Did Eclipse Merchandise Not Make a Splash?

Hot Topic, one of the biggest retailers of Twilight Saga licensed gear is reporting a hefty loss: According to Business Week:

“Fashion retailer Hot Topic Inc. said Wednesday that its second-quarter loss nearly doubled from a year earlier and topped what Wall Street expected.

The company lost $6.3 million, or 14 cents a share, in the three months that ended July 31, compared with a loss of $3.2 million, or 7 cents a share, a year earlier.

Quarterly revenue dropped 5 percent to $150 million from $157.8 million in the previous year. Sales at stores open at least a year fell 6.4 percent.”

Previously, Hot Topic sales were notably boosted in an otherwise lackluster economy by  Twilight, but once New Moon rolled around there were a lot more vendors in the market, notably Walmart, and things we’re the same.

Now this next part isn’t very scientific, but it’s based on our observations on fandom dress, tweets and emails,and our own general impressions. For New Moon there was a solid six month roll out in Twilight Saga gear starting just after Comic Con footage debuted, through the New Moon release, and well into Christmas. There was lots of hype and PR. Everyone wanted New Moon gear and there were lots of places to get it.

For Eclipse, we barely noticed when the new merch came out in mid-May, and as of today there’s barely three pages still being shown. In general, for Eclipse, there was no months in advance, huge fanfare on merchandise or anything else for that matter. Given how there were no set visits by any outlet (fan or professional) no one had anything to talk about, other than pure conjecture,  to build the buzz. By the time Mid May hit there finally was actual PR with the actors and any merchandise literally got Eclipsed by the actual stars.

For Eclipse, in our opinion, not many things really that had that “wow factor”.  We’ve seen lots of fans at conventions, and most aren’t coming in wearing Eclipse shirts. Frequently they’ll buy something on site, but they didn’t have it ahead of time. Most are wearing New Moon merchandise or things they’ve made on their own or gotten at CafePress. Plus, the economy being what it is, buying more Twilight merchandise may not be realistic for many people.

There are two items we think that should have been a run away hit don’t seem to be making a dent on the convention circuit either, and that’s the Bella’s bracelet and Bella’s engagement ring.  We haven’t seen lots of folks decked out in the Bella NCEA jewelry. Now we’ll admit we are kind of biased. We prefer the version that was made by Infinite Jewelry that Stephenie Meyer had a direct hand in rather than the ones produced by NECA and sold via Hot Topic and other places like Amazon. Take the ring for example. For relatively the same price you can have something designed by Stephenie Meyer that is impressive without being HUGE, with quality, sizable stones and have an option to upgrade into real gold or real stones.  On the NCEA version (see side by side comparison above) you have a ring that is really wide and takes up the space from the bottom of your hand to your knuckle, doesn’t have a yellow gold option, and as one of our readers put it “It looks like a shower head”.

So as a potential buyer of Twilight gear, what’s your take? What products do you have? What products do you wish were available, and what do you think accounts for the sales dip? Who knows, maybe some buyers will read this and gain consumer insight.

Comments

  1. Bridget Phillips says:

    interesting this should pop up now. i was in a hot topic store 2 days ago and saw NO eclipse merchandise at ALL, only new moon t’s on clearance rounds. where did it all go? i was ready to buy pins, t-shirt and a piece of jewelry…ABHOR walmart and will NOT shop there for twilight merch no matter how cheap it is!

    • Same thing in our Hot Topic store-no Eclipse stuff snd I wanted to buy another shirt. There were too many Eclipse things with all 3, Bella, Edward and Jacob on them and too much Jacob stuff. All the crests and wolf pack stuff had already been done so that may be why lower sales.

    • We have two Hot Topic stores and neither of them have had much of anything before, during or after the Eclipse premier and they still don’t have much. So how could they report a loss if there was nothing to sell???

    • I always look for nice book marks, ones with pics of the characters and that have the movie name on it. Well Hot Topic didn’t have anything nice, so I ended up going to Books-A-Million to find some really nice ones and I got my teacher discount. So I got Edward and my ds got one of Jacob. I still need to go back and see if they have any of Bella or others.

  2. I didn’t think the selection of Eclipse merchandise was that great. I’m not one for wearing shirts with characters on them, and I didn’t think there was a great selection of merchandise with just words on it. Also, I think the jewelry is too expensive for the quality. Not having a job also factored into it….

  3. The economy hasn’t changed much over the three films. Probably people just had their fill of Twilight merchandise and decided it wasn’t time to buy another shirt since New Moon had come out so recently. It didn’t give people enough time to build up the anticipation of another film with new merchandise.

    And the ring… I don’t know. I was never really fond of the ring, and neither were my friends. I certainly wouldn’t wear it.

    • This only reinforces Summit’s idea that they have to wait so damn long for Breaking Dawn 1 & 2. There was a saturation of New Moon stuff, there were a whole mess of new people, and people were curious about it all. I guess by the time we FINALLY get to Breaking Dawn, people will be interested again.

  4. Everything looks so similar. All the publicity photos for New Moon and Eclipse were so similar in my opinion. Why would I buy an Eclipse shirt when a New Moon one has practically the same pictures. I don’t need a Twilight shirt for every day of the week. I wear the same one to different events. Maybe if things had a drastically different look I’d feel like I needed a new one. Especially when the economy is bad this is an issue. One shirt will do just fine when the budget is tight. Most big fans want something but once they have that something they aren’t going to buy more.

  5. I would really like to see a Team Charlie t-shrit. I did by an Eclipse t-shirt (2 to be exact) and Bella’s braclet. I have been wanting one since I read the book the firt time. I’m thinking about getting the ring from Infinite Jewelry. I didn’t like the one Hotopic had. They seem to have shirts for everybody else in the cast why not a charlie or Billy Black shirt. I am an “older” fan while I love the main characters, I also am in love with Billy Burk and Gill Birmingham.

  6. I agree with you wholeheartedly!! As someone who owns a LOT of Twi merchandise (trust me-A LOT!!) i found that there just was not nearly the selection of Eclipse merchandise that there was for New Moon. There was alos not nearly the hype for Eclipse as there was for New Moon. I also noticed that most of the places where I purchase Twi merch (Hot Topic, Suncoast, FYE)still have loads of NM merch, most of it ridiculously marked down in price.

    Here is my take on the situation: Anyone who purchased merch when the Twilight movie came out can tell you that NECA did not have enough product to meet the demand. I know that personally, I was forced to buy things that I wanted on Ebay and pay more for them simply because it was sold out in stores. When NM came out, I think NECA wanted to avoid that problem, but they essentially oversaturated the market with product, and now there is lots of it left. Knowing that, I think that may be part of the reason there isn’t as large of a selection of Eclipse merch. That, coupled with less promotion, leads to less sales.

    I agree with you about the engagement ring…the Infinite Jewelry one is way nicer than the NECA one. I’ve had one of the Infinite ones for clsoe to 2 years and I love it! The finish has worn off the band, but to their credit, Infinite Jewelry has agreed to replace under their warranty.

  7. I think that the economy is probably the biggest factor in the lack of sale. I also agree that there wasn’t as much of a push in terms of advertising this and making people interested. I also agree with you, Lin, that fans don’t want to keep buying the same product for every movie.

    For me personally, I wish they had some product that didn’t have movie images pasted all over it. The movies are getting better, but I’m more a fan of the books. I want Twilight shirts that have more to the with the books rather than having Kristen/Rob/Taylor images.

    One thing that I wish was available…. This is going to seem silly, but Barnes and Noble came out with baseball caps for both Twilight and New Moon. I don’t wear them much since they don’t have a place in the back to pull a ponytail through, but they look very nice sitting on top of my bookshelf. I was planning on getting one for every movie, until Barnes and Noble decided not to make one for Eclipse. Very disappointing.

  8. I got two New Moon shirts back in February (I have a one year old and six year old…all of my money goes to them first) and got Bella’s Bracelet from Hot Topic. The Eclipse merchandise wasn’t as advertised as the New Moon stuff, and I think part of that is because they didn’t have a full year to come up with anything snazzy. The other problem was that when I bought the Bella Bracelet, they said that NONE of the Hot Topics are ordering more Eclipse merch. after they run out.
    Honestly, the shirts I wanted to purchase weren’t Hot Topic ones; I originally wanted some from Cafe Press. They’re more original and just plain nicer looking. I wasn’t planning on walking around with Bella and Edward staring at each other after the proposal in New Moon on the front of my chest. That’s just not my taste, but whatever. And the bracelet. The veneer they used to make the wolf russet colored wore off after I wore it a few times, and the first time I wore it the gold clasp holding the heart on turned COPPER. I almost returned it; I didn’t pay 22 bucks for jewelry that isn’t going to stay nice.
    To sum it up, I’m not happy with the Hot Topic merchandise or advertising, and when I get the chance I’m ordering Bella’s Bracelet and Engagement Ring (it’s too pretty not to own) from Infinite Jewelry and a few shirts from Cafe Press. I’d rather pay for good quality shirts and jewelry than pay the same price for something that is going to fall apart or change colors.

  9. I loved some of the eclipse merchandise and own several pieces all from torrid which is owned by hot topic. In my opinion the merchandise came out way too late this time to coincide with the movie release. There was no hype to buy the merchandise because by the time items were rolled out to buy the movie was out already. Also the fact that their wasn’t a big twilight cast tour at hot topic locations probably affected the sales.

  10. I wanted to buy some of the Eclipse merchandise earlier this year but it was like a big secret on when it would be released. When it finally was released, I wasn’t too happy with what was released.

    I still want a Team Jasper t-shirt with him in his confederate uniform & the sexy Jacob bookmark where he’s got his arms crossed over his chest. I can’t even find a decent image on line from what I saw in the bookmarks. It’s very strange.

  11. Twilight Granny says:

    The Infinity ring is much, much prettier and in keeping with the beauty of Twilight. Who would want to weat that other one?

    I have search unsuccessfully for a “twilight granny” t-shirt. Teens and Moms are not the only Twihards.

  12. To be perfectly honest I dont want to buy the ring because it looks nothing like her actual ring. I have bought the new moon jacket and the moonstone ring but i have not really bought to much else in the merch dept. I feel it is all really tween is and nothing really made for anyone over the age of 20 so i just make my own and call it twilight inspired. I would like to see more of actually things in the movie.

  13. I just think so much of it was crappy design. I personally would never wear something with an actor’s face on it, so it would be nice if there were Twilight shirts that just said the book or movie names with some nice artwork.

    The Nordstrom stuff was ridiculously marked up – we work in the t-shirt biz and know how much it costs to make those. It was blatant exploitation of the Twilight fans.

    I hate burnout tees and would love to see that trend die, LOL.

  14. The merchandise rolled out much too late! I already had my tickets to the movie before I could purchase a Tee. I also wanted stuff that wasn’t covered with the cast’s pictures. I love the cast, but I prefer merchandise with a line from the book/movie or something funny in reference to them, so I got my stuff at Nordstrom or Cafe Press.

    I’m sure the economy is a factor, too. I didn’t but a ton of merchandise because I already spent a lot seeing New Moon many times and buying multiple copies of the DVD & the soundtrack. And of course I had to save a chunk of money to pay for all those Eclipse movie tickets. 14 to date :)!

  15. Before you go buy Bella’s bracelet from infinite jewelry, check out BELLATWILIGHTSHOP.COM. They make a very nice, high quality version of Bellas bracelet for the same price as infinite and you can do the ordering through amazon. I wear mine a lot and it is holding up very well.

    • Those are okay bracelets, but they’re not the authorized ones with lifetime warranties, plus I like dealing directly with the company and not with Amazon. Give me the original, for-real, good stuff anyday!

  16. Im a big fan of all things twilight and i have several item from bedding to keychains but its all twilight and new moon. Eclispe items were hard to find and what was found i didnt like. Like others im over thirty and would perfer to wear things without character faces except robert/edward. i to believe that they over did the new moon merchandise and therefore did not do much for eclipse however i hope they get it together be4 breaking dawn comes around. P.S. i wish they would make some t-shirts with the book covers on them (simple).

  17. I don’t like any of the Twilight merchandise. I buy the cafe press stuff that’s original, funny and meant for fans. I don’t want their faces plastered on my chest sorry.

  18. The Twilight/New Moon merchandise overkill put me off greatly, but still I bought posters, tee shirts, buttons, bracelets, etc. Eclipse had little or no promo for merchandise, didn’t see it in any stores until yesterday-I was in Borders and it made me realize, “Oh yeah, I don’t even have an Eclipse poster, huh.”

    It was almost like a social experiment.

  19. I was really interested in getting Bella’s bracelet or a sweatshirt, but Hot Topic’s prices were through the roof. $20 for a bracelet with poor detail and a cheap chain? I ended up going to Hobby Lobby and made my own. I liked their design for sweatshirts, but they were small, thin and $50+

    I think you’re right about Hot Topic loosing sales through competition, and the way to make it up is through innovation and quality, something they clearly didn’t do for Eclipse.

    • I too made my own. I had wanted to do that ever since I read about it in the books. I have also had to make my own necklaces, key chains and such. I couldn’t believe that there was only one Eclipse keychain w/ Edward on it and one w/ Jacob. At least with New Moon, there was some variety, even if it was from Wal-Mart. It was still made by the same company. There was an over-abundance of New Moon stuff and I have yet to find a poster I want. Where is the one with all the Cullens and Bella? I have one for Twilight and one for New Moon, so I want one from Eclipse too.

  20. 1. When you can getter it cheaper elsewhere, you’ll shop elsewhere. This is why there are no Disney stores anymore.

    2. Marketing was awful, timing bad, and products nothing new.

    3. My 14 year old is very skinny but has to buy a large shirt at Hot Topic and they still shrink up. There is no way anything in that store is going to fit me and I am sure this goes for many other larger fans as well.

  21. silvertonguedevil3 says:

    I remember the days when Hot Topic was the go to goth store. Now, they sell Justin Beiber shirts and play rap. Very sad. High mark up on poorly made clothes and other merch. They were selling the red Team Jacob aluminum water can for $14.99 and I got it at Target for $9.00 for my son. I get my shirts from cafepress, much better quality but I don’t really bother with all the little things like wallets, bookmarks, and make-up. If the industry knew what was good for them they would gear for Target or keep with the bookstores for the retail.

  22. For me w/Eclipse they (HT) didn’t bring in a lot of new stuff. You had like maybe 3 Edward shirts & 3 Jacob shirts & 1 team switzerland. With both NM & TW there was A LOT of variety. I kept waiting to see if they would bring in new (and better) stuff. I finally bought one when I had a 50% off coupon for them.I think they would have sold more if there was a bigger variety. Maybe when Christmas comes around? (One can only hope.) And I didn’t even see Bellas bracelet or ring in my local store. Besides Borders that’s the only place I can buy TW stuff. (I haven’t seen any EC stuff at Wal Mart they seem to do that only when the dvd’s are being released.) I think it’s HT’s own fault. Not a big variety.

    • Very true, NO variety. Maybe they’ll come up w/ more for Christmas or for the DVD release, if we even get that before Christmas.

  23. I definitely prefer to buy my stuff on Cafepress. And I bet you can find a Twi-Granny shirt on there as well : )

  24. I don’t want to roam around with people’s faces on my clothes. It’s a little too noticeable, and I hate attracting attention toward myself. The Eclipse merchandise really wasn’t that amazing, except a few accessories.

  25. I like the one that was made ages ago that had a link from Steph’s site.

    • Me too! That’s from Infinite Jewelry Co. It’s still linked on Stephenie’s website, but you don’t go through TwilightTeez anymore, just straight to infinitejewelryco.com.

  26. I have the Bella’s Engagement Ring from Infinite Jewelry Co. It is beautiful. I love it. I also love that you have to be a true Twi-hard to know what it is and the significance of it. I have the fashion ring, and for $40 it is well made, and hasn’t shown one sign of tarnish or wear.

  27. I stopped by Hot Topic last week and was surprised how little Eclipse merchandise there was. And that it was located at the back of the store instead of the front, the usual place for All Things Twilight. I wanted to purchase a bracelet with the word Eclipse stamped on it; all I could find were several Team Switzerland bracelets. Very disappointing.

  28. I have not bought any of the Twilight items from Hot Topic because I’m not a fan of having people pictures plastered across my chest. However I did make a trip to Forks, Washington just before Eclipse came out, and I bought 3 shirts and 2 sweaters from the Dazzled by Twilight store. One of them was an Eclipse shirt. They have much better items then hot topic does and there shirts have quotes on them vs pictures. I think people are willing to spend the money if there are items they want. If anyone makes the trip to Forks make sure you go to the Dazzled by Twilight store. Its a really cool store for fans with lots of cool Twilight items I have not seen before. Its hard not to buy something there.

  29. They didn’t have anything good for Eclipse! I was waiting for the umbrella, an Edward throw, and an Edward pillowcase but haven’t scene any of them yet. I was holding out for an Eclipse pocket Edward, but I haven’t seen any in stores and don’t want it enough to order it online. Also, I’m kind of disappointed because it didn’t really look all that good. I bought one of the Infinaite Jewelry rings last fall and a bracelet off Etsy, so I won’t be buying the NECA version of either. What I would really like is a shirt or a purse or a winter hat with a *little* Cullen crest on it and not some giant Twilight logo or cast member screen printed on it. I think if they made more subtle merchandise they would have better sales. Actually, at this point, they just need more merchandise in general.

    Maybe people aren’t buying because they already have all the Twilight merch they need, or because the movies came out so close together that their New Moon stuff is still new to them.

    Whatever it is, I don’t know, but I’m frustrated at the lack of merchandise.

  30. Thank you for posting this! I’ve been thinking about the lack of Eclipse merchandise since May, and I am so glad that someone brought it up. I was really excited to buy (or at least shop around for) merchandise specifically for Eclipse. However, there is very little going around. This makes me a little frustrated that Summit didn’t push for more merchandise and therefore promotion. Eclipse was such a fantastic film, so I was sorely disappointed with the sub-par merchadise outlet.

  31. I thought the ring looks like a shower head BUT I haven’t seen one in person so…

  32. I bought two Twilight shirts from HT, and one New Moon shirt.. I personally didn’t like the Eclipse gear because ALL of it had faces and ugly embelishments on it. I prefer a quote or pretty picture rather than a face or giant Volturi logo plastered across my chest! I did purchase a shirt from CafePress this year and I plan to do it next time if they dont come out with better products…

    And that ring is just bleh to me. Its too big and just not my style, haha.

  33. I have seen some of the same things as other people: tons of stuff for New Moon, too much stuff in many cases, so when Barnes and Noble is still full of NM bookmarks and posters (as they are, at least the one near me)they’re not gonna order much Eclipse merch.Actually, my B&N didn’t have ANY Eclipse bookmarks or anything that I saw. Interestingly, the Borders near me sold all of its Eclipse stuff pretty quickly, as well as New Moon stuff to the best of my knowledge. As for the Hot Topic near me, they had a fair amount of Eclipse stuff,near the front, and they had sold the small sizes of most of the shirts.The huge men’s sizes were left over. Why they make some of the Twilight tshirts in huge Men’s sizes is beyond me…. I agree with other people that the merch is fairly similar to NM and Twilight stuff in some cases, so why buy another Edward shirt if you already have one? I for one was buying Eclipse shirts because I didn’t have any from before. I hadn’t bought much of anything for Twilight and New Moon except a poster and a bracelet.

  34. I think they waited too long to make it available – I tried to get the trading cards, but they didn’t come out until like a week or two before opening night. The products were totally unoriginal, and too much Jacob. I refuse to buy Jacob stuff, maybe something with all three, but I don’t buy into the way Summit pushes Jacob. And….I much prefer places like Cafe Press – there stuff has some originality and is clever. Not a big hoakie face on your chest!

  35. So I have three issues with this:

    1. How many tee-shirts are we supposed to get?? There are 4 books and 5 movies. I don’t need an entire Twilight wardrobe as much as I am obsessed with the books and a total Twihard.

    2. Many of the clothes then have dates printed on them. I don’t like to buy a shirt that says June 2010 when I would like to wear it two years later.

    3. To make a HUGE bang for selling power, they should have catered a good bunch of the merchandise without the actor’s pictures on them for the grown up fans. At 30, I can’t walk around with a sweater that has Rob and Taylor’s faces on it (as much as I may love all the Twilight movie actors). That is the main reason I bought most of my stuff at Cafe Press and other items made by people other then the major stores.

  36. I also think that more of the infinite jewelry co. rings would have sold if they had actually used that one in the movie instead of that big, tacky thing they used in the movie.

  37. They missed the boat with a few things: 1. I don’t want to wear a shirt with Edward’s face on my boobs! I love the Text shirts, the ones with the forest scene that says Time Passes from NM is awesome. 2. They missed an opportunity with Confederate Jasper. I really really wanted a poster or something with that image and there was nothing! 3. Twilight is not just for size 2 jr high girls. They need less of the ‘tiny tee’ shirts, and more of the normal t-shirts that women over the age of 15 can wear. I’m not fat, or even chubby, but I still can’t feel comfortable wearing something that sticks to me like a swim suit! 4. It all looked the same, the shirts, jewelry, lunch boxes, etc had the same designs as NM. Why would I want more of the same? They need to get fresh faces on the design teams for Breaking Dawn. If they do, they might sell more stuff!

  38. I walked into Hot Topic with a 50% off regularly priced merchandise coupon right after the Eclipse merchandise came out and I ended up leaving with just the button set that include Demetri because it was different. Everything else had too much red and was either Team Edward or Team Jacob. Nothing jumped out at me. Something about that red just makes the merchandise look really cheap.

    When I first walked into Hot Topic when the New Moon merchandise came out, I ended up leaving with a $78 green Bella jacket that I took on my trip to Forks. I picked up quite a few other New Moon items over the next few months and even more when things went on sale.

    It would be nice if HT had carried some more Cullen items and I would love to see Carlisle and Esme merchandise. I ended up buying he Cullen hoodie and a t-shirt at Nordstrom.

    Overall the Hot Topic merchandise just wasn’t as exciting for Eclipse and what they did put out looked cheap. They did have too many different things for New Moon as we know by the glut of merchandise still in HT clearance sections. In scaling back, they needed to hit the mark on what they did decide to sell and for the most part they didn’t. The items that were hot and disappeared were t-shirts with just Alice, Emmett or Jasper. I managed to get a Major Jasper Whitlock bookmark at HT at Hollywood and Highland but then never saw it again.

    The funny thing is, by this time next summer, we’ll be starved for new merchandise. Hopefully Breaking Dawn will give us some great new swag.

  39. I was so disappointed with the Eclipse merch at Hot Topic. With Twilight I spent about 1,000 dollars or more on merch, and with New Moon at least 500. But I bout nothing with Eclipse due to the fact that it was not fun stuff at all. I was expecting great jewelry not cheap stuff that looks terrible and all kinds of stuff besides just shirts like they had with New Moon, and Twilight. Most importantly I was looking forward to getting a music box and trading cards as well as Bella’s ring and bracelet. I finally was able to get the ring and bracelet after searching everywhere online because the stores I checked didn’t have them at all. I was saving money and so ready to blow a lot of money at Hot Topic just with Eclipse stuff. But because of the disappointment with Hot Topic I have been searching the internet for Eclipse merch and spending way more money because of S&H as well as not being as thrilled.

  40. All I want to sau is I NEED MORE JASPER!

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