Paper engineering (the art and science of creating pop-ups and paper sculpture) has inspired a growing, albeit still small, product category dubbed paper art. The sector has attracted a number of entertainment/character licenses over the past 18 months or so:
- Lovepop announced early in December that it had introduced a 3D paper art collection tied to HBO’s Game of Thrones, sold through retail and online. The company’s products could be described as deluxe pop-up greeting cards.
- Momot, a Korean company that markets stylized paper figures in the likenesses of characters from Nickelodeon, Warner Bros./DC Comics, and Disney/Marvel, signed UU Licensing late last year to take the brand global and acquire new IP for its products.
- Paper Punk, which makes paper construction kits involving geometric blocks that are formed into characters and other shapes, signed Hasbro’s My Little Pony in 2016, following the introduction of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles kits the previous year. It also produces SpongeBob SquarePants kits with Nickelodeon. The company promotes its products’ ability to support a STEAM curriculum.
- Wizhead sells paper art kits that allow the user to create sculptural 3D heads of celebrities and historical figures. It signed a license for Aardman’s Shaun the Sheep last year, representing its first foray into character heads.
As these examples show, paper art takes a variety of forms that cross into the arts and crafts, toys, and stationery sectors. While the category is unlikely to expand far beyond a small, novelty opportunity, it can be an eye-catching and unusual addition to a licensed product line.
Raugust Communications’ final e-newsletter for 2017 comes out next Tuesday, December 19. The Licensing Topic of the Month will focus on the strategy of using pop-up shops and pop-up cafés to promote and sell licensed products, while Datapoint will highlight some recent research on the broader world of experiential licensing. If you do not yet receive this free publication, subscribe here.