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Once Ridiculed For Immense "Star Wars" Collection, Co-Founder Jason Labowitz
Helps Make Entertainment Earth Profitable From Day One
LOS ANGELES, MAY 27 - "Star Wars" may have taken place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away, but the story of Entertainment Earth (www.entertainmentearth.com) begins a short time ago in a decidedly familiar section of the universe called the San Fernando Valley.
Here, in 1996, then 25 year-old Jason Labowitz turned his passion for collecting "Star Wars" action figures - a passion which prompted his acquaintances to ridicule him, his friends to worry about him and his parents to prod him quickly into law school - into a company which not only proved profitable from day one but which has become one of the fastest-growing and most loyally patronized action figure and collectibles-based sites on the Internet.
Jason's parents haven't mentioned law school since.
Along with brother Aaron Labowitz, Jason has achieved the ultimate entrepreneurial dream: turning a childhood preoccupation into a prosperous adult occupation. Most of all, he is able to offer fellow collectors the kinds of products, services and quality control measures he himself first sought when George Lucas took us to that distant galaxy 23 years ago.
Entertainment Earth is an e-commerce fulfillment company offering fans a vast array of collectible action figures, toys and memorabilia from McFarlane and other leading manufacturers spanning the worlds of "Star Wars," "Austin Powers," "Farscape," "Spawn," "G.I. Joe" and countless other popular films, television shows, comics and traditional books. In addition, the company even offers a line of rock 'n roll figures including Janis Joplin and The Beatles.
Best of all, though, Entertainment Earth clearly respects and understands its customers, offering a mint-condition product guarantee which is unmatched in the action figure/collectibles industry, along with Preferred Customer e-mails, extensive product knowledge, superior shipping/handling techniques and personalized customer service.
Entertainment Earth is also that rarest of all Internet breeds - an e-commerce site which is actually profitable and has been so from day one in great part because it's helping carve its own unique, highly specialized niche within the online community.
Every day, more and more e-commerce companies are being forced out of business because their products are so readily available elsewhere. Conversely, Entertainment Earth is in a position to dominate its marketspace by catering to a relatively small but fiercely loyal target end-user base which demands the kinds of quality assurances mass merchandise Web sites and brick and mortar stores simply don't offer.
A few compelling "action figures" relative to the collectibles industry and Entertainment Earth:
According to the Toy Manufacturers Of America, sales of action figures nationwide increased from $907 million in 1998 to $1.1 billion in 1999, representing an increase of almost 25%
Online toy sales vaulted from $45 million in 1998 to $425 million in 1999, according to The NPD Group, Inc. and Media Metrix, the latter of which predicts $1.6 billion in online toy sales by 2002
Entertainment Earth's sales have grown on average 230% every year since 1996
Action figure collectors are generally boys and men between the ages of 12-40, precisely the same demographic which most fervently embraces the Internet as a shopping and recreational vehicle
"Star Wars: Episode One" generated $1 billion in box office sales, but $4 billion in merchandise-related sales; with the next two "Star Wars" installments tentatively set for release in 2002 and 2005, Entertainment Earth is almost certain to continue growing at light speed over the foreseeable future
By treating their customers with respect - a respect which manifests itself in everything from their mint-condition guarantee to their choice of manufacturing partners to their packaging to the navigational ease of their Web site Jason and Aaron Labowitz have built up a very serious business venture which just happens to be about fun and games.
"Aaron has an MBA and I was en route to earning a law degree," Jason says. "Clearly, we could have taken a more secure career path, especially given the vast number of Internet start-ups which never get off the ground. Nevertheless, we instinctively believed that by gauging and responding to the needs of action figure and toy collectors more comprehensively than anyone else in the fulfillment side of the industry, we could turn what had once been a pastime into a viable business opportunity. We are grateful to our customers and partners for their support and look forward to Entertainment Earth's global expansion over the years ahead."
Based in Los Angeles, Entertainment Earth is the leading Internet retailer of collectible action figures, toys and memorabilia. Founded by action figure collectors with a strong understanding of the industry from a merchant and consumer point of view, the company offers an unprecedented mint-condition guarantee on products based on "Star Wars" and other universally-popular films, television shows and comic book characters.