What Hot Topic Learned About Movie Merchandise From Twilight

We’ve all known Hot Topic as one of the carriers of Twilight merchandise. We’ve all also noticed how the quantity of that merchandise changed movie to movie. Here’s what Hot Topic thinks they learned. Interestingly, there’s no thought given to tee shirt design and Hot Topic’s incredibly small size range/cuts of shits, an item that has frequently been discussed here.

According to CFO:

It also comes as no surprise that companies like Hot Topic, a pop-culture-oriented apparel and accessory retailer, are tying their profits to the hit film. Hot Topic, a $697 million company that targets older teens, has a long-running relationship with popular franchises like Harry Potter and Twilight. But budgeting and planning for the movie releases has not always been easy.

“We’ve had some big blockbusters in the past that kind of caused our business to go boom and bust,” says Hot Topic CFO Jim McGinty. “Boom when they came out, and then bust either immediately after” or at the end of the year, when the stores held an abundance of excess inventory that no one wanted to buy.

Case in point: Twilight, the film based on a teen novel about a girl who falls in love with a handsome vampire. After the first Twilight movie was released, the demand for Bella- and Edward-related merchandise shot through the roof — and the company was on a sales high, McGinty says. When the next Twilight film, New Moon, came out, Hot Topic bought more merchandise than it could sell. “We made a big commitment,” he says. “The idea was more about making sure we didn’t miss a sale.”

Ultimately, this strategy backfired. “In buying that much merchandise, we probably didn’t miss a sale, but we certainly gave up margin dollars because of the markdowns on the back end,” says McGinty. Because the stores were so heavily stocked, they would sometimes sell only about 40% of their film-related inventory by the time a popular movie was released.

Definitely check out the rest of the article. Do you agree with their conclusions, or are they missing some key points?

Breaking Dawn Merchandise Now at Hot Topic and Play.com

It’s obviously not the full run of items, but many of the things that were seen earlier today on Play.Com now appear at Hot Topic. Play.com still has about triple the amount of merchandise at the moment; however, Hot Topic has some things not found on the Play.com site. As we said it’s still really early. Likely they will continue to stock items.

Check out Alice’s Necklace

Rosalie has a new necklace too

Hot Topic Clearance Sale on Twilight and New Moon Merchandise

If you want to grab some Twilight or New Moon Merchandise at bargain basement prices now is the time to act. Hot Topic has a 50% off clearance sale going, and that’s in addition to some really low prices. The sale is good through September 12, 2010.

For example, you can get a New Moon Duvet cover for $14.99 . Twilight and New Moon hats are down to $3.99.

To find gift clearance go here and scroll down. The seem to be defining gifts as anything not tops or pants. The real bargains in our opinion are the make-up and jewelry cases that are going at an absolute steal!

To find tee shirt and hoodie clearance, go here and here, and here , and here scroll down.

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.

Hot Topic Soundtrack Listening Party

Once again Hot Topic will be holding listening parties for the Twilight Saga:Eclipse soundtrack at their stores nationwide.  The event will take place on June 4th at 7 pm.  If you preorder the soundtrack at the party you will get a free gift!  Check with your local Hot Topic for any details.

Via Cullen News

Last Day Hot Topic Clearance Sale

If you want some New Moon merchandise this is the last day to get some really sweet deals especially on the accessories page.

Hot Topic Rolls Out Eclipse Merchandise



Hot Topic has rolled out their Eclipse merchandise. Noticeable new additions included Leah Clearwater items featuring Julia Jones, Team Switzerland finally making an appearance, and buttons featuring the trio of Lucy, Nettie and Maria who turn Jasper.


Also notable is the Hot Topic version of Bella’s engagement ring. You can see the Infinite Jewelry version and their version here side by side. The Hot Topic version is on the left and the Infinite Jewelry version is on the right.  Note: we are giving away the Infinite Jewelry version at 11:59pm tomorrow night.

It’s Cookie and E-commerce day.

This weekend is a big shopping blitz for those trying to make sure thing get to where they are going. If you are looking for Twilight items, here are where you can find them (and some coupon codes because who wants to pay full price!)

CafePress (ATTICSINROAD=coupon code for $5.00 off an order of $50 or more) You can use the coupon at any cafepress shop, but in a blazing display of self-promotion we are going to feature our and our current best selling item. 🙂

Right now the Billy Burke inspired Charlie Swan homage is a popular one. No offense to Robert Pattinson but some of us are caught up in the charms of the more seasoned actors.

So check out our CafePress shop and others featuring all sorts of Twilight themed merchandise!

The Infinite Jewelry site that has the official Bella’s bracelet and ring is having  a 10% off Christmas sale until Dec. 18th. So if you’ve been wanting the ring or the bracelet, you can get them at a discount.

The ring matches the description of the turn of the century-style ring that Edward gives Bella in Eclipse. It was designed in consultation with Stephenie Meyer. You can either have it in a white gold or yellow gold look.

The bracelet has a durable wolf charm that was also co-designed with Stephenie Meyer to make sure it was a true replica.

You can also snag official merchandise at Hot Topic and Borders. You can snag 30% off of one item with this Borders Coupon Code, and over at Hot Topic you get $20 off on an order of $75 or more, click here for that deal.

And if you’re done go see New Moon again and maybe bake some Christmas cookies!

Iconic New Moon Lines Hit Hot Topic Tee Shirts

Kiowa Gordon and Jamie Campbell Bower are featured on tee shirts that have what are no doubt going to be the lines that fans ask them to quote for the rest of their lives. Justin Chon has, “La Push Baby” and Mike Welch has ‘How you likin da rain, girl?” that fans ask them to quote, and now we have two new lines from the actual novel and from the screen play:

Check it out on Hot Topic along with new candles, tee shirts, you name it.

Pictures for the Hot Topic Twilight Tour

Yesterday’s stops included Illinois and New Jersey.

The Chicago Sun Times described the scene as Girls Just Want to See Vampires. Having seen Ashley and Kellan in person we agree with these two fans who sated:

“I thought I was going to pass out there for five seconds,” she said.

“They’re even prettier in person,” added friend Ashlyn Slamans, 16, of Sugar Grove.”

The Sun Times has a great photogallery that you can find here.

Over in New Jersey, Charlie Bewley and Dan Cudmore were also a bit hit.

Video via TwiMoms

Hollywood Crush covered the New Jersey event.

“Something else you probably didn’t know? That if Daniel could have any super power, he said he’d choose invisibility. “I would love to be invisible. I would just mess with people all day long.” Charlie said he’d choose flight. “Flying is a natural progression of running. I do a lot of running and sometimes I wish I had a pair of wings.”

On a more serious note, Charlie said all the attention he’s gotten for becoming a part of the Twilight universe is “very humbling. That kind of deafening level [of screaming] is unprecedented.” Daniel added, “How could you complain with all this emotion?” Too much of that attention could become a little less exciting, though — photographers follow every Rob, Taylor, and Kristen Stewart seemingly every second of the day. Charlie said he’s already a target of the paparazzi, but Daniel said he’s been able to keep a low profile so far. “For some weird reason, I’m 6′ 7” and I can hide. No one follows me down the street.” Well, not yet, anyway.”