Hot Topic

from Business Wire:

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Feb. 13, 2001–Exclusively Designed Apparel, Accessories and Gifts based on Neil Gaiman’s Award-winning Comic Book Series, “Sandman,” to be Sold through Hot Topic and hottopic.com

Hot Topic Inc. (Nasdaq:HOTT), a national mall-based specialty retailer and e-commerce web site of music-licensed and music- influenced apparel, accessories and gift items for teens, today announced it will be the retailer for an exclusive licensed merchandise program based on the famed comic book series, “The Sandman.”

Licensed from DC Comics and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Hot Topic, in a joint venture with Headline Entertainment, is creating a line of apparel and gift items featuring characters from the award-winning epic fantasy comic book series created by Neil Gaiman. Hot Topic plans to sell “Sandman” merchandise in all of its 273 stores across the nation and on hottopic.com, the company’s e-commerce web site.

One of the most acclaimed and influential series in the history of comics, “Sandman” was originally published in 75 monthly issues, beginning in 1989, and has continued to develop an ever-increasing following through its graphic novel collections, available in comic book stores and bookstores. Known for its significant impact on youth culture, “Sandman” and its characters make bold fashion statements, making it ideal for apparel and gift items.

“After an overwhelming number of requests from our customers, we are able to offer what they want — an exciting collection of `Sandman’ merchandise,” said Cindy Levitt, Vice President and General Merchandise Manager for Hot Topic.

Published by Vertigo, DC Comics’ cutting edge imprint, “Sandman’s” ten collections have become a literary rite of passage for students.

Hot Topic Inc. is a mall-based specialty retailer of music- licensed and music-influenced apparel, accessories and gift items for young men and women principally between the ages of 12 and 22. The Company currently operates 273 stores in 45 states throughout the United States and an Internet store, www.hottopic.com.

Except for the historical information contained herein, this news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements relating to the Company’s establishment and maintenance of a relationship with DC Comics and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, the Company’s joint venture with Headline Entertainment, the market for “Sandman” merchandise, and the profitability of future sales of “Sandman” merchandise. These statements involve risks and uncertainties, including risks and uncertainties associated with the market for “Sandman” merchandise, the Company’s ability to successfully engage in joint ventures and licensing relationships, and risks generally associated with specialty retailing, as well as other risks detailed from time to time in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission reports, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Jan. 29, 2000. The historical results achieved are not necessarily indicative of future prospects of the Company.

Warner Bros. Consumer Products is a division of Warner Bros., an AOL Time Warner company, and is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

SANDMAN and all related characters, names and indicia are trademarks of DC Comics (c) 2001. DC Comics is a division of Warner Bros., an AOL Time Warner company. Since 1938, DC has created over 5,000 characters, including the world’s most popular super heroes: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. These and other characters have starred in comic books, movies, television, TV-animation, the Broadway stage and cyberspace.

CONTACT: Hot Topic Inc., City of Industry Christine Thompson, 626/839-4682, ext. 449cthompson@hottopic.com