Report: Disney Raked in $28.6B From Licensed Merchandise in 2010

License! Global Magazine’s latest annual tally shows the Mouse House made nearly as much from selling merchandise than all the studios did through global movie distribution last year

If you're Disney, forget movies or theme parks — it's all those toys and T-shirts that really add up to some decent money.

License! Global Magazine on Wednesday released its latest tally of the top merchandise licensors. And once again, Disney came out on top, raking in $28.6 billion in 2010 on such things as Buzz Lightyear dolls and Lightning McQueen toy race cars.

The Disney revenue figure eclipsed its own 2009 performance, when the studio brought in a chart-topping $27.2 billion.

That's a fairly staggering number, considering that the Motion Picture Assn. of America sizes up the 2010 global box office at $31.8 billion.

Meanwhile, at the height of the DVD business, 2004, the studios only generated $21.8 billion all told off of domestic disc sales.

According to the License! report, "Toy Story 3" was the dominant merchandising driver for Disney, accounting for $2.4 billion in sales.

The Disney tally doesn't even include Marvel, which was purchased by the studio last year.

Marvel generated worldwide retail sales of $5.6 billion in licensed stuff in 2010, up from $4.9 billion in 2009.

Among major studios, Warner ranked next in line (and fifth on the License! list overall), generating $6 billion in retail sales in 2010, with its "Harry Potter" and venerable Looney Tunes properties still driving momentum.

Here's the full License! Global announcement:


Disney Consumer Products Tops List with $28.6 Billion in Retail Sales of Licensed Merchandise Worldwide, Top 125 Global Licensors Accounted for More Than $184 Billion in Retail Sales of Licensed Products Worldwide

 New York – May 18, 2011License! Global, the premier publication for brand extensions and retail intelligence, and the official publication for Licensing International Expo, the World’s Brand and Property Marketplace, today announced its annual list of Top 125 Global Licensors.  This exclusive list ranks and analyzes the world’s largest brands and licensing companies by total revenue of licensed products sold at retail.

Disney Consumer Products (DCP) once again ranks as the number one global licensor reporting $28.6 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise worldwide in 2010, up from $27.2 billion in 2009. DCP’s Toy Story franchise, influenced by box office success and merchandise demand for “Toy Story 3”, was the most dominant property of the year at retail generating $2.4 billion in retail sales.

DCP’s retail sales do not include Marvel Entertainment, a wholly owned subsidiary of Walt Disney Company, reported separately.  Marvel generated worldwide retail sales of licensed merchandise for 2010 of $5.6 billion, up from $4.9 billion in 2009, earning the licensor the sixth spot in the annual ranking. Marvel has two major theatrical releases and merchandising programs this summer blockbuster season for “Thor” and “Captain America” with two more scheduled for 2012–“The Avengers” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.”

Iconix Brand Group ranked second with $12 billion in retail sales in 2010, up from $9 billion in 2009 while Phillips-Van Heusen, ranked third, reported $8.7 billion in retail sales.

Mattel, ranked fourth, reported $7 billion in retail sales of licensed merchandise for its portfolio of iconic brands that include Barbie, Hot Wheels and new tween/teen property Monster High.

Ranked fifth, Warner Bros. Consumer Products reported $6 billion in retail sales based on its Harry Potter franchise for which the last feature film will hit theaters in July, Looney Tunes, including a new TV series, plus a major commitment to the DC superheroes with Green Lantern hitting theatres in June and “Batman” planned for 2012, and new TV series.

“The continued growth of major global licensors reinforces how brand extensions–whether traditional merchandise, live events or co-branded partnerships–are an increasingly important business at retail and hugely popular among consumers worldwide,” said Tony Lisanti, editorial director, License! Global.

The top three Global Licensors by vertical industry are as follows:

·       Entertainment–Disney Consumer Products, Warner Brothers Consumer Products and Marvel

·       Apparel–Iconix Brand Group, Phillips-Van Heusen and Cherokee

·       Toy/Character–Mattel, Sanrio and Hasbro

·       Sports–Major League Baseball, Collegiate Licensing and National Football League

·       Corporate Brands(non-apparel, non-automotive)–Westinghouse, Electrolux and Sunkist

This year, License! Global has expanded its listing of the top licensing agencies to 30, adding several prominent international agencies. IMG, which represents various collegiate brands and global sports, entertainment and lifestyle brands, ranked as the number one brand licensing agency reporting retail sales of $7.1 billion.

The top licensors report began in 1998 with 50 companies, previously called “The Nifty Fifty.”  It has been expanded and changed several times over the past decade reflecting the growth and popularity of licensed brands among retailers and consumers.  The brands range from well-know entertainment properties to apparel, sports and corporate brands.

The full License! Global’s Top 125 Global Licensors list can be found at:

Many of the companies from the Top 125 will be showcasing their brands during the Licensing International Expo, being held June 14-16, 2011 at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. For more information about the Licensing International Expo visit