NEW YORK -- Stanley Buchthaul's career has come full circle.
The man who once sold jeans for a living, represented Jane Fonda and Menudo licensing agreements, and was executive producer of the movie "Hairspray" is now licensing a mixed bag of properties, ranging from "Ripley's Believe It or Not" to the Beatles.
Buchthaul, chairman and chief executive officer of Buckeye Communications, and Mark Hershhorn, the company's president and chief operating officer, met in 1992, when Hershhorn was president of National Media, a Philadelphia infomercial company.
Buckeye puts up the money to develop products around the properties and then sells them through infomercials, home shopping, direct response, direct mail and retail. One of the things that makes their package different is the themed shows they create to surround the products that will be sold on home shopping networks.
According to Hershhorn, the company should do $10 million over the next 12 months.
For Sea Hawk Deep Ocean Technology, a company that specializes in underwater ship wreck recovery and pulled up 17,000 artifacts from a 1622 Spanish galleon off the Dry Tortugas in 1989, Buckeye created a line of jewelry that is sold on home shopping networks such as QVC, HSC and Value Vision.
The jewelry, priced from $39 to $300, includes pearl necklaces, medallions and rings with designs inspired by silver coins and miniature olive jars found on the ship. The Sea Hawk show features an expert with film footage of underwater recovery.
Another jewelry line, Faces of Art, from New Orleans, features ceramic pins with handpainted faces that sell for $9.95 to $65.
Planet Gear is a label developed for what Hershhorn and Buchthaul claim is the only original piece of art created by the Beatles. Buckeye reproduced 1,000 limited edition lithographs, which sell for $2,000. The company also slapped the abstract painting onto T-shirts, denim jackets, boxer shorts, sweatshirts and caps.
Another unusual project is "Texas Adventure," a joint project with Mitsubishi. The adventure film, which recreates the battle of The Alamo, will open June 29 in a special-effects theater across from The Alamo in San Antonio. The company said it is considering a line of frontier clothing for the project.If that's not wild enough, how about a line of replica products based on Robert Ripley's artifacts, art and cartoons. Buckeye is working on a "Ripley's Believe It or Not" home shopping show.
Buchthaul, who co-founded Bugle Boy Jeans in 1978, sold his interest in 1983 and got into licensing. Apparel is never far from his agenda.
World Issue, a trade name Buckeye created, is associated with environmental products.
"We're working on an organic, natural fiber line and talking about developing it into outdoor clothing for hiking and biking," Buchthaul said.
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