By Patrick Prince
Steiner Sports is rolling out a bunch of product to commemorate the “Sgt. Pepper” 50th anniversary this year, both limited edition collectibles and mass-marketed artwork, all part of a licensing deal with Apple Corps Ltd.
Tina Cancellieri, the Director of Operations over at Steiner Sports, spoke to Goldmine about the Sgt. Pepper items the memorabilia company is feeling really proud about.
GOLDMINE:We’ll get to “Sgt. Pepper,” but first I wanted to ask you about “Revolver.” You know, rolling out anniversary products is a pretty big task, there’s a lot that goes into it. How did “Revolver” do last year?
Tina Cancellieri: It did well as far as the whole collection, but the whole collection seems to be selling consistently throughout the pieces. There’s not one that seems to be standing out. We’re excited about “Sgt. Pepper” coming out because of the new types of products that we have. We feel like there’s going to be a good bump from that, so we’re excited about that. There’s a lot of buzz in the industry.
We actually have two really exciting new pieces that we are withholding for a little while. They’re both a special limited edition of 67. One of them is a custom-made, handcrafted replica drum that includes the artwork from the drum of the “Sgt. Pepper” album cover (shown right), and the other one is an acrylic, 3-D replica collage of the album cover. Each layer of the piece is actually another person that’s in that image. It’s really cool. It’s very three-dimensional and looks really neat.
GM: Now these will stay limited edition?
TC: They are both limited to 67, so we will only make 67. We will never make any more than that.
GM: Have you decided on the retail price, or will it be auctioned?
TC: They are both going to retail for $1,967 as an homage to the year – to the anniversary. The 3-D collage will actually be made to order, and the drum will be available for the first few. Then the rest will be made to order as well.
GM: Let me ask you about the drum. I know Steiner has said in the past that they weren’t going to autograph any of The Beatles stuff because they felt like it should be (autographed by) every Beatles member. This is being done as sort of an honor to the group, but what about Ringo (Starr) signing the drum and then auctioning it off?
TC: We’ve really kind of stood firm with the autographs. That’s the heart of our business. But we thought we really wanted to pay respect to The Beatles as part of a group, and so we’ve kind of stayed firm to that. There’s going to be a one-off piece for auction here or there ... it’s possible. It’s not in our plans right now, but I wouldn’t say no to it. But we really, really try to stay firm on the no autograph decision.
GM: Now, the Beatles canvases that are online are mass marketed, to stores like Bed Bath & Beyond, right?
TC: Yes, they are. We actually have a number of distributors that picked them up and more every day. So it’s really picking up. People are interested in it. In addition to the drum and the 3-D collage, there will be a couple different prints coming out as well. Most of our pieces now are kind of true to form from the original artwork so you’ll see a couple of pieces come out that are a little bit more an interpretation of the artwork, so that will be really fun. And then hopefully we’ve got a whole new product line coming out some time later this year or maybe early next year that will be a little bit different. We’re kind of going to branch out into a few new things. That’s exciting for us as well.
GM: What kind of new things?
TC: Um, we’re getting a little bit more creative. I can’t really say any more of the details as of yet but it will be exciting.
GM: Now, will the canvases ever be limited?
TC: No, the canvases aren’t limited as it is right now. The two new pieces for “Sgt. Pepper” will be the first limited editions that we’ll do.
GM: Will consumers always have the choice of framed and unframed artwork?
TC: Yes, we’ll always have both. The collages will always be framed because of the nature of them, and then most of the choices are framed pieces. And (then) canvases, stretched canvases. We won’t do loose photos but we’ll do unframed canvases and we’ll do framed photos.
GM: Which of these Beatles products have you been most pleased with both sales-wise and even aesthetically?
TC: Aesthetically the drum is absolutely breathtaking, and my fear is photos will not do it justice because in person it just takes over the space. It is gorgeous. It’s handcrafted by master drum makers. It’s a rope tension system with leather tensioners. It’s just a beautiful, beautiful piece of art and I can’t wait for everybody to see it.
GM: So it’s the same size as the actual drum.
GM: How is Steiner finding the experience of dealing with a different industry as far as product and memorabilia? Did it take some time getting used to ... being the music field, so to speak?
TC: You know it is a different beast, but we’re known for branching out to different things a lot; so getting into a new field is not new for us but the field itself is new. So it is interesting. It’s definitely a different type of collector, but they are really accepting and they are really into it. So anytime we get good feedback from the public it is good for us.
GM: Speaking of feedback, have you had any buyer feedback? Any requests from Beatles fans?
TC: No, we haven’t had any requests. They’re very interested in the fact that we do this and that there really isn’t any other framed art on the market that’s licensed. So they are more just excited and impressed by it. I don’t think it’s been out long enough for them to start coming up with their own ideas, but I’m sure that’s coming very soon. We usually can’t stop our customers from telling us what they want and that’s okay because we love it. We love taking their feedback.
For more information, go to to www.steinersports.com and search for The Beatles Collection.