Collectibles can be fun for fans of any age, especially the collectibles from Monogram International! While the company makes everything from lanyards and mugs to pins and magnets, Monogram’s signature 3D foam bag clips feature dozens of fan-favorite characters and are perfect for young fans to display — or to add a personal touch to their school bag!
This year, the company has added some exciting new shows — such as the Star Wars fan-favorite The Mandalorian — to its product lineup. Monogram’s The Child coin bank is super cute, and it makes saving money a lot more fun.
We chatted with Michael Normann, vice president of sales and marketing at Monogram International, about the company’s newest products, making collectibles for all ages, and more!
Toy Insider: Can you tell us about some of the product releases that you are most excited about and why?
Michael Normann: We are very excited about our expanding line of blind bags and [coin] banks. We’ve seen great success so far with The Mandalorian/Baby Yoda and Friends (the TV sitcom) products so far in both categories, with the Baby Yoda Bank, the Friends Couch Bank, and both 3D foam blind bag collections.
TI: All of Monogram’s bag clips have such a unique style. What is the process like for designing them?
MN: We have an amazing design team over in Hong Kong helping us bring the creative vision of both Monogram and the licensors to life and making all parties satisfied. We have a great time coming up with new assortments to launch each year. We’re always working to make each release better than the last with greater detail and charm in each little 3D foam bag clip character to keep fans and collectors excited for more.
MN: It’s a mix of different methods. We look at what’s trending with staying power in pop culture and also what characters our retailers’ customers look for specifically. We also like to engage with our fans on social media for what they’d like to see in future products.
TI: Right now, it seems like there is The Child merchandise coming out everywhere. What makes Monogram’s The Child/The Mandalorian items unique and appealing to fans?
MN: What sets our products apart is the accessibility of our products to everyone. We really pride ourselves in being able to provide high-quality collectibles at a reasonable price point.
TI: Your bag clips are available in blind bags and also in sets. In your experience, do fans actually put the clips on their bags, or do they display them as a set? Or do you see a bit of both?
MN: Definitely see a bit of both. Some of our friends/followers on Facebook are always happy to share pictures of their in-home collection of bag clips hanging on their wall. And now and then we spot someone in a crowd with a bag clip or two on their purse or bookbag. It’s really cool to see!
TI: Friends and The Mandalorian are such different brands, but both are incredibly popular at this moment. Why do you think they are so popular? And how is the process different for creating merchandise for a decades-old sitcom versus a current science fiction action series?
MN: Given the current global situation, streaming platforms like Netflix, HBO Max, and Disney+, have become the main way people get media today. The Mandalorian and Friends are so drastically different, but they both have that “binge-worthy” factor that brings fans from all ages and walks of life together. So both kids and adults can find Monogram products as a fun and affordable way to show their love for the shows. On the product development side, since The Mandalorian is a current show, there are stricter guidelines. But the folks at Star Wars have always been very generous creatively and have helped us get the products how we like for the fans. Since Friends is bordering on “retro” at this point in time, we have more freedom to play with different moments in the show’s history which is a lot of fun to work on with the Warner Brothers team.
TI: What else should fans be on the lookout for from Monogram?
MN: Our anime products are also a big priority for us. Be sure to check out our new 3D foam blind bag releases this holiday season from My Hero Academia, Naruto Shippuden, Sailor Moon, and, for the first time, Dragon Ball Z!
You can snag these Friends and The Mandalorian items at a variety of retailers, including Target, Gamestop, FYE, Hot Topic, and BoxLunch! Love a specific product pictured above? Order the Friends couch bank here, the The Child bank here, The Mandalorian bag clips here, and the new Friends bag clips here!