by Meaghan Brophy
“I’ve been in the licensing business for over 25 years,” says Star Cutouts owner Steve Hoagland. “It’s always great when licensors call me about becoming a licensee.” Star Cutouts was originally founded in the UK in 2005, and expanded into the United States in 2013. Their company offers licensed life-size cutouts and masks, along with custom creations. Cutouts include everything from cartoon themes such as Kung Fu Panda® and How to Train Your Dragon®, to celebrities like Justin Bieber and Marilyn Monroe, to The Walking Dead® characters, and of course contemporary U.S. political figures. “Our best sellers right now are Justin Bieber and political candidates,” says Hoagland. Star Cutouts currently has Barack and Michelle Obama designs, Hillary Clinton, and four different Bieber images. “We are working on new images for Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and Marco Rubio. We are always working on new cutouts for Justin Bieber. He has blown up in sales and we are asked all the time about different hairstyles and costumes.”
Though cutouts traditionally are very successful in party, souvenir, and gift stores, the election year provides additional opportunity for all retailers to profit from these life-size novelty items. “In election years, people always want cutouts of the candidates for one purpose or another,” explains Hoagland. For new customers, Hoagland suggests starting off with the political figures, as well as some classic options such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Hoagland also suggests ordering a few extra cutouts to set up as a display in your store. “They make a great visual draw in the front window. It’s additionally a good idea to have one available as a photo op for customers in the store.”
Star Cutouts is in the process of expanding their U.S. business. In addition to new political and celebrity life-size cutouts, this year Star Cutouts will increase their licensed facemask inventories. Wholesale prices for cutouts range from $16.50 – $19.50, and the suggested retail value is $34.95 – $42.95. All orders ship UPS or FedEx within two business days. There is a 12-piece order minimum, which can be a combination of different designs. Star Cutouts offers packaging for retailers who will be shipping cutouts to customers. Drop shipping options are also available. For more information and to view their collection, visit www.starcutouts.us.