Genius Brands International announced its first direct-to-retail program with specialty retailer, Hot Topic, to create a line of apparel for the Stan Lee brand as part of this year’s Stan Lee Centennial celebration campaign.
Under the new deal, Hot Topic will create an exclusive line of officially licensed Stan Lee-branded print-on-demand apparel, available at Hottopic.com in time for holiday. In addition to Hot Topic, Genius Brands is working with licensing partners, including Funko, Bioworld, Changes, Iron Studios, JADA, Mego, Mighty Mojo, Moor Art, Royal Bobbles, Sideshow and more, to create a curated product capsule, including apparel and collectibles, for the Stan Lee Centennial Collection. Additional product categories will follow in early 2023.
“We are launching the Stan Lee Centennial campaign to carry on his legacy for his millions of fans worldwide. We take our role of managing the Stan Lee brand very seriously and are being extremely selective with our partners, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring Hot Topic on board to drive this first direct-to-retail program for the brand,” said Genius Brands chief brand officer.
“Stan Lee is a legend and one of the most prolific creators of a generation. We are excited to partner with Genius Brands to celebrate Stan’s life and his invaluable cultural contribution through the creation of a direct-to-retail program that features high-quality merchandise for fans to enjoy,” said Hot Topic Inc EVP merchandise and marketing Ed Labay.
Genius Brands, through a joint venture with POW! Entertainment, owns and manages the global rights to the legendary Stan Lee’s name, physical likeness, voice, signature, and IP, called Stan Lee Universe, which includes the Stan Lee Celebrity brand, as well as new content to be created from Stan Lee’s portfolio of approximately 150 unmined ideas and character creations in his post-Marvel career, along with consumer products programs to be developed for these new projects. This year’s Stan Lee Centennial campaign, celebrating Stan’s 100th birthday, is the first phase of a much broader Stan Lee Universe program.
Recently, Genius Brands signed a 20-year deal to license the name and likeness of Stan Lee to Marvel Studios for future feature films and television productions, as well as to create and sell merchandise in Disney theme parks and experiences worldwide.
Stan is one of the most prolific and legendary comic creators of all time. As Marvel’s editor-in-chief, Stan ‘The Man’ Lee helped build a universe of interlocking continuity, one where fans felt as if they could turn a street corner and run into a superhero from Spider-Man to the Fantastic Four, Thor, Iron Man, the Hulk, the X-Men, and more. Stan went on to become Marvel’s editorial director and publisher in 1972, and was eventually named chairman emeritus.
Stan also appeared in some of the most popular films of all time. His well-known cameos in Marvel films began in the 1989 telefilm The Trial of the Incredible Hulk. After the release of X-Men in 2000, he appeared in nearly every Marvel film and television project until his passing in 2018.
Among Stan’s many awards is the National Medal of Arts, awarded by President Bush in 2008, and the Disney Legends Award, received in 2017. He was also inducted into the comic industry’s Will Eisner Award Hall of Fame and Jack Kirby Hall of Fame.