Anime Expo 2018 was home to the official debut of Anime Pls, a new lifestyle brand that specializes in exclusive officially-licensed anime merchandise. We had a chance to talk with Price Ogilvie, Marketing Coordinator for Anime Pls and (Anime Pls’ parent company) Bioworld about the brand’s launch.
That Hashtag Show: What is Anime Pls?
Price Ogilvie: Bioworld has been doing anime merchandise for the past five years, all the major retailers and all your favorite t-shirts were probably done by us. I have the designer that did a lot of it standing here with me today. !e have been doing this merch for a long time, we just have done it for retailers and for other people and we realized that we wanna be here ourselves and we wanna talk with the fans and we wanna sell direct and we wanna bring the experience and [gestures to the My Hero Academia backdrop that we’re standing in front of] make anatomically correct All-Mights at 7’2”. It’s a lot of fun.
THS: Tell us more about, this is the launch of Anime Pls at Anime Expo 2018. What made this the place for the launch?
PO: The show approached us and they said, “You know what? We’re introducing a new space, it’s called The Annex and we want you to bring an experience to the Artist Alley.” And we were like, “We got that that covered.” And so we did the four cosplay backdrops, we really wanted to just bring something experiential, something that’s fun for the fans, something that allows them to kinda step into the shows that they watch everyday.
THS: These backdrops are amazing, can you tell us what has proven to be the most popular one?
PO: By far and way, All Might and Deku here. My Hero Academia has not been empty since it opened up Thursday, there has constantly been someone in here and there is a line forming every time someone’s standing in the way. It’s crazy!
THS: So I did see that you guys are launching with 16 shirts, one of those shirts is the My Hero Academia Movie shirt. I think that might be my own personal favorite of the shirts you guys are offering right now but what is your own personal favorite?
PO: The Deku, the green, mint green, “Deku Deku Deku”. We have the crying young Midoriya face on the bottom of the shirt and then “Deku Deku Deku” on the back. It has been incredibly popular. One of my designers and I were talking about it and she was like, “It’s weird and that’s why people love it.” It’s out there and he’s upset and its very cute and so it has been a big hit the weekend and I personally have one that I’ve snagged for myself.
THS: That’s awesome. So, you have launched the brand with 16 shirts but are there plans in place to maybe expand to hats, backpacks, other accessories?
PO: So, in here this weekend we have a couple of displays of Bananya, Yu-Gi-Oh!, Naruto and My Hero [Academia]. These are a kinda fulfill by mail situation, a pre-order situation, they’re ordering here and I ship everything direct. This is the very first launch. All the t-shirts will disappear and all the bags are pre-orders for this weekend but if you keep an eye on AnimePls.com, closer to the holidays this year and end of the fall, we’re gonna be introducing exclusive merch that you can only get with Anime Pls. That’s one of the things that we’re most excited about is that we wanna do as much anime as we can, as many different shows, and then go as deep within the inside jokes and have things that you cannot get anywhere else.
THS: So, I guess the next question is, are there plans to expand to other shows, merch from other shows?
PO: So on the other side of the wall that we’re standing on you can see we have a step-and-repeat with all the anime licenses that we currently have in-house. It’s quite a list, it’s pretty extensive and we’re constantly signing new properties and we’re constantly creating. One of the things we’re most excited about with Anime Pls is that we can move quickly, we can bring in and test and have merchandise for shows that are fresh and are just now coming out and people are excited about right now. So, I can’t speak too much about it but keep an eye on us, we’re gonna have some really fun stuff coming out.
THS: So basically, “spoilers”?
PO: Yeah, spoiler tag!
More information about Anime Pls can be found on their website here.