NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Like the action figures the company sells, Entertainment Earth (www.entertainmentearth.com) knows a thing or two about heroically triumphing over adversity. After all, the company was all but written off as a whim some 12 years ago when brothers Aaron and Jason Labowitz decided to parlay their passion for both entrepreneurialism and collecting into a viable online business. Today, however, not only is Entertainment Earth prevailing, the company is also enjoying its greatest period of growth to date.
The success of Entertainment Earth has always been partly attributable to its longstanding exclusive mint-condition product guarantee – proof positive to demanding collectors that the Labowitz brothers are as far removed from a traditional generic toy retailer as Mister Spock is from Doctor Spock. But what’s driving Entertainment Earth’s ongoing success these days isn’t merely a new season of cinematic blockbusters, but the wide appeal of the company’s Bring Hollywood Home™ theme – one that resonates among consumers of virtually all ages, backgrounds, interests, and incomes.
Offering an ever-expanding selection of over 6,500 licensed products, ranging from popular toy and gift items to high-end limited edition pieces and hard-to-find or exclusive collectibles, Entertainment Earth is nothing less than heaven on earth for serious and aspiring pop culture collectors alike. So voluminous is the company’s collection of items from the worlds of film, television, music, comic books, and more, in fact, that the site features several hundred product and theme links – and that’s only the home page. No wonder thousands of collectors keep coming back time and time again.
Nevertheless, serious collectors aren’t the only ones responsible for Entertainment Earth’s consistent growth. Just as movies like Spider-Man have redefined comic books for huge mainstream audiences, Entertainment Earth has helped redefine what it means to be a collector “geek” in the 21st century. Think the Web site’s only customers are chunky bearded guys in their late 20s living at home and surrounded by half-eaten bags of Doritos? Think again, because today’s collectors are as likely to be middle-aged, high-income professionals revisiting their favorite childhood movie or TV show as they are teenagers saving up for the much-anticipated line of Star Wars: The Clone Wars merchandise.
Entertainment Earth has become a frequent online destination choice for women as well. Indeed, one of the company’s own employees recently launched www.girlgeekkennedy.blogspot.com to showcase the toys, figures, and items most likely to appeal to female collectors.
What’s more, Entertainment Earth – which recently launched a separate entity called Bif Bang Pow! to create and merchandise exclusive studio tie-in products such as a highly popular line of The Big Lebowski collectibles – owes a significant percentage of its sales to non-collectors. These are consumers either looking for a feel-good, forget-the-real-world-for-a-few-minutes showpiece for their home or office, or are seeking a unique gift for a friend or loved one with a fondness for anything from Betty Boop to Led Zeppelin, from Alvin & The Chipmunks to Starship Troopers, or from Gumby to Iron Man.
On the flip side, there is yet another Entertainment Earth consumer: the “money is no object” collector. For this person, able to leap tall bank accounts in a single bound, the site offers what the company aptly calls Really Cool Expensive Stuff, which runs the gamut from an $890 Peanuts Snoopy 31-inch plush to a $3,300 Star Wars Millennium Falcon resin statue.
As CEO and co-founder Aaron Labowitz puts it, “I think consumers keep returning to Entertainment Earth because we are, in a way, like a small version of Hollywood itself.”