Have you ever been driving and seen a car with a possible Outlander license plate, or window decal, and got all excited because, another FAN IN MY AREA!!!? Window decals are cute, but semi-permanent, and a lot of people don’t like to use them. But a new licensed merchandise product solves that problem – you can advertise your fan(atic) status AND keep from putting anything permanent on your car!
EMCE Toys (Fourth Castle) recently debuted this Sassenach On Board suction cup car sign, available now on Amazon, and I’ve got some to give away! Look to the bottom of this post to enter.
When I started writing about licensed Outlander merchandise, one of the first manufacturers I talked to was Joe Sena from EMCE Toys. Joe sent me photos of some of his proposed items, and I thought they looked great, but these never made it to market. I knew the world of licensing wasn’t always easy – you had multiple organizations that had to approve products; you had to correctly gauge the show’s audience and the fan response to your items; and it cost such an awful lot to bring something out that you didn’t want to guess wrong.
But it’s taken EMCE quite a while to actually fulfill their license and bring out this first item (with more to come). EMCE’s route to licensing is a little different from most companies – Joe and his wife are friends with Ron Moore, and were talking to him about this possibility before the show began production. “Ron is an old friend of ours from the ‘Star Trek’ days, when I produced product and my wife worked on the series,” he said. “Ron had just wrapped up Galactica, and we were having dinner, and he mentioned the Outlander project. My wife said she had been reading the books for years, and Ron said ‘you too?’”
Most of EMCE’s material is action figures and toys, but Outlander required something different. “We wanted to do items for the book readers,” Joe said. Their second item will be a word poetry set – which should be out just in time for Christmas. “I had been around the block on licensing, so I know what happens when you put a property into different media. This had to be words in the books as well as the show. My wife helped select passages that were classic, and we cross referenced with scripts from the series.”
When I talked with Joe before, the items they were proposing didn’t include either the car sign or the word magnet set. “Our idea of what to make now is very different than three years ago – but it’s still within the category they gave us. We don’t spend a lot of money on licensing, so we asked what categories we could have, and they handed us a list.”
Their category includes a Jamie action figure, the car sign, magnets – including the word set, but the company plans to also produce molded souvenir magnets of Lallybroch and other places from the show, “like if you’re going to those places,” Joe said. “We’re trying to do light things – our first run of the car sign sold out in a week. Most licenses we have direct buyers for. We took this as a flyer for our wives, and because Ron is a friend. And Sony has been great to work with.”
Joe has since become a huge fan as well. “Outlander is the best hour of TV on right now, and I can’t take my eyes off of it. I’m actually finishing lines with her. I don’t know how they’re not racking up Emmys left and right.” He laughs, “I’m an FOF – friend of Frank. This isn’t a rocket or a raygun or a monster. Three years later, I’ve actually started producing this stuff because we know people want to buy it.”
The Jamie action figure won’t be out until after the holidays, Joe thinks (although watch this space if that changes!). It will be priced at $29.99 (not made to compete with the expensive Tonner doll that is in the works). It will be easier to dress up your EMCE Jamie than your Funko Jamie! Joe says to look at the sculpt photos rather than the prototype photo – heads are difficult to do, and this was no exception, but it finally got Sam Heughan’s approval (and the sculpted head photos look terrific, don’t they!).
EMCE’s Outlander products, at least for now, will only be available from Amazon. “We have one sales guy. They’re not going to 3,000 comic book stores, or Target. It’s easier to just go through Amazon. It’s 2017 – if you can’t find it on Amazon, it doesn’t get made. If someone really wants a product, just type it into Amazon, it will come up.”
I’m giving away 3 of the new car signs! Sorry, I can only send to US addresses. To enter, fill out the Rafflecopter entries below. If you have problems entering through Rafflecopter, please try a different browser (or computer rather than mobile, etc.).
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