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DreamWorks and Wal-Mart Partner For Dragon

Walmart and DreamWorks

The Wall Street Journal reports that Wal-Mart will be the exclusive retailer for merchandise related to the DreamWorks feature How To Train Your Dragon. According to the paper, 95% of the products tied in to the movie will be available only at Wal-Mart, including “apparel and toys to custom-made Oreos with a red filling, to symbolize the fiery exhalations of the titular creatures.” The video on the WSJ website has more details about the extent of the deal, and mentions that Wal-Mart is the film’s master toy licensee and was involved in product and package design.

  • ScreechOwl

    I really really want HTTYD toys… but I really really don’t want to go to Walmart.

  • JMatte

    My expression mirrors Toothless’
    I hate exclusive, monopoly deals like this.

  • Mark

    Wait–I gotta watch a commercial before watching a commercial promoting toys of a feature length commercial to sell more toys?


  • Bob

    What a coincidence, because How to train your dragon will end up in Walmart’s five dollar dvd bin.

  • A

    Bob… let me ask you something, have you seen the movie?
    Oh right… you are one of those around here whom don’t have opinions, but chooses to say things according to what logo appears in front of a screening.

  • Bob

    I’m guessing the A is for assume?

  • Sunday

    Sooner or later everything ends up in … The Bin.

  • humming

    95% is a ridiculous statistic. Would this mean I wouldn’t even be able to get the DVD unless I go to A PARTICULAR STORE?

  • I’m with Screech on this one… Excited about the toys for me and my son but not going to walmart for em.. ah well. Guess I’ll save my 50 bucks.

  • Pedro Nakama

    Great submit a comment after that horrible virus that took down my computer. I wonder where I got it?
    Wal-Mart is giving companies more money than they can imagine for exclusive deals like this. Last year the band Kiss had an exclusive deal to sell their new CD only at Wal-Mart.
    Bob go see the movie. I saw an advance screening and it looks like it’s the best DreamWorks animated film EVER.

  • victoria

    Doesn’t really matter, lots of people may see the movie but not buy the toys.

    I mean Avatar did really well but has anyone actaully purchased the action figures?

  • JMatte

    The DVD should be out of the exclusivity deal. Just like most of the books can be found online or at bookstores.
    It seems that for toys and apparel, Walmart has control.
    Still, 95% is a pretty big chunk.

  • Karen

    Some bands do this, so probably yes. I won’t set foot in WalMart by choice. They’re anti-worker, and anti-competition.

  • John

    I have seen the movie and it will end up in the $5 bin.

  • well at least there will be toys. I really wanted Panda toys, but could never find any.

  • JMatte

    I do hope you will give us your review if a talkback entry about the movie is made on Friday. I’m curious to hear your views, to give it a
    5$ bin result.
    Not here though- this is the Walmart thread.

  • mrscriblam

    oh wow thats a classy business decision


    God, amid, you suck! stop posting things revealing unsavory and embarrassing things about dreamworks intellectual property and its distribution! LISTEN: have you seen the movie? are you an artist? can you make a better movie? do you get paid over 4 figures a month? if the answer is no to ALL or ANY of these questions, then just SHUT UP and NEVER post anything negative about dreamworks again!

    plus THIS IS A MERCHANDISING ISSUE! don’t blame it on the artists! the artists are blameless! we the artists at dreamworks have FAMILIES and MANY MOUTHS TO FEED, and they will STARVE as a result of your fancypants opinions, you stupid artsy-loving snob!

    go back to reviewing incoherent french shit and leave our shrek’s and shark tales alone! you know what’s great about working with DW? all the money. we’re on the forbes list you know. We get paid in gold nuggets. does sylvian chomet get paid that way? NO.
    so just SHUT UP. I bet ‘real’ artists like david o’ reilly CREAM themselves imagining the day walmart will sell their crap. SO JUST SHUT UP.

  • Jay Sabicer

    It’s quite a gamble to Dreamworks Animation to put all their dragons into one basket. I’d be curious if WM had strong-armed DW into this type of arrangement under threat of not carrying their DVD/Blu-Rays once they came out this summer? Could the merchandise deal be a prelude to an outright purchase of DWA by Wal-Mart is the same way Disney has their own consumer products enterprise? Open a window, I smell anti-trust.

  • everyone needs to see this movie before they assume it’s just another 5 dollar bin flick, and it isn’t.

  • Sunday

    For what it’s worth, I found The Iron Giant in the $5 bin once. :|

  • joe s

    why the hate for wal mart? i love getting everything i need in one location. this is america isn’t it?

  • OtherDan

    I guess Walmart has higher hopes than Dreamworks does on the merchandising potential…Interesting bet. It’s like a settlement agreement. As long as both parties are happy, I don’t see the problem. But, it does make you want to see a winner and a looser-just because. People say they despise Walmart’s business practices, yet they still shop there. I’m curious how this 95% compares to other recent merchandising deals.

    This is for all of you kids. An opposing point of view.
    Can you handle it?

  • amid

    Here’s a a story in this month’s Atlantic about Walmart’s positive strides in the supermarket industry (and into Whole Foods territory).

    I don’t have strong feelings either way on Dreamworks hooking up with Wal-Mart, but from a promotional standpoint, it’s a bold and risky move on Katzenberg’s part, and I’m curious to hear how it works out.

  • Marc Baker

    That image with the Walmart ‘happy face’ over the main character will make some people think it’s a jab at ‘The Watchman’, and they could probably add in the blood stain.

  • Jay Taylor

    John Sanford: Thanks for those links!

  • John

    Jmatte, no worries.

  • Ethan

    These exclusives are the only way to get product shelf space. Dreamworks are taking the risk of reducing significantly their market share, in the hope that the retailer will put the products on the shelf and pay for a lot of the development.

    And this has nothing to do with animation, unless you intended to buy HTTYD toys to do some sop-motion… no wait a sec… I have an idea !

  • anon

    Remember this:

    That probably has more to do with it then anything else.

    This isn’t really anything new though. How many exclusive Cars toys are there. If you type “walmart exclusive” into ebay you’ll get Spiderman, Trasformers, etc you name it, all studios do this. The only difference is 95% is a lot more then most studios. I imagine that Dreamworks got a lot of money, WalMart gets more foot traffic and maybe there might be better Dreamworks toys.

  • Mark

    Well, it is true walmart forces companies to send jobs overseas to produce their products cheaper and cheaper (and less safe, with less safety regulation). If you like walmart, you like not having a job.

  • Ethan

    @Mark, that is very true, and I certainly won’t defend walmart, but ALL corporations do this. This is one of the flaws of international trade laws being controlled by those corporations.

  • Jeffrey T. McAndrew

    I actually enjoy most of the bickering back and forth between Amid the Dreamworks and Filmation fans. “WHINER McKATZENBERG”s defense made me laugh.

    My opinion is that Dreamworks animation has produced some beautiful animation, but like ALL studios they do not have a perfect record. I’ll save my opinion of HTTYD for when I see the movie, but I am a Chris Sanders fan. I really, really would like to see them take a stab at another 2D feature.

    Filmation I hate just as avidly as Amid. I think their worst offense was “pinocchio and the emperor of the night” which still makes me gag even though I havn’t seen it in 15 years.

  • Sara H.

    So what I’m hearing is they are taking the leftover red christmas oreos and repackaging them as dragon oreos? lol, I almost wish I had kids so I could refuse to buy those for them.

  • Tweedle
  • Bob

    Tweedle I really hope that article is satire. Cus’ it made me laugh hysterically

  • Thomas

    Good, now I won’t have to see them while shopping.

  • Last week I saw an advance screening of DRAGON. It is nothing extraordinary, but it is fun, lots of laughs, good characters, terrific designs and quite thrilling at times. In my review of the movie (you can read it at my “Movie Mad” website: I mention that Dreamworks will make a killing in toy sales at Wal-Mart. I wrote that and posted it one day before I read on Cartoon Brew that Wal-Mart is the exclusive retailer for DRAGON merchandise. Anyway, the movie is a good-time, but the 3D isn’t necessary to enjoy it.

  • Sylvain

    The red color in those cookies is the blood of kittens that Katzenberg strangled very slowly himself. Same things for the red paint on Pixar’s Cars that was also exclusive at walmart: it was Lasseter strangling puppies.

    I got that from an anonymous source on the internet, so it must be true.

  • Keith Paynter

    As a member of Craig Ferguson’s Robot Skeleton Army, I must swallow my pride and venture to Wal-Mart for a Gobber The Belch figurine.

  • LAME!! walmart blows, why would dreamworks sell out with that one

  • No matter where you have to go to buy them, I doubt many kids have been asking for How To Train Your Dragon bed sheets! (Seriously, they have `em!)

  • Steve Gattuso

    I think it’s a mistake. The movie may be good, but I doubt it will be sufficient draw to get people to go into any single store (Wal-Mart or otherwise) specifically for the merchandise.

  • Penn and Teller are notoriously misinformed, I can’t believe someone used a Youtube link to them (which had next to no facts and only opinion, because hey businesses are good for everyone right?) to somehow tell us we should be praising this.

    I don’t care either way though, because major studios have always done this crap and it’s not like anyone is ever going to be out promoting their merchandise only at small exclusive local stores.

  • Rooniman

    Oh Wal-mart! How could you?

  • Jeffrey T. McAndrew

    Has anyone heard of Walmart’s deal to make HTTYD training pants for toddlers?

  • Milly

    WALMART?? What about countries outside of America that don’t have Walmart then? I hope the prices won’t differ too much if Walmart gives the distribution rights to other stores outside of America or something. After all, I’d want to at least get the dvd, and maybe a Toothless plush or something for my friend.