Townley aims to win with Victorious, a collection of beauty products based on Nickelodeon’s hit show starring Victoria Justice, who many call the new youth “It” girl.

This story first appeared in the July 15, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Victorious could be the next hot property following in the footsteps of Hannah Montana. Wal-Mart will be first out of the gate with Victorious merchandise for back-to-school. This move is reminiscent of Wal-Mart’s success with Hannah Montana merchandise with in-store boutiques during b-t-s and holiday in 2009 and 2010. In addition to other traditional licensed merchandise including clothing, jewelry, lunch kits, toys and electronics, Townley will provide four gift sets, including the company’s first foray into bath and body products. According to Nickelodeon, there are more than 250 Victorious-themed products slated for b-t-s at Wal-Mart.

If the success of Hannah Montana is any indication, Victorious will be the biggest story of b-t-s, said industry observers. The Hannah Montana headquarters concept had brisk sell-through, according to Wal-Mart officials who said the merchandise was available chainwide with 750 specialty boutiques set up in select stores.

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Abe Safdieh, Townley’s chief executive officer, thinks Victorious could be even bigger. “The character is wholesome and smart, plus the story line is clever and there are characters that lend themselves to products, too,” said Safdieh. Townley has had a knack for hitting upon hot licenses in the past, including Stuff by Hilary Duff, Hannah Montana and Disney Princesses.

“Victorious” follows teenager Tori Vega, played by Justice, who attends a performing arts high school, Hollywood Arts. She feels out of place with the other talented students, but with the help of her older sister she realizes how important performing is to her life. Since its launch last April, “Victorious” has been the number-one program in its time slot on all TV with tweens between 9 to 14 years old and teens 12 years old to 17, reaching 15.1 million tweens and 11.4 million teens each quarter.

The items in the lineup from Townley include a Shining Lip & Nail Set with high-shimmer gloss wands, nail polish and a water resistant pouch; a Make It Shine Lip Jelly with a 3-D cosmetics case; a Hit the Stage Nail Polish Set with eight mini nail polish lacquers, and a bath and body collection called Make It Shine that includes four mini body lotions and four body washes. All sets have suggested retails under $6.

“We’ve launched new Victorious products that represent the fun and glamour that fans have come to expect from our hit live-action comedy series,” said Hal Snik, senior vice president of domestic licensing at Nickelodeon Consumer Products. “By working with Townley, we have created high-quality and affordable ‘Victorious’-themed beauty products that reflect the style and imagination of our show.”

Wal-Mart executives confirmed there is already interest in Victorious merchandise, which has started filtering into stores and will be in a full presentation within the next few weeks in most of the chain’s stores.

“It is opening the door for our first true bath and body venture,” said Gwendolyn Ferdinand, marketing coordinator for Townley. “We are known for our branded cosmetics and cosmetics accessories, now we can enter the bath market with a very strong, popular brand — Nickelodeon Victorious.”

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