Olsens Pass Twin Torch to Sprouse Bros
With Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen now well into womanhood, what's to become of Generation Z, that demographic chock full of tweens desperate to spend their lunch money on Wal-Mart merchandise featuring the latest twin stars of the screen? Enter Dylan and Cole Sprouse, Hollywood's 14-year-old wunderkinds who are now fully endorsed by Mary-Kate and Ashley's billion dollar company, Dualstar, to be, well, the bro versions of MK and Ash.
With star turns on Grace Under Fire and the Adam Sandler film Big Daddy, the too-cute team is now well on its way to moguldom with their top rated Disney Channel show, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody.
Their deal with the Olsen's and Dualstar is in full stride, and their likeness is poised to grace every imaginable product, from a DVD series to hair gel to deodorant. Most immediately, though, the two have partnered with Simon & Schuster for a book series featuring them as young James Bond-types, titled 47 Ronin—a book signing tour launches today. Then there's the new surf/skate clothing line (one particularly bold T-shirt reads "Just Wait Until I Turn 18") and a quarterly magazine, Sprouse Bros. Code. But there's a lot to keeping up with the Olsens, so they're adding a full range of entertainment and lifestyle merchandise, including video games, ring tones, skateboards, and other sporting goods.
However, Dualstar PR director, Tori Matt, hints at the Olsens unique star power—it's earned them an estimated $250 million each—one they hope can be transferred to the Sprouses. "It's really hard to nail this demo." But maybe the teaming is something more, an odd twin telepathy: Dualstar was looking to launch a boys' line for a while, so "when DC Sprouse contacted us in 2005, it was perfect timing," Matt says. "Cole & Dylan are really hands on with everything. We sort of need them to tell us what's cool."
With a line that includes hoodies that zip over your face to protect you from paint fumes when you're tagging and a blog written by their dog Bubba on their website, maybe the Olsen twins really are free to pursue fashion lines for Barneys and Bergdorf's and leave the adolescent twin legacy in able hands of DC Sprouse.