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Cecile Corral

Here comes the Spider-Man

A host of home textiles suppliers are together spinning a web of product in preparation for the May 3 release of Sony Pictures Entertainment's "Spider-Man."

According to the studio, product shipping started this month, and should have been hitting the shelves last week, about six weeks prior to the movie's release in theaters nationwide.

Rated PG-13, the film is based on the nostalgic property from the 1960s — making the new roster of home textiles products appealing to a broad audience ranging from young children to adults, suppliers agreed.

"We saw this as being a very viable property for this year, and Sony has really given us a lot of exposure and market support," Jeff Jacobs, vp, textile products and global sourcing, Sugar Valley, GA-based Mohawk Home, told Home Textiles Today. "And what also helps is the fact that a lot of parents out there grew up with this property. We're very pleased with the consumer response we've received so far, and I think we've made an intelligent decision to be a licensee."

Feeling equally optimistic is Faye Honor, design manager, Dan River, VA-based Dan River Home Fashions for Kids.

"There will be some longevity after the movie because people are into Spider-Man and the whole comic book thing," Honor told Home Textiles Today.

Dan River is the Spider-Man licensee for full 120-count poly-cotton bed ensembles in twin size only. Ensembles, donning Spider-Man's signature red and blue colors, are composed of a comforter, sheets, bed skirt, window treatments, 16-inch square decorative pillow, snuggle pillow similar to a body pillow, pillow cases, non-woven blanket and fleece blanket.

"We're only offering one pattern — a big image of Spider-Man on the comforter face with a cityscape background," Honor added. "Spider-Man is on everything — his name, face, web, in-action poses, close-up head shots, you name it. There's nobody else on it but Spider-Man, so there's no doubt that it's him."

Dan River is already shipping its product, all made domestically, mainly to mass merchants, Honor said.

Since October, Mohawk Home has been producing a collection of coordinating jacquard tapestry throws and pillows, panel printed fleece throws, chromajet printed scatter rugs from

21" x 34" to 30" x 50" and polypropylene indoor floor mats with-vinyl backing. For its line, which is targeted toward discount, specialty and gift store customers, Mohawk is using up to seven Spider-Man designs.

"We're trying to cater to both markets — juvenile and adults — simultaneously," Jacobs explained. "The vast majority of our product will be geared toward the kids. But our nostalgic product for the parents and adults will be focused on throws and pillows because that type of product caters more to them."

The other home textiles licensees for Sony's Spider-Man property are Huntington Beach, CA-based Crown Crafts for figural pillow buddies; Mount Prospect, IL-based Hedstrom for slumber bags, playhouse, beanbag chair, foam chair and wall decor; and New York-based Jay Franco & Sons for beach towels, bathroom accessories, hamper/toy chest, 2-D bath sponges and 3-D pillows.

"I believe that these categories are a cornerstone of any successful program," said Al Ovadia, executive vp, Sony Pictures Consumer Products. "Children immerse themselves in the world of Spider-Man, transforming their rooms into fantasy worlds with sheet sets, comforters, lamps, throw rugs and other key components of this critically important category."

Ovadia said Sony has not created any product promotions specifically related to domestic goods, "but they are an integral part of all of our promotional activity with key retail partners for Spider-Man. We have a number of programs in place with Wal-Mart, Target, Kmart and others that would cater to these categories."

Nonetheless, Pat Moyer, Mohawk's vp, marketing, said Sony's otherwise strong packaging efforts made the Spider-Man license an attractive property to translate into home textiles.

"They've got a tremendous packaging guide they've given us, and their artwork is very vibrant and action packed," Moyer said. "Everything [is] packaged with inserts and hang-tags to help at the point-of-sale. We expect it to be very strong."

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