Disney is 2010's Top Licensor With $28.6 Billion in Retail Sales
Disney is 2010's Top Licensor With $28.6 Billion in Retail Sales

NEW YORK - The Walt Disney Co.'s Disney Consumer Products unit once again ranked as the top licensor in the world in 2010 with $28.6 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise worldwide, according to an annual ranking by License! Global magazine.

That is up 5.1 percent from $27.2 billion.

The Toy Story franchise, driven by the box office success and merchandise demand for Toy Story 3, was the company's "most dominant property of the year" at retail, generating $2.4 billion in sales, the trade publication said. Disney also believes that Cars 2 could have a similar impact this year, it said.

Disney's figures do not include Marvel Entertainment, which the company now owns, but which were reported separately. Marvel's retail sales of licensed merchandise for 2010 amounted to $5.6 billion, up from $4.9 billion in 2009, and earning the licensor the No. 6 spot in the ranking, up from the eighth spot.

Time Warner's Warner Bros. Consumer Products came in fifth with $6 billion, unchanged in terms of sales, but down one rank, followed by Viacom's Nickelodeon Consumer Products with $5.5 billion in the seventh spot, also unchanged in terms of sales, but down two spots compared with last year.

Other entertainment companies on the list include DreamWorks Animation, which wasn't on the list in 2009, and Lucasfilm, which ranked 14th in 2009, in the 16th and 17th spots, respectively, with around $3 billion in estimated retail sales of licensed product.

Time Warner's Cartoon Network Enterprises, with $2.4 billion (up from $2.1 billion in 2009), landed in the 24th spot (down from 21st), and Twentieth Century Fox Consumer Products ranks 26th (down from 24th last year) with $2 billion (unchanged).

NBCUniversal rose from 41st to 35th with $1.3 billion (up from $1 billion).

Iconix Brand Group (Candie's, Bongo, Joe Boxer etc) retained the No. 2 in the ranking with $12 billion in retail sales in 2010, up from $9 billion in 2009, "reflecting in part the acquisition of the Peanuts property" as well as international expansion and a joint venture with Madonna that has helped the development of the Material Girl brand, License! Global said.

Phillips-Van Heusen (Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole, DKNY etc) remained No. 3 with $8.7 billion, up from $6.6 billion.

Toy giants also ranked highly on the list once again.

No. 4 Mattel reported $7 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise for its portfolio of brands that include Barbie and Hot Wheels, as well as hot new brand Monster High.

Hasbro ranks 12th with $3.7 billion.

Major League Baseball remained the biggest sports league on the list (9th, down from 6th, with an estimated $5 billion, unchanged, in retail sales), ahead of the NFL (15th, down from 13th, with an unchanged estimate of $3.25 billion).

The Top 125 global licensors on the list accounted for more than $184 billion in retail sales of licensed products, with 47 of them reporting sales of $1 billion or more.

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