Marvel has revealed a new show for Disney Junior, “Marvel’s Spidey and His Amazing Friends,” which is slated to launch this summer. In addition to TV content, Marvel plans to release several licensed products, also slated for a summer launch. Licensees already involved include Hasbro, Centric Brands, General Mills and more.
“The rich world of Marvel entertainment has enabled the Hasbro Marvel portfolio to grow tremendously,” said Melissa Kustell, vice president of global brands at Hasbro. “We are excited to continue our collaboration with Marvel by further expanding our preschool product segment and bringing the characters in the upcoming ‘Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends’ animated series to life. The series will be a great entry point for kids new to Marvel super heroes and we hope our range of playsets, vehicles and action figures will add to the fun! “
Global license speaks exclusively with Joe D’Ambrosia, senior vice president, original programming and general manager, Disney Junior, and Paul Gitter, senior vice president, Marvel Licensing, about this new property, his upcoming product program from consumption and more.
Global license: Tell us about “Marvel’s Spidey and His Amazing Friends”.
Joe D’Ambrosia: “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends” is a new original series for Disney Junior and the first complete Marvel series for preschoolers. He follows Peter Parker, Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy, who form Team Spidey and embark on heroic adventures to protect their community.
Each episode features two 11-minute stories and celebrates key Marvel heroic characteristics, including the importance of teamwork, cooperation, and problem-solving. We think this is the perfect series to introduce preschoolers to the powers of friendship superheroes and work together to help others in need.
Who was involved in the production and where will the series live?
JD: “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends” is produced by Disney Junior and Marvel Entertainment in association with Atomic Productions, with Harrison Wilcox as executive producer. The series will debut this summer on Disney Channel, Disney Junior and DisneyNOW in the United States and will also be available on Disney + shortly thereafter. Launch platforms will vary in international territories.
When will the “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends” product line launch?
Paul Gitter: The full line of products, including toys, clothing, accessories and home décor, will debut alongside the series premiere this summer. Now is the perfect time to engage our new preschool audience during a season traditionally more open to creative play and free time.
What strategy is at stake to engage this new preschool audience?
PG: Essentially, we welcome and introduce the next generation of fans to Marvel characters and storytelling. “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends” is the perfect entry point for preschoolers to experience the positive values of teamwork with our Marvel Super Heroes in storylines they can easily relate to and understand. Spidey being such an iconic intergenerational character, we expect families to connect together and share the viewing experience, which will impact purchasing decisions.
What license support will the property have?
PG: We have over 100 licensees and have received a very positive response for the property. We really see a level of theatrical support at all levels. Spidey is one of our most beloved characters with kids and families, and Miles Morales and Ghost-Spider continue to quickly gain notoriety and affinity, so it’s great to see the fanfare surrounding the show and how we can really amplify ownership with our merchandising and retail partners.
JD: We are thrilled with the amount of support behind the product launch for this series and look forward to our young viewers following Team Spidey’s adventures on and off screen.
Can you highlight some license holders?
PG: Our licensees cover toys, games, publishing, apparel, home decor, stationery, kids electronics, and consumables. Highlights include Hasbro’s innovative toy line with age-appropriate characters and role-playing games, and Jazwares is on board with an assortment of stuffed animals and vehicles. For warmer weather play, SwimWays offers a range of Spidey inflatable pool games while KIDdesigns is launching a strong portfolio of interactive learning toys inspired by preschoolers such as electronic keyboards and drums. On the gaming side, families can look forward to action-packed table offerings from Spin Master, perfect for developing cognitive and problem-solving skills in preschoolers.
For apparel and home decor, we have many upcoming global collaborations from Bentex, Centric Brands, Footwear from BBC International, Bedding from Crown Craft and more. On the consumables front, General Mills will launch a line of healthy snacks while Hallmark and American Greetings will make Children’s Day more heroic with a wide array of Spidey-themed birthday cards.
How is “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends” Supported in Retail?
PG: It’s huge and it’s global. Major retailers will support in a big way with dedicated aisle space, end caps and direct marketing to consumers. Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Kohl’s are really rallying around the wallet, and we expect significant visibility both in-store and on e-comm. For the direct consumer, shopDisney.com will offer a full line of toys, clothing and accessories, all aimed at preschoolers and their families. Internationally, popular retailers such as Smyths Toys, Tesco, Carrefour, Lidl, Aldi, BIG W, Liverpool department stores among others will be offering our Spidey line, so we are really focusing on where our families do their shopping every day.