Saturday, August 16, 2008

Trickle-Down Effect for Harry Potter and Twilight Carries Over into Cards

Just as Harry Potter's grown up, so has his core group of readers. Although Potter is still wildly popular, the "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyer has become the "next big thing." Combining vampires, romance and angst, the bit that I've read thus far presents a darker, more grown up departure for those that grew up with images of Hogwarts in their head.

It was just announced that the sixth Harry Potter film was pushed back from a November release until next summer. With a major spot available on the Christmas blockbuster calendar, the Twilight adaptation was swiftly shifted from a December release to take the spot left void by Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The change has some potentially major ramifications for non-sport collectors as well.

Inkworks is handling the Twilight license, one that I could see bringing a whole lot of new collectors into the hobby much like Buffy the Vampire Slayer did about a decade ago (teenagers and vampires - I see a pattern). Inkworks just released some initial details for the set and there's no autographs or costume cards mentioned. I believe the set was already on tap for a November release, a couple weeks ahead of the film so there's not a lot of change here as far as the release date goes.

However there's bound to be less competition as Artbox will likely be forced to push back their planned Hal-Blood Prince set seeing as there's no movie to go with it. Although Artbox has put out some awesome sets in the past couple of years for 24 and Frankenstein, they haven't been met with much fanfare. I've noticed the recently released 24: Season Five set - already delayed by about a year - has had somewhat soft sales and there's not much out there to boot. Harry Potter has by far been the primary license for Artbox for the past several years, offering literally more than a dozen sets chalk full of autographs from the main cast members and limited costume and prop cards. Most every one of Artbox's Harry Potter sets has been gorgeous, save for the very bland Memorable Moments that offered a too-simple design and no text on the back.

I don't know about their books, but without any good-selling sets, how is Artbox supposed to pay the bills? Having their tentpole set pushed back six months after an already slow year cannot bode well for the company. I'm not speculating about what's going on behind the scenes, nor do I have any insider info on this topic. It's just reality. I sure do hope everything works out well for Artbox as I think their sets are some of the best in non-sports. It's just interesting to see how one change outside of their control can have such potentially large ramifications. On the bright side, those who were budgeting for both Twilight and Harry Potter this fall now have a little more wiggle room.


Captain Canuck said...

who won the contest???

Ryan Cracknell said...

Check your inbox ; )