KANSAS CITY, Mo., Sept. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hallmark itty bittys® may be just four inches tall, but they are bringing big customer demand to Hallmark Gold Crown® stores nationwide. Conceived by a Hallmark designer while doodling during a brainstorm, itty bittys are tiny plush collectible characters with big consumer appeal. Hallmark has sold more than 1 million itty bittys in the United States and has increased production to keep up with retail demand. This year, sales to date of itty bittys in Hallmark Gold Crown corporate stores are 600 percent higher than 2013.
itty bittys In Good CompanyThe Hallmark itty bittys collection has grown from eight characters at launch to more than 50 popular characters from a variety of licensors and properties, including DC Comics™, The Wizard of Oz™ and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer® (available in October), as well as favorite super heroes, princesses and characters from popular movies.
"We've tapped Hallmark's extensive licensing portfolio to create themed collections of popular characters in a format that is cute and fun … and with a big 'aww' factor," said John X. Watson, president – Hallmark Retail. "This feels very similar to the crazes of the '80s and '90s with the rapid increase in sales, some characters selling out, and the requests from consumers for what new itty bittys we should add to the line."
New itty bittys characters are released throughout the year and will eventually be retired. Some itty bittys are limited editions, such as Glinda the Good Witch™ and the Wicked Witch of the West™ (in stores now), which are available only for a limited time and often sell out quickly. Seasonal releases tied to holidays, such as Valentine's Day, Easter and Christmas, also are sold for a limited time.
This holiday season, Hallmark also is partnering with Toys for Tots to provide customers a small way to make a big difference. For every purchase of an individual Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer®, Santa Claus, Clarice® or Bumble® itty bittys character, Hallmark will donate $1 to Toys for Tots.
The 'Favorite' itty bittys
The most popular itty bittys of 2014 so far are:
- Wonder Woman
The Big Deal About itty bittysIndividually priced at $6.95, with collector sets priced at $29.95, itty bittys are available exclusively in more than 2,400 Hallmark Gold Crown stores nationwide. itty bittys provide a convenient, affordable and fun gift, and they appeal to collectors and fans of the different licensed characters.
"Our customers purchase itty bittys for everything from birthdays to holidays, and there are some characters that sell out as fast as we stock them," said Cindy Peck, Hallmark Gold Crown store owner in Portland, Oregon. "Because they are small, soft and washable, itty bittys make great kids gifts. They fit in backpacks, Easter baskets, Halloween bags, Christmas stockings and more. Plus there are plenty of fans of all ages who just love the characters and want to collect them."
For more information or to locate a Hallmark Gold Crown store, visit Hallmark.com/itty-bittys.
BATMAN, SUPERMAN, THE FLASH, WONDER WOMAN and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © DC Comics. (s14)
THE WIZARD OF OZ and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Turner Entertainment Co. (s14)
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer © & ® The Rudolph Co., L.P. all are elements under license to Character Arts LLC. All rights reserved.
About Hallmark Cards, Inc.
Hallmark makes the world a more caring place by helping people express what's in their hearts and connect in emotional ways with others. In the U.S., innovative Hallmark greeting cards and gifts are sold through leading mass retailers, the network of Hallmark Gold Crown® specialty stores and online. Worldwide, Hallmark offers products in more than 30 languages available in 100 countries. Millions of households enjoy family friendly television programming offered by cable's top-rated Hallmark Channel and fast-growing Hallmark Movie Channel. Hallmark's Crayola subsidiary inspires artistic creativity in children through Crayola® crayons and markers as well as other innovative art tools, crafting activities and creative toys. Privately held Hallmark is based in Kansas City, Mo., and continues to be led by members of the founding Hall family. Visit http://corporate.hallmark.com for more details