From Michael Jackson's Mind to Your Wardrobe

Merchandise line designed by pop star before his death is coming soon to stores.

July 9, 2009, 4:40 PM

July 10, 2009— -- Celebrity clothing lines have been common in Hollywood for years, but a posthumous collection from the King of Pop may prove to be a thriller all its own.

The month before his death, Michael Jackson helped design much of a 300-piece clothing and merchandise line, which features everything from jackets and tote bags to puzzles and even a teacup set.

Its release was originally intended to coincide with Jackson's now-cancelled concert series at London's O2 Arena, but the pop star pushed for the collection -- including a varsity jacket similar to the one he wore in his landmark 1983 "Thriller" music video -- to feature more than the typical rock concert souvenirs.

"Michael specifically wanted to go beyond what everyone else does, like T-shirts and posters," a source close to the merchandising deal said. "He wanted something new, different, fun and innovative."

Among the retailers that will carry the new Jackson merchandise are Target, Hot Topic, Spencer's Gifts and JC Penney, according to Bravado, Universal Music Group's merchandising arm. A Target spokesman said the discount chain will begin selling Jackson T-shirts at select locations later this month.

Jackson, together with Bravado CEO Tom Bennett, sketched out ideas for the line in May during a brainstorming session at Jackson's rented Holmby Hills mansion in California.

At a later meeting, when Jackson saw the designs for the merchandise prototypes, "he got so excited, so enthusiastic, he did a little dance move at the end," Bennett told the Los Angeles Times.

Some of the items -- including a sleep mask with a drawing of Michael Jackson's eyes, a "Who's Bad" belt buckle, logo-emblazoned socks, and a concert T-shirt that reads "King of Pop" and "O2 2009" -- are already available online at a Web site hosted by Bravado. Prices range from $75 for a set of four wine glasses to $25 for the sleep mask.

AEG E-Mails Fans

Bravado partnered with Jackson concert promoter AEG Live on the clothing line. How the companies will divide the proceeds is unclear, although one source said AEG's portion of the profits will go to the Jackson estate.

AEG did not return calls for comment, but the concert promoter has wasted no time advertising the line to fans.

"Early in June, Michael Jackson approved a line of official merchandise for you, his fans," AEG wrote in an e-mail to fans this week. "As we mourn the loss of one of the greatest talents the world has ever seen, we are only beginning to feel the impact that Michael left upon us all. A variety of official merchandise commemorates this incredible talent and preserves the legacy that is Michael Jackson."

A source told that in releasing the line, the companies hoped to compete against bootleggers hawking Jackson goods.

While it's unknown how high sales will climb for the new merchandise, sales of the singer's music have found a record number of buyers: There were about 2.6 million online downloads for Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5 music in the week following his death, according to Nielsen's SoundScan.

Unused tickets for the cancelled Jackson concert series have also proven a prized commodity. AEG said that 40 percent to 50 percent of ticket buyers for the cancelled 02 Arena concerts have decided to forego full refunds and are keeping their unused tickets as memorabilia instead, according to the Associated Press.

ABC News' Eileen Murphy and Nathalie Tadena contributed to this report.