DALLAS -- Color trends and licensing spotted at the 1995 SHOPA Show are a prelude for buyers attending the upcoming International Housewares Show and Toy Fair.
The color forest green and Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes are expected to remain hot in 1996, said vendors exhibiting at the 1995 School and Home Office Products Association trade show here last month.
Forest, or hunter, green -- a dominant color for the last several seasons -- was especially prominent in office supplies. "We expect hunter green has at least another year," said Marshall Morrell, national sales manager for the mass market at Rubbermaid Office Products, Maryville, Tenn.
"Burgundies, blues and forest greens are popular colors in home decor today, and we've translated those colors into our basic storage products," said Kathy Evens, vice president of merchandising at Newell Office Products, Madison, Wis.
In back-to-school items, Ronald Vitkun, division manager for the Eastern mass market at Empire Berol, Brentwood, Tenn., said color is what kids want in school supplies because it helps them stand out.
Berol's Fun d' Mentals fashion line of economy priced supplies includes "Brights," which offers shades in plum, apple green, bubble gum and sailor, and "Tropical," which features purple, ocean, punch and canary.
The clear phenomenon hit the show floor with see-through backpacks, lunch boxes, storage containers and other items. Manufacturers said the clear movement is being driven because many school districts are making it mandatory for children to carry supplies in clear containers for security reasons. Recyclable products will continue as a popular movement this year. Gillette Co., Boston, for example, has the Eco-Pen made of 100% recycled plastic with 31% post-consumer waste. It retails at $1.99. Empire Berol is capitalizing on the success of its denim Eagle Jeans recyclable pencils introduced last year. Chains such as A&P and Safeway are merchandising the item. This year it rolls out a Greenback line of pencils made from recycled shredded money from the U.S. Treasury Department.
Looney Tunes appears stronger than ever, with over 30 vendors at the show carrying the license. Also, Disney's theatrical release of "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" later this year promises to be a strong property.
Mead School & Office Products, Dayton, Ohio, is among the companies at the show licensing a school supply line of Sailor Moon, a popular Japanese property that some say has the potential of being as big as Power Rangers.
Coca-Cola licenses also were prevalent at the show. Stuart Hall, Kansas City, Mo., is licensing Coca-Cola Polar Bears.
Other retailers voiced interest in Goosebumps, licensed by Scholastic, New York. "Goosebumps and tie-in paperback merchandise might be a home run," said Lanny Hoffmeyer, director of general merchandise at Supervalu, Minneapolis. "That was the only item I saw that was universally new for our class of trade." SHOPA is headquartered in Dayton, Ohio.