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.