Diamond Deal with Toho for Japanese Godzilla Merch
In perhaps the biggest deal of this type announced to date, Toho Company Ltd. and Diamond Comic Distributors have inked a deal for Diamond to bring Japanese (and other non-U.S.) Godzilla merchandise to the U.S. and Canada in a comprehensive program, the companies are announcing Thursday. Diamond will choose, market, and distribute the products.
Masaki Fujiwara, General Manager of the Toho Los Angeles office said the program will “…share a wider and more complete line of Godzilla merchandise.”
Merchandise categories will include toys, comics, collectibles, and lifestyle products.
The first listings, in Diamond’s May Previews catalogue, include X-Plus, Tamashii Nations, and Marrmit figures and exclusive Godzilla t-shirt designs. Those products will ship in July.
Godzilla is on a big upswing, driven by anticipation for the new Legendary feature, which started shooting in March and will premiere May 16, 2014 (see “Juliette Binoche and Ken Watanabe Join ‘Godzilla’”). IDW has been running a successful comics program, and is launching a new ongoing series in June (see “’Godzilla: Rulers of Earth’”).
Spearheaded by Diamond VP-Biz Dev John Parker, Diamond has signed a number of deals to bring in products produced for other markets in officially sanctioned programs, most recently for merch tied to Viz properties (see “Japanese Viz Merch to North America”).
While not directly targeting gray market importers, a Diamond spokesperson said they expect an impact. “We believe that providing steady product access will reduce the gray market imports,” he said.
GODZILLA Sets His Eyes on North American Retailers with Help from Diamond
Toho Company, Ltd. the producer of twenty-eight GODZILLA motion pictures, and Diamond Comic Distributors, the world’s largest distributor of comics, graphic novels and pop-culture merchandise, have reached an agreement that will bring the best GODZILLA merchandise from Japan and beyond to the United States and Canada. Diamond will choose, market, and distribute the highly desired and sought after GODZILLA toys, comics, collectibles, and lifestyle products, many of which have previously been available only in Japan.
“GODZILLA has been a pop culture icon since he was unleashed on the world in 1954,” said John Parker, Diamond’s VP- New Business Development. “Now that Diamond can provide a complete offering of awesome GODZILLA merchandise from Toho, the long lost and unavailable figures and collectibles will be easily accessible to the fans of the nuclear beast. With a new film in production and scheduled for release in May, 2014 the monster merchandise will be here just in time to make its way onto the shelves of North American retailers.”
”We are very excited to be teaming with Diamond Comic Distributors in this opportunity to share a wider and more complete line of Godzilla merchandise,” said Masaki Fujiwara, General Manager at the Los Angeles office of Toho Co., Ltd. “I hope the Godzilla fans in North America are as thrilled as we are.”
Get your wallets ready guys! This is going to be HUGE!!!!!!!!!