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Merchandising Store, growing trend

7 September 2023 / per Cerdá Group

The commercialisation of items related to characters from the big screen or the pages of comic books is ubiquitous today, but there was a time when this was not the case. Back in 1977, "Star Wars: A New Hope" hit cinemas around the world. Due to the great reception of the film, George Lucas launched a line of trainers based on the characters. These are known as the precedent of the geek merchandising that today generates more than 7,000 million dollars a year, in the case of the Lucasfilm saga. What began with action figures has now invaded all areas of life, and there are even specialised shops known as "Merchandising Stores". If you want to know why they are so successful and how they use the nostalgia factor to their advantage, read on, because this post is for you.

  1. History of merchandising
  2. What makes licensed products so special?
  3. Merchandising stores

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1. Historia del merchandising

As we have already seen, it all started in the 1970s with George Lucas. He was so sure that his idea of launching products related to the film was going to be a success that he gave up his salary as a director in exchange for 40% of the box office and 100% of the merchandising sales. Today he has made more than $20 billion from the sale of these items.  Star Wars is a mass phenomenon that earns $7 billion a year. It is also part of pop culture and one of the most recognisable sagas in the history of cinema.

You're going to love it: 4 May, Star Wars Day

After the revolution of this first foray into the market, the films that followed George Lucas' galactic saga emulated his approach and saw merchandising as a more important source of revenue than the box office. The model continued to repeat itself and, although some tried to modify it, it was not until 2007 that a turnaround occurred. The Transformers movie grossed 700 million at the box office, marking the first major success by reversing the process: they created a movie based on an existing product. With it began a long line of feature films that, by playing on nostalgia, made millions by bringing video game or toy characters to the big screen. Examples of this in the current year are the two highest grossing films so far in 2023: Super Mario Bros on the one hand and Barbie on the other, both surpassing the $1 billion mark at the box office.

An extreme example of this investment in practice is the Lego movie, which is essentially an hour-long commercial for the Danish company's products.


2. What is special about the merchandising product?

Merchandising has an added value compared to other products, as it allows you to show your tastes, interests and passions to other people. It is more connected to the emotional than to the rational part of the brain, as it appeals directly to the emotions of the buyers. On the other hand, these items are very flexible, as there are licenses that target a specific age range, such as Bluey, while others transcend age barriers and appeal to all types of customers.


The main key to attracting younger children is identification with the character and the fantasy; being able to take their favourite character everywhere sounds great for a child. For adults, nostalgia is very common. Kidults" (adults who have not stopped being children) are the target of these brands, and their effectiveness is more than proven. Of the 5 highest-grossing films in history, 3 are revivals of sagas such as Jurassic Park with Jurassic World or Star Wars with The Force Awakens. Of the top 30, twenty films are comic book adaptations, reboots, remakes or comebacks after years without appearing on the big screen. As if that were not enough, series such as Stranger Things have emerged that pay homage to the eighties and, like the films mentioned above, are mainly based on nostalgia.

You're going to love: Stranger Things, the business of nostalgia


3. Little moments stores

Now that you know the history and reasons for the success of licensed products, you can understand much better why speciality shops are booming. Nostalgia and the ability to unearth happy memories are the order of the day, and if that wasn't enough, customers are looking for just that feeling. Merchandising has an active audience that is genuinely interested in the products and will seek them out for themselves. In addition, these items already carry a brand image and are promoted through their main content, such as films or series.

A merchandising store should only be there to remind the customer that he can get those little moments of nostalgia thanks to its products. This is what SuperMoments, our B2C shop, does. Our products are doses of nostalgia for the grown-ups and fun for the little ones, the shop is a good reflection of this, with trampolines and tubes for the kids to play on and the adults to enjoy seeing products of their childhood heroes.

As you can see, the merchandising business has proven over the years that it is highly profitable and has a wide audience. If you want to help people enjoy life's little moments, at Cerdá we are experts in providing that experience.


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