It’s shaping up to be Christmas in July for Beatles fans this year, as rights to the Fab Four’s merchandise in North America have been snapped up by Universal Music, with a wave of new products expected to hit store shelves as soon as next month.
According to Rolling Stone, Apple Corps, the Beatles’ business firm, has teamed up with Universal’s Bravado division to launch the new wave of merchandise. Coupled with Universal’s ownership of the band’s music, the company has the Beatles’ market all but cornered in North America.
“All of us at Universal Music Group are very excited about extending our relationship with the Beatles’ iconic brand to include both merchandise and their legendary recordings, and about the potential for innovative marketing of creative new products,” said Universal Music Group Chairman and CEO Lucian Grainge in a press release.
Universal’s Bravado division handles merchandise for hundreds of marquee acts such as Guns ‘N Roses, Bob Marley and the Rolling Stones, including the bevy of products for the Stones’ current 50th Anniversary tour.
Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr announced this week that he’s partnered with illustrator Ben Cort to transform the band’s song “Octopus Garden” into a children’s picture book. Simon & Schuster will publish the book this October in England, with a U.S. release date in January 2014.