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Wētā Workshop targets $700 billion collectibles market

As the collectible market continues to grow worldwide, award-winning special effects and prop company Wētā Workshop is partnering with a New Zealand accreditation to capture the $700 billion market.

Since 2020, Wētā Workshop has experienced an 80 percent growth in demand for its collectibles range and heading into 2024, the company wants to pursue “further growth opportunities”.

Already, the global collectibles market is estimated to value $462 billion USD and will only continue to grow across the next 10 years.

The growth is thanks to online platforms, enhanced authenticity and provenance tracking and the investment potential driven by scarcity and rarity, says David Wilks, General Manager of Wētā Workshop.

In order to capture this market, Wētā Workshop is working alongside the government-backed accreditation that supports Kiwi businesses stand out in global markets, New Zealand Story’s FernMark Licence Programme.

“Wētā Workshop started its collectibles business 25 years ago, off the back of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, as a way to leverage our skilled sculptors and extend our work beyond the screen. It is now a full-time business with a dedicated team of 40 people, 11 licensed properties and 12 collectibles lines,” says Wilks.

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In 2023, Wētā Workshop worked alongside other companies to meet the growth of the collectible market, signing with Games Workshop to create a new line that is anticipated to be as popular as their Middle-Earth range.

On this new line, FernMark will start supporting the company to meet the global market.

“Our focus is on producing very limited runs of between 500 and 5000 pieces that are sold internationally. Once they sell out, we destroy the original mould, which gives them finite saleability,” explains Richard Taylor, Wētā Workshop Co-Founder and Creative Director.

“Our collectibles provide an opportunity for owners to permanently reconnect to the characters that they love. For our team, it keeps us connected to the tail of projects long after our involvement at the production level. They create a memory-evoking moment back to special cinematic experiences.”

Taylor adds that the FernMark will endorse and embellish relevance and commercial standing.

David Downs, CEO of New Zealand Story, says that the FernMark programme is excited to work with a leader in the creative-tech space.

“The value of New Zealand’s arts and creative sector is not widely appreciated. It contributed $14.9 billion to New Zealand’s GDP in the year to March 2022, which is 4.2 percent of our total economy. Wētā Workshop is a great example of how to increase the value of New Zealand’s exports, not just volume.”

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