe, she had no idea that Harry would become a world-wide phenomena spawning a huge array of childrens products.
If you have an idea for children that you think kids around the world will crave after, get started. The North American licensing and merchandising market totaled sales of over $60 Billion in 2006 and North American kids spent over $200 Billion in the same year. How to get started you ask? If you have an idea for a character and have limited artistic abilities, hire an illustrator or an art school student to take from your mind and transpose it onto paper. If you enjoy telling stories that kids like, even if your writing abilities are marginal, write them down. The point is – get started. Don’t imagine you are going to be an overnight success. It takes hard work, long hours and a lot of money to become an overnight success, however, if you can develop your idea into something kids enjoy or better still want, you are halfway there.
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