Published January 15, 2016
|Lionel will sell its NASCAR diecast
collection at retailers like Wal-Mart, Target
NASCAR licensee Lionel Racing has assumed mass-distribution rights for NASCAR’s diecast collection, expanding its prior role that saw it previously sell to collectors. The 115-year-old toy maker, which became a licensee of the sanctioning body in '10
and takes over from Spin Master, will now sell its NASCAR Authentics diecast collection at retailers like Wal-Mart, Target and Toys “R” Us. Lionel President Howard Hitchcock said, "Attaching to NASCAR in the mass space allows us to leverage a lot of what we do in the collector space and really create a platform for the youth toward being a collector.” Hitchcock expects that the company will “easily” grow at a double-digit clip thanks to the new rights it has picked up. NASCAR VP/Licensing & Consumer Products Blake Davidson said the deal “really gives us a lot of continuity across the entire category." Davidson: "When you’ve got one company that’s managing all of NASCAR’s diecast rights -- both in the mass and collector space -- it really helps to manage and segment the entire space. Whether it’s different product lines, price points -- those kinds of things -- it’s a really good move across the board.” Hitchcock reported that even amid a time when people are increasingly spending discretionary income on digital possessions, demand for diecasts remains strong and the business “has been very stable.” The company, which outside of NASCAR also has an exclusive deal with NHRA’s John Force Racing and does some work in the sprint car space, is eyeing digital tie-ins that can be a part of diecasts in the future. Davidson said talks are ongoing "about ways we can merge the two worlds" and introduce some "interactive idea and innovate technology that we can infuse into some of these products." Davidson: "The future is you’re going to see more technology coming into these products in ways that would help to broaden the life of them but really make them come alive."