The popular entertainment brand and cult-hit comedy series MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 (MST3K) has announced its first consumer products program, which is gearing up for release as the new season heads to Netflix for its much anticipated premiere.
“MST3K is enjoying a new iteration on Netflix for both new audiences and longtime fans alike,” says MST3K creator Joel Hodgson. “We’re really looking forward to partnering with creative companies who are fans of the show and can capture the zeitgeist of the series with new products and ideas.”
Bob Emmer, COO of Shout Factory, adds, ”We’re eagerly pursuing licensing opportunities across all categories, with the goal of delivering fun and innovative merchandise that’s true to the show MSTies know and love.”
The licensing program is helmed by Elie Dekel, of Dekel Brands. Strategic partners for licensing and merchandising on board thus far include:
- Dark Horse (serialized comics, graphic novels, coffee-table book and gift items)
- FUNKO (vinyl figures, and FUNKO-POP figures)
- Changes (t-shirts, tops, sweatshirts)
- Insight Editions (Ultimate Episode Guide, trivia books, journals)
- Great Eastern (buttons, patches, stickers, pins, gifts and novelties)
- Just Funky (gifts, beverage/barware, key chains, auto accessories, table-top gifts)
- Zen Monkey Studios (t-shirts, sweatshirts)
Products will be rolling out spring of 2017 throughout the 4th quarter, with new products and licensees to be announced over the course of the year. MST3K and its licensees will be working with specialty retailers to deliver the new merchandise to retailers and ecommerce stores.
Beloved by a legion of fans worldwide and ranked by top media culture critics as one of the best cult television shows of all time, MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 will highlight brand extension opportunities across all licensing categories, including apparel, digital gaming, publishing, toys, home goods and accessories.
MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 follows the motley crew of a human host and his two robot sidekicks aboard the Satellite of Love. The hapless host, trapped by mad scientists on a satellite in space, is forced to watch some of the most outrageously unfortunate B-movies ever created. To keep sane, he’s built two robot sidekicks, and together they do a running commentary on the films, affectionately mocking their flaws with inspired wisecracks and acting as a demented movie theater peanut gallery.
Created by Joel Hodgson, Mystery Science Theater 3000’s first season aired on KTMA-TV in Minneapolis. Its national broadcast life began in 1989 on the Comedy Channel (later to become Comedy Central), where it ran for seven seasons. The show’s final three seasons aired on the Sci-Fi Channel. Series creator Hodgson originally played stranded host, Joel Robinson. When he left in 1993, series head writer Mike Nelson replaced him as the new B-movie victim, and continued in the role for the rest of the show’s run. The format proved to be popular, and during its eleven years and 198 episodes (including one feature film), Mystery Science Theater 3000 attained a loyal fan base and critical acclaim. The series won a Peabody Award in 1993, and was nominated for writing Emmys® in 1994 and 1995.
In 2008, Shout! Factory secured the exclusive worldwide home entertainment and digital distribution rights to MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 branded properties, which include a large library of original episodes that have never been available on home entertainment or for digital download.
In late 2015, Shout! Factory and creator Joel Hodgson, formed a new partnership, known as Satellite of Love, LLC, to acquire the global IP rights to MST3K with the aim of producing new episodes, and managing and developing the IP in other areas. The highly successful Mystery Science Theater Kickstarter campaign, spearheaded by Shout! Factory and Hodgson, surpassed the goal of fully funding the production of 14 new episodes and set the world record as the highest-funded Film and TV crowdfunding campaign of all time. The new season of the show will premiere on Netflix in 2017.