If you were hoping that the shelves of your local stores were going to be filled by new characters and ideas in the next year, time to ratchet back your expectations. Word is, everything new is old again.
The recent Licensing International Expo in Las Vegas showcased the new conservatism. Warner Bros. Consumer Products executive VP of domestic licensing and worldwide marketing, Karen McTier summarized the feeling:
What is new is what is old... What retailers want is proven successes. In this environment they can't take any chances.
What this'll mean for us is more promotional push on old familars like the DC Comics superheroes, Transformers, Spider-Man and Harry Potter, and less spotlight available for new characters (Although the expo did show a push for James Cameron's Avatar). Whether this creates a feedback loop wherein Hollywood and television executives will think that there's no demand for new characters and stories is open to question, but you only have to look at the current fad for remakes and reboots to see how easy it would be for storytellers to begin to believe that...
Studios find answers at licensing expo [Variety]