Fox Takes Exclusive 'Alvin and the Chipmunks' Merchandise to Walmart Tied to DVD Release

20th Century Fox Film Corp.

With estimated retail sales of $300 million last year, the franchise has become a year-round presence on store shelves.

NEW YORK - News Corp.'s Twentieth Century Fox and its consumer products arm will on Tuesday launch an exclusive Alvin and the Chipmunks in-store apparel program with retail giant Walmart tied to the franchise's newest DVD and Blu-ray release. The arrangement is the latest step towards giving the brand a strong year-round presence on retail shelves.  

It is also the latest and biggest such deal to support the more than $1 billion box office franchise, which Steven Ekstract, group publisher of License! Global magazine, estimates brought in $300 million in retail sales in 2011.  

“An exclusive apparel line at Walmart is a true testament to the popularity and success of the blockbuster franchise," said Jeffrey Godsick, president of Fox Consumer Products. "This all-new spring line is reflective of the franchise’s continued momentum. Consumers can now find Alvin and the Chipmunks product on shelves year-round.”

Created in 1958, the Chipmunks are presently one of the biggest family franchises, according to Fox, which highlighted its multi-generational and international following. 

"We have seen strong sales for the Chipmunks franchise whenever we release a book, film or DVD," said Robert Marick, executive vp at Fox Consumer Products. "And it is doing well around every holiday. Now, we are taking what people have already said is one of their favorite franchises and putting it front and center."

The company had a similar retail rollout with the previous Chipmunks DVD release, "but not to the degree we have it this time," Marick said. "This is the biggest rollout we've ever had. This is the largest one in terms of a complete collection of products."

The Fox Consumer Products and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment units will debut an exclusive spring boy’s and girl’s apparel line in about 3,000 Walmart stores to coincide with the home entertainment release of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. Plus, 10 key Walmart locations will get oversized dynamic wave displays allowing families to take photos that they can send virally to friends and loved ones. 

Fox Consumer Products’ new Alvin and the Chipmunks spring children’s apparel line includes several licensees that provide T-shirts, pajamas, swimwear, sportswear and swimwear, as well as hosiery and headwear.

The Walmart campaign will be supported online with a boutique page at and on the franchise's Facebook page, which has more than 2.5 million “likes.” Fox is collaborating on Chipmunks with Bagdasarian Productions, led by Ross Bagdasarian Jr., son of the creator of the Chipmunks, and his wife Janice Karman.

Fox Consumer Products this weekend also unveiled the first Ice Age attraction. Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4-D Experience opened at Alton Towers Resort, a theme park in Staffordshire, England.


Twitter: @georgszalai